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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Hit Peak Frustration in 3-2 Loss to Senators

Is this what they call rock bottom? Plus, checking the pulse of hockey trends, and taking a first look at Goon 2.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars’ 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators somehow encapsulates an entire season, and it seems fitting that it can be summed up by another failed drop pass.

That Jiří Hudler own-goal wasn’t even the most embarrassing of the season; that still belongs to Patrik Laine’s intentional shot into a gaping net that happened to be his, which also cost the Winnipeg Jets a 3-2 game to the Edmonton Oilers. But it “embodied the frustration and foolishness that has been the 2016-17 season,” writes Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News:

The play cut to the heart of the Stars' pain for several reasons. One, Dallas has struggled all year on the power play and earlier in the period had yielded its ninth short-handed goal, most in the NHL. That tally from Dion Phaneuf came after the Stars allowed three short-handed shots on goal in a span of 47 seconds. In truth, Dallas probably should have allowed the goal earlier, but Kari Lehtonen made two spectacular saves to delay the inevitable... for a few seconds, anyway.

Two, the drop pass from Hudler is a play fans have despised all season on the power play, and the fact that Hudler messed it up and scored into his own net was a rallying point for the Twitterverse to question everything about the Stars' coaching staff and special teams approach.

And third, Dallas was the better team again.

There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]

Last night was the first anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ blockbuster trade of Dion Phaneuf to the Sens, and he celebrated by throwing down with Jamie Benn.

Yesterday was National Pizza Day, and the Stars HAVE THOUGHTS, YOU GUYS.

Last night also marked the 2,000th professional game for Stars head equipment manager Steve Sumner. Razor made sure to mark the occasion on social media.

Meanwhile, in the #MDK:

It was a big night for big milestones, as Joe Thornton passed Mike Modano for 29th on the all-time points list during the San Jose Sharks’ 3-6 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Sean McIndoe takes the pulse of hockey’s trend market (playoff-format panic up, coaches’ job security down) in the latest Down Goes Brown. [Sportsnet]

Greg Wyshynshi goes off on the offside coach’s challenge in his latest column. [Puck Daddy]

Why are the Vegas Golden Knights sending secret messages about Antoine Roussel? ...Oh, this is about Chinese New Year. Never mind.

Mike Johnston examines rumors that the Arizona Coyotes have toured arenas in Seattle and Portland. [Sportsnet]

And Jared Clinton writes about why such rumors will continue to circle around the Pacific Northwest.

Also at THN: Court documents are starting to reveal the full financial picture of the junior-hockey business, and it turns out there’s plenty of money in it (that’s not being used to compensate players). [THN]

Mikko Koivu reveals how the Houston Aeros provided his formative professional experience during an NHL lockout in a new piece for The Players’ Tribune.

Fatima Al Ali, the United Arab Emirates hockey captain whose mad stick skills went viral with a Peter Bondra tweet in November, got to meet and skate with her idol, Alex Ovechkin, on NHL ice. [CBS News]

Finally: You may remember that one of Tyler Seguin’s many 2015 summer projects was shooting a couple of scenes with buddy Michael Del Zotto for the Goon sequel. BarDown has a (NSFW) first look at Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers up now. Enjoy. [BarDown]