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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Johns, Oleksiak and Nemeth Battle For Final Protective Spot

Which of the 3 young Dmen should the Stars protect. Dallas on their way to some bad records, Chicago and Columbus both clinch playoff spots. Fan takes a puck in the face.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

With this years expansion draft coming up, the Dallas Stars can protect 3 defensemen. Two of those spots seem to be reserved for John Klingberg and Esa Lindell. Which leaves Jamie Oleksiak, Stephen Johns and Patrik Nemeth competing for the final slot.

So far none of them are stepping up on a consistent basis. The team worked on some defensive drills yesterday to help them out down the stretch.

"The drills we used in today's practice, those were for Oleksiak, those were for Johns," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "They were box out drills, they were guys trying to get to the front of the net, they were coverage duties. We want to use this time to get better and not just go through the motions."

Also Dallas will use one of their 4 call ups to get Julius Honka some playing time during the final 8-10 games. (Sports Day DFW)

Brett Burns and the San Jose Sharks are in town tonight for a game with the Stars. Mark Stepneski has your preview. (Stars Inside Edge)

If the Stars play .500 hockey for the rest of the season they will finish the season with 77 points. That would be their worst record since 1995-96 season. Couple that with the worst PK in a decade are just some of the bad records the Stars can break. (Blackout Dallas)

35 times this season the Stars injured players salary cap worth has been 5 million dollars more than their opponents injured players.

Texas Stars/AHL:

Texas will need an incredible run if they don’t want to miss the playoffs for only the 2nd time.

The Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton) will host a Cops vs Fireman matchup before their game on April 1st. Former “Chips” star Erik “Ponch” Estrada will be there.

Last night the Winnipeg Jets blew a 4 goal lead to the Minnesota Wild before winning it 5-4. The Wild have now lost 5 games in a row. (Hockey Wilderness)

Chicago scored 3 goals in a 34 second span in the the 3rd period for a come behind win vs Colorado. That win coupled with a Los Angeles loss has clinched a playoff spot for the Hawks. (Second City Hockey)

Columbus also clinched a playoff spot on Sunday and have 100 points for the 1st time in their history. That ties them with the slumping Capitals in the race for President’s Trophy, awarded to team with most points. (NHL)

Leafs coach Mike Babcock says he regrets putting the Bruins Brad Marchand on the top line with Sidney Crosby in this years World Cup of Hockey. Toronto is 3 points behind Boston in the playoff race. (Sportsnet)

A look at some of the candidates for the Hart Trophy given to the league MVP. (FanRag Sports)

The Hockey News weighs in on the rising top 10 and falling 10 prospects in each teams systems.

Do you ever wonder if a puck can fit through the tiny hole in the glass which photographers use to shoot the action on the ice? One fan found out the hard way that it can as he took a puck to the face. (Washington Post)

Down Goes Brown looks at if this year’s Colorado Avalanche are the worst team in the “Salary Cap Era” His conclusion they are the worst that weren’t on purposely tanking. (The Hockey News)

Finally the College Hockey playoffs field is set for the road to the Frozen Four: