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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Is the Best Defense Really a Good Offense?

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Can the Stars count on their defense when the playoffs start? Plus, it's down to the wire to claim the Central Division's top spot, and a look at the best potential first-round matchups.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the playoffs, the Stars' biggest question marks are what they've been all year: goaltending and defense. Puck Daddy's Josh Cooper breaks down the "unconventional" team that GM Jim Nill has built and discusses whether Dallas' defense is good enough to give the team a shot at the Cup.

When most contending teams in today's NHL look for defense, Nill has pushed for offense. While winning teams almost always favor one starting goaltender, Nill likes his two-goaltender system.

"We're all dealt certain cards, we've built our team a certain way," Nill said. "We're probably still not where we're going to get to. I think we're going to be a better team the next two or three years but our makeup, the way we are, it is kind of what we are and (coach) Lindy (Ruff) and his coaching staff are playing the way we think we'll be most successful."

Cooper also points out that although relying on offense over defense isn't the best recipe for playoff success, it doesn't necessarily mean the Stars can't succeed in the postseason.

Since 2010-11, the league Stanley Cup champion has ranked either first or second in goals allowed per-game. In 2009-10, the champion Chicago Blackhawks ranked fifth in goals allowed per-game.

Dallas would trend more towards the Pittsburgh Penguins template in 2008-09. That team scored 3.15 goals per-game and allowed 2.84 goals per-contest.

There's more, including Nill's thoughts on using a goalie tandem in the playoffs, at the link. [Puck Daddy]

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Mike Heika held his regular Stars chat yesterday, and it touched on everything from Jamie Benn's chances of winning the Hart to whether or not Valeri Nichushkin could be the "odd man out" in the playoffs. [SportsDayDFW]

Sean McIndoe ranks the 10 best potential first-round matchups, and both Dallas vs. Minnesota and Dallas vs. Chicago make the cut. [Sportsnet]

It's crunch time for the Stars, who still control their playoff destiny. [SportsDayDFW]

Last night, in the #MDK...

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Travis Yost crunches the numbers on when you should pull your goalie. [TSN]

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You can read more about how the US got there at The Players' Tribune.

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