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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Focused On The St. Louis Blues, Not The Standings

They’re just looking for that X, two points at a time, writes Mike Heika. Plus, Ovechkin Watch continues, TDL targets, and more.

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

The hockey season is never over until it’s over. Ask the Dallas Stars, who were fighting to stay in a Central Division playoffs spot a month ago. Ask the St. Louis Blues, who looked ready to glide to the No. 1 position and watch the Stars and the Colorado Avalanche beat each other up for the chance to take them on in the second round.

Things have changed – the Victory Green Gang is now tied with the Blues at the top of the Murder Death Kill Division. But other things haven’t – the Stars are keeping their heads down and playing for two points at a time, writes Mike Heika:

...[I]n the span of just over a month, the Stars have found a way to align their chaotic season and the Blues have stumbled at times, meaning that when the two teams meet Friday at American Airlines Center (and then again Feb. 29 in St. Louis), there will be a lot more on the line.

Win these two games, and you could go a long way toward winning a Central Division championship. Lose, and your opponent gets the leg up in trying to get not only another banner, but possibly a much better path in the playoffs.

The Stars’ focus on playing their own game has paid off so far, and in that regard alone, it’s worth continuing:

Truth be told, they have needed to focus on themselves. Bowness took over as head coach on Dec. 10 and has shuffled his lines and defensive pairs around. He had not deployed forwards on a regular basis since he was coach of the Coyotes back in 2004, so that was a transition. The organization handed responsibility for the defense over to John Stevens and called up Derek Laxdal from the AHL to help with the power play....

”We keep as much focus on us and our play as anything,” Bowness said of how much he looks at the standings or the trade deadline or even the next opponent. “Do we watch what the opposition is doing? Certainly, but not to the point that we can get distracted. If you get distracted by the other team, you take away from the details that you want your team to focus on.”

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


Stars Stuff

Here’s one more reason not to miss tonight’s game.

The new Jamie Benn bobblehead promises to be the cherry on the sundae.

ICYMI: The Dallas Stars Foundation is selling those awesome Hockey Is For Everyone shirts online. And when you buy from their link, 100 percent of the proceeds go to You Can Play.

Around The League(s)

#Murder Was The Case

The Alex Ovechkin watch is back on. He could score his 700th goal on Saturday.

Will the Colorado Avalanche trade for an experienced goalie to help fill the gap left by the injured Philipp Grubauer?

It’s been a busy week for NHL trades. Ryan Kennedy and Matt Larkin discuss winners and losers in a new vodcast.

Also at THN: Seven players who could benefit from a little fresh air, from Jimmy Howard to P.K. Subban.

The Québec Major Junior Hockey League has postponed a vote on a fighting ban until summer, perhaps hoping that whole traumatic-brain-injury thing will go away before then.

Calgary Flames assistant GM Chris Snow has received a terrible diagnosis – but he’s also receiving a new gene therapy that could slow the progression of ALS.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

Heads up: The Texas Stars and the Toronto Marlies will play their canceled game after all.

High scorer Joel Kiviranta is back just in time for the Pink in the Rink back-to-back.

Ringo the Ringtail knows how to make an entrance.

Finally

An NHL scout posted this. I’m just leaving it here. Discuss.