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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Will The Stars Shake Off The St. Louis Blues?

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The second-round rematch begins tonight. Plus, the Canes complete the second-round Chaos Squad, Idaho steels for Kelly Cup Round 2, and more.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Didn’t we just leave this party? The Dallas Stars meet the St. Louis Blues in Round 2, beginning tonight at 8:30 p.m. CDT, and like any good game, it’s going to get harder now. Given the recent playoffs history between the two teams, the task ahead looms almost preternaturally large.

But will it be as hard as the NHL.com coverage would have you believe? Mark Stepneski took a long look at the matchup over at Stars Inside Edge:

The Stars were hit hard by injuries early in the season, especially on defense, but were able to keep their heads above water thanks to players such as Esa Lindell, Miro Heiskanen, and Roman Polak stepping up and AHL call-ups filling holes. The Stars, who were called out for a “culture of mediocrity” in the middle of January by coach Jim Montgomery, hit their stride after the break by getting together and committing to a strong defensive identity that was backed by superb goaltending from Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin.

”I think we’ve [changed that culture],” Montgomery said. “If you are in that locker room, you see that culture now. You see how much more professional we are. We work efficiently, we work effectively, and we work together. That’s what you need to have. We’re going to be eight of 31 teams left, so we’re doing something right.”

The Stars should be confident, but not cocky, and not just as Generic Sports Advice:

The Stars and Blues both have been playing well for a long stretch and have been top teams in the West since the All-Star break. And both are in the second round after solid first-round series wins over very good teams. Both are strong in net, both play strong defensively, both have had balanced offensive attacks in the playoffs, and both are strong on special teams.

The Stars won three of four in the season series, but that goes out the window during the playoffs. The Stars had lost three of five against Nashville during the regular season and still advanced in the first round, The Blues had lost three of four to the Jets during the regular season and still moved on to Round 2.

Mark has more – including the players’ thoughts on this second-round reset, linked from the tweet. [Stars Inside Edge]


Stars Stuff: Second Round Edition

Mike got plenty of Blues questions for his latest round of #HeyHeika.

Tyler Seguin gets this sort of thing because, you know, he’s in the second round.

He also gets this sort of thing, because, you know, he’s Tyler Seguin.

And there’s a metric ton of “tanned, rested and ready” talk about the Blues in the league’s series previews. [NHL]

Around The League(s): Postseason Edition

And now the circle is complete, thanks to the Bunch of Jerks. The Carolina Hurricanes eliminated the Washington Capitals 4-3 in 2OT, completing a Round of Upsets for the ages.

Justin Williams added to his clutch legend, and got his own Twitter Moment for the effort.

Maybe the Caps should’ve done this, I don’t know.

Here’s an idea that is Unsurprisingly Topical again!

Sports artist Eric Poole sees Round 2 like this, and it’s awesome.

Playoffs officiating is under the microscope yet again. How long will it last?

Katie Strang went straight to a former official to find out how they approach the playoffs.

Greetings From Beautiful Boise

The Idaho Steelheads are ready for more. They begin the next round of the Kelly Cup playoffs Friday night – fittingly enough, against the Tulsa Oilers (St. Louis Blues).

Finally

I’ll just leave this here. Enjoy.