One of the many things the Dallas Stars are good at is flipping the script after awful games. They'll need all their powers of speed, skill and selective amnesia to win Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues, and yet that is exactly what they plan to do.
Coach Lindy Ruff tells Mark Stepneski that forward is the only way for these Stars:
"This is a group that's done really well," Ruff said. "You could focus on those mistakes and say I could take so-and-so out. St. Louis could focus on the mistakes that a couple of their key defensemen made in the first couple games and think the same thing. No. You've got to keep running. This isn't the time of year to panic or get upset. I have options at my disposal. This group has taken us a long way. Did they have a tough night? Yeah, they had a tough night. But like I said, they've done a great job of bouncing back."
And Jamie Benn is focusing on better special-teams play, starting immediately:
"It's something we've got to improve on, and we've got to make it happen quick," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "We're both good teams and special teams is going to make a difference in this whole series, and I think it has so far."
The Captain also had a few words about Ryan Reaves' air smooch to the Stars bench late in the third:
"It's something you don't forget throughout the rest of the series," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "It is what it is. They can do whatever they want, and he chose to do that. We're going to move on as a group and focus on not him but Game 4."
There's much more at Mark's blog. [Stars Inside Edge]
ICYMI, Lindy Ruff knows his team can be really good at getting their act together:
"They had a tough night, but like I said, this group is good at bouncing back"-Coach Ruff. pic.twitter.com/MQWY5dhKk5— #NHL17Benn (@DallasStars) May 4, 2016
And he suggests that Reaves' demeaning gesture is something the Stars can use:
Do you live in or near Dallas? You can join your fellow Stars fans for the official Game 4 watch party at The Eberhard, 2107 North Henderson. Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials will be in effect. It's a good thing.
Update: For all you Fort Worth fans, the radiant Trevor Sudbury has helped to organize an informal Stars watch party at Brewsters near West 7th Street. Find more information in the comments.
Keep voting. Your Captain needs you. #NHL17Benn
Tyler Seguin is trying to keep himself busy as he waits for the clean bill of health that will let him return to this year's playoffs action.
Last night, in Playoff Hockey:
- Trevor Daley, Matt Cullen and Patric Hornqvist put the biscuit in the basket to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Washington Capitals in overtime, 3-2. The Pens now have a 3-1 series lead over the President's Trophy winners. [Pensburgh]
The league has announced its three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, and they are 2016 playoff hockeyists Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares and Shea Weber.
Meanwhile, the Connor McDavid homers are really ruining the 2016 Calder Trophy discussion for everyone else, says Greg Wyshynski. [Puck Daddy]
The little town of Raahe, Finland is torn between two favorite sons in Western Conference Round 2 action: childhood teammates and lifelong friends Miikka Salomaki of the Nashville Predators and Joonas Donskoi of the San Jose Sharks. [NHL]
Yes, the NHL got in on the Star Wars Day action. I hope you're happy now.
Remember that 26-year-old analytics geek the Arizona Coyotes hired to help them understand evidence-based performance evaluation? Well, the Yotes are about to make John Chayka the youngest GM in the league. [USA Today]
Bruce Boudreau wasn't the only option on the NHL coaching market, says Jared Clinton. He singles out five bench bosses, including former Stars coach Marc Crawford, as possible matches for current and projected vacancies. [The Hockey News]
Also at THN: Long-suffering Maple Leafs fan Sean McIndoe can't help looking for the dark side of the team's improving outlook. Here he reviews five games that could have changed the outcome of the 2016 Auston Matthews derby. [THN]
Speaking of Matthews, the NHL-ready Arizonan is already drawing comparisons to Joe Sakic and Jamie Benn – which could affect whether the Leafs can also make a deal for Steven Stamkos. [Sportsnet]
Elsewhere, the dream of an expansion team in Seattle is dying by inches, as the City Council voted 5-4 against a move that would have allowed investor Chris Hansen to buy and vacate a city block to build a new NBA and NHL arena. [KING5]
Update on Jo Paw-velski (yes, she's a girl): The tiny black kitten who became an internet sensation when she skittered across the ice at SAP Center now has a webcam (and a kitten-sized, Sharks-themed room at Humane Society Silicon Valley) while her rescuers get her ready for adoption. [Maddie's Fund]
Meanwhile, Joan Morris reminds the Bay Area that hockey's feline superstar isn't the only lost animal who needs help – but her fame could help raise awareness for other rescue pets. [Santa Cruz Sentinel]
And while we're on the subject of four-legged folk heroes, learn more about the horse named for Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist who's an odds-on favorite to win the Kentucky Derby this weekend (and who may even get to drink from the Stanley Cup before his big moment at Churchill Downs). [NHL]
Finally: The Fort MacMurray wildfire in Alberta has hit closer to home than you might have known.
The Canadian Red Cross could use your help. Here are the deets.