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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Look to Bounce Back Against Blues

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After a rough game against the Wild, the Stars begin a six-game home stretch, starting with the Blues. Plus, World Junior Championship updates and everybody seems to be getting injured.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock had some choice words about his players’ performance.

But Hitchcock sang a different tune during practice yesterday; rather than simply ripping into his players, he took a calm approach, focusing on why certain changes need to be made:

"The message gets delivered in a different way. Everything in hockey now is the next day," Hitchcock said. "You have to tell them why, and you need time to do it. If you want a major impact, you have to tell them what you want changed and why you want it changed, and you have to be prepared to walk them through the whole process."

The Stars start a six game homestand tonight when they take on the St. Louis Blues, who are tied with the Winnipeg Jets for 2nd in the division with 48 points. The Stars currently sit at 43, which means if they want to push into the top 3, they need to take advantage of this stretch:

"Every team is better at home than on the road. We're better at home than on the road," [forward Jason] Spezza said. "We're playing six games at home, so we need to make hay here. I think it's that simple."

You can read more in Mike Heika’s piece here.

Stars Stories

Here are some of the tidbits from practice yesterday, with interviews with Hitchcock and Tyler Pitlick:

Hitchcock also opened up to Sean Shapiro about how his coaching style has changed with the new generation. [The Upset]

In case you really want to revisit Wednesday’s loss, here are Scott Burnside’s five takeaways from the game. [NHL]

This stat is straight out of nightmares:

So don’t blame me if I’m not sure whether I want to see Jake Allen in net for the Blues tonight or not. Oh, and here’s the official game preview: [NHL]

World Juniors Updates

The big story from last night was the final game, where the defending champions got upset by Slovakia:

Joseph Woll was in net for the United States, and the team plays again today against Canada. So I’m just gonna leave this here:

Meanwhile the Russians bounced back with a 5-2 win against the Swiss... [IIHF]

...and Stars prospects Frederick Karlstrom and Ondrej Vala were both held pointless when their respective countries faced off, with Sweden defeating the Czech Republic 3-1. [IIHF]

On the other hand, everyone’s favorite prospect (or at least my favorite) Miro Heiskanen had two assists in Finland’s 4-1 win over Denmark:

Mark Stepneski gives the recap of each of the Stars’ prospects’ performances thus far. [NHL]

Central Census

The Chicago Blackhawks were the lone Central team last night, losing to the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. [Second City Hockey]

The Blackhawks are having to play without Corey Crawford (again). Just what does losing the goaltender mean for Chicago? [FanRag Sports]

Speaking of injuries, Mark Schiefele is out for the Winnipeg Jets as Kathleen mentioned yesterday. But don’t expect a huge shift of power in the division:

Remember ex-Star Eric Nystrom? The former NHL player is suing the Nashville Predators over injuries sustained while with the team. [The Tennessean]

The Other Guys

More injuries: Kris Letang is just one of three Pittsburgh Penguins to go on IR. [NHL]

Meanwhile New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider is out indefinitely:

DownGoesBrown grades the Western Conference’s trading prowess in 2017, giving Jim Nill and the Stars an A- for their transactions. [Sportsnet]

Sean McIndoe also teams up with Dave Lozo to bring you the best (and the worst) of the calendar year:

Greg Wyshnyski also looks back at 2017, ranking the top 10 figures in hockey for the year. [ESPN]

Finally, Mikhail Sergachev currently has the edge numbers-wise (and in terms of team success) over Jonathan Drouin, but don’t hand down a verdict on the trade just yet: