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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Did The Stars Have An Identity Crisis In Chicago?

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Tonight is the last regular-season gut check after a massacre in United Center. Plus, revisiting one of hockey’s greatest finals and one of its greatest tragedies, and more.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks
Esa Lindell actually blocked this shot, but the photo was too descriptive not to use.
Nuccio DiNuzzo-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars came home from the Windy City with literally nothing to show for Game 81 – including a locked-in first wild-card spot. Did their apparent psychotic break against the Chicago Blackhawks happen because they forgot who they were? Stars senior staff write Mike Heika examined the case, and what he found explains a lot, I don’t care who you are.

Head coach Jim Montgomery suggests that the game got away because the Stars were trying to be too clever:

“I didn’t like the way we played,” [Montgomery] said. “I thought we were sloppy. We tried to play a skilled game, which is not our game. That kind of game, that’s not our style of hockey.”

The notorious grinder John Klingberg seems to agree:

“We were trying to do too much that was not in our game and that hurt us with a lot of odd-man rushes and miscommunication,” said [Klingberg], who was a minus-3. “It’s not a lack of effort. I’ve been dealing with that with my own game, trying to do too much, and I think you see a lot of that today. You’re maybe trying to get yourself going, and it hurts the team.”

Heika expects more line shuffling for tonight’s finale against the Minnesota Wild. Will it make a difference?

“I don’t think it should affect us,” Montgomery said of the shuffling. “Everybody has played a lot of games for us, and everybody knows how we want to play.

”We chose not to.”

There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]


Stars Stuff

If you fell asleep missed last night’s Unfortunate Event, Mark Stepneski has the gory details.

The Stars will make some changes for tonight’s finale at home, and one will be in net.

Elsewhere, Miro Heiskanen was a big winner in the NHL Fantasy category.

Around The League(s)

Outside of The Central-on-Central Incident (of which we will no longer speak), the #Murder went quiet last night. So let’s get to the rest of the story:

The Columbus Blue Jackets sure know how to milk the drama, clinching the last Stanley Cup bracket vacancy in the skills competition. Now if only they’d done it in Game 82....

But there are still a bunch of final games to play, and many of them aren’t entirely meaningless.

Meanwhile, at the Women’s World Championships, a classic rematch is on the card.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

LOOK AT THE KIDS. Jake Oettinger backstopped back-to-back wins and Ty Dellandrea got his first professional goal as the Texas Stars defeated the Rockford IceHogs 2-1.

Courtesy of Sean Shapiro, here’s a good look at Dellandrea’s game-winner.

Finally

Today is the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that transfixed the hockey community. Wayne Gretzky will narrate a new E:60 documentary on the Humboldt Broncos, to air Sunday night on ESPN and ESPNews. Set your DVR.