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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Captain Is The Key

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Jamie Benn knows how to beat the Blues, writes Heika. Plus, an early start for Game 2, re-ranking the Conn Smythe contenders, and more.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

As the Dallas Stars anticipate Round 2 Game 2, they have a weapon they can count on. His name is Jamie Benn, and all signs indicate that he’s the fulcrum on which turns the series with the St. Louis Blues.

The Captain has a history of Beast Mode play against the Blues, as Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika reminds us. Jason Spezza knows what it is, and it’s “not rocket science”:

“There are some teams that you get good feelings against, confidence,” Spezza added. “His games when he is engaged physically are always his best. It’s not a secret. For a guy to have his skill, he’s one of the true power forwards left in the game.

”When he plays that way, he’s hard to stop.”

Benn’s physical, emotional game can take a toll on him as well as on his opponents, which is why head coach Jim Montgomery says it’s custom-built for the Stanley Cup playoffs:

“We’re playing every second day, and he has more time to rest, he has more time to play his true power forward-type game,” Montgomery said. “His second and third effort, he has better energy. Because of that, it looks like he has more passion. The passion’s always there, it’s whether he has the energy to do it.”

There’s more at Mike’s place – including the article linked from the tweet, about how big plays will make a big difference in this series. [Dallas Stars]


Stars Stuff: Second Round Edition

Don’t forget the early start time: 2 p.m. CDT on NBC.

Want to relive that first round? Open Ice has you covered.

For its first Winter Classic Legacy Project, the Dallas Stars Foundation has made a big pledge to a school with a history of great work in the South Dallas community.

Around The League(s): Postseason Edition

The Carolina Hurricanes keep storming. They took Game 1 in a 1-0 shutout against the New York Islanders, with Jordan Staal playing Indispensable Man yet again.

The San Jose Sharks raced out to the early Pacific Division lead (against a Central Division team) with a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Tim Wharnsby posts predictions for a second round in which not a single regular-season champion advanced.

And now that all the presumptive Conn Smythe Trophy contenders have been eliminated as well, Jared Clinton picks new ones, from Nathan MacKinnon to – wait for it! – Ben Bishop.

Did someone say #BishPlease? Wysh is on the case for ESPN.

Greetings From Beautiful Boise

The Idaho Steelheads got off to a rough start in their own Round 2. They dropped Game 1 to the Tulsa Oilers (St. Louis Blues) 3-1.

Finally

We might agree to disagree about the team he plays for, but is there any doubt that Joe Thornton is some kind of world heritage treasure that must be preserved? Enjoy.