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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Should The Stars Keep Their Top Line Together?

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Let the Super Line be super, writes Mike Heika. Plus, the wild, wild wild-card race, and an AHL goalie goal.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars
Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov: The Super Best Friends may not be on Hulu, but they should always be on the ice.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars win when their top line is clicking, even when they struggle with depth scoring. Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov create offense at such a rate that it may be understandable when coach Ken Hitchcock tries to spread that magic around the team’s other lines.

But when chemistry works that well, shouldn’t the coach just let it happen? The Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika examines the case for keeping the Super Best Friends together, whatever:

Hitchcock has vacillated in his explanations all year, at times reasoning that it’s his job to break up the line and find ways to boost the scoring, and at times saying it’s the job of the depth scorers to find the back of the net and keep the top line together. His manic line-juggling in the last four games shows just how frustrated his reasoning can become when his team goes into scoring slumps.

But Benn, Seguin and Radulov continue to make beautiful hockey when they are together, so you have to think they will be front row in the orchestra Sunday when the Stars play the [Pittsburgh] Penguins.

One can even make the argument that a consistent and fully operational super line can help build confidence among the Stars’ other scorers, as Devin Shore points out:

“I think you just have to trust our game plan,” Shore said after scoring Friday. “I think when you’re playing well but not getting the end result, the worst thing you can do is get frustrated and stray from the game plan. I think all you can do is stick to it and trust that if you stick to it, it’ll pay off.”

Mike has more. [SportsDayDFW]


More Stars

The Stars are on the road for the next two weeks, and they meet the Pens tonight at 6:30 p.m. CST. After you read Taylor’s DBD preview, check out Mark Stepneski’s official version.

Mark is also keeping up with the Stars’ odds for a postseason appearance.

And @DallasStars has put together a handy reference to the upcoming road schedule.

Around the League(s)

Night of the Living #Death

Jamie Benn did a little advance scouting on the Pens during last night’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He may not have been the only one baffled by that goaltender-interference call on Brian Dumoulin. [Sportsnet]

Anthony Duclair is expected to miss one to two weeks after injuring his knee in this collision with Brad Marchand. Was it a dirty play, or is Marchand’s (terrible) reputation playing into perception? [BarDown]

The Team USA post-Olympics victory lap continues: Defender Emily Pfalzer dropped the puck before the Florida Panthers’ 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers. The Cats have now won eight in a row and are closing in on an Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Jared Clinton examines the wild-card races as the regular season winds down.

Taylor Hall is a potential Hart Trophy winner, and the Oilers are still objectively terrible. These threads, and the implacable terror that is Patrik Laine, are part of Sean McIndoe’s Saturday Storylines for the week.

Of course, as David Staples writes, Hall’s and the Devils’ redemptive season is good news...for the Oilers. [Edmonton Sun]

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

Landon Bow earned First Star of the Game and Roope Hintz scored as the Texas Stars beat the Tucson Roadrunners 4-3.

Finally

The Charlotte Checkers scored seven goals in last night’s win over the Hartford Wolf Pack, but the most remarkable was this empty-netter by goalie Alex Nedeljkovic. Enjoy. [The AHL]