The Dallas Stars have one job tonight: Just win. As they meet the St. Louis Blues in Scottrade Center for a Game 6 that could eliminate them from the playoffs, they're focused on just winning at least as much as you are.
"Once you get backed into a corner, it brings the best out of you in a lot of ways"-Johnny Oduya. pic.twitter.com/dUrDA8SjkC— #NHL17Benn (@DallasStars) May 8, 2016
Coach Lindy Ruff talked about how the Stars can solve Blues goalie Brian Elliott, whose good run has owed a bit to luck as well, writes Mark Stepneski:
"I think right now it's about a goaltender that has played very well. Especially in the third period [Saturday], made two or three really good saves," Ruff said. "Some if it is puck luck, when they're bouncing around or going through his legs. You can look at their last series (against Chicago) where a shot that had beat him hit both posts and stays out. Our job is to create traffic, create the second opportunities, stuff that's tough on him. We had some of those. We're going to have to create a few more."
Meanwhile, Jamie Benn has one focus, and it's not on the NHL's recent announcement that he's a Ted Lindsay Award finalist:
"It's a great honor, but right now they don't really mean much," Benn said. "I am focused on [the Stanley Cup], this next game and what we have to do to win and extend the series and bring it back home. It's definitely a cool honor for sure."
There's more at Mark's blog. [Stars Inside Edge]
Tonight is another chance to hang out with your fellow fans and watch a playoffs away game. Meet up in the Owner's Box at the Omni Hotel downtown.
ICYMI, Patrick Eaves traveled to St. Louis with the Stars and is "a possibility" to play tonight. [SportsDayDFW]
Would you believe the Shania Twain story made it all the way to the Paper of Record? [New York Times]
Amalie Benjamin writes about how Jason Spezza has gone far beyond Shania to help keep the Stars' locker room at just the right temperature. [NHL]
Speaking of Speznasty, he's one of several NHL'ers – among them Sam Bennett, Steven Stamkos and Brent Burns – who credits his slick stick-handling skills to "development guru" Jari Byrski. [The Hockey News]
Mike Heika writes about what #fancystats can tell a coach and the mysterious effect of what we call, for lack of a better term, puck luck.
Mike Modano became intimately familiar with Ken Hitchcock's coaching style when Hitch was still with the Stars. Mo joined The Hardline on 1310 The Ticket to offer his take on what the Blues will try to do in Game 6. [SportsDayDFW]
Last night, in More Second Round:
- The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to the Eastern Conference Finals. They took a decisive game in decisive fashion, shutting out the New York Islanders 4-0 to win Round 2 in five games. [Lighthouse Hockey]
Now that their playoffs watch has ended, the Isles must start thinking about several important UFA decisions, says Cam Tucker. [NHL on NBC]
The Stars aren't the only team fighting back against elimination: The Washington Capitals are trying to manage it after going two games down.
Also at Puck Daddy: The Los Angeles Kings have some soul-searching to do, and Darryl Sutter being "undecided" about signing a new, two-year deal is just one of the many things they need to confront this offseason, says Josh Cooper. [Puck Daddy]
Mark Spector writes about how Blues scout Marshall Davidson discovered future elite D-man Colton Parayko. [Sportsnet]
Finally: The facial hair has come a long way since this caterpillar mustache, but that's definitely our Stephen Johns leaving a loving message for his Mom. Hope your Mother's Day was special, too.
Happy Mommas Day Mommabear pic.twitter.com/ZYjj4jgeEf— Stephen Johns (@stjohns28) May 8, 2016