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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars, Predators Renew Rivalry In Return To Play

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There’s really no such thing as an exhibition game in this environment, is there? Plus, why the Stars do best when they’re boring, live-tweeting the playoffs during a pandemic, and more.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long time since hockey.

The Dallas Stars have felt every moment of the hiatus, too, writes Mike Heika. And the stakes could be surprisingly high as they meet the Nashville Predators in exhibition this afternoon:

The Stars have been cautious with hits in their scrimmages, rubbing players against the board with just a little bit of thought to how it might cause injuries. They haven’t gone full block on slap shots on special teams, and maybe have been a little conscientious when scrambling in tight against the goalies.

That all ends on Thursday. While the Stars have three round-robin games before they start the “first round” of the playoffs, Nashville will have to fight for its life in a best-of-five qualifying series against Arizona beginning Aug. 2. That means the exhibition game could be a pretty fiery warm-up.

For his latest piece, Heika talked with interim head coach Rick Bowness about what he’s watching for as the Victory Green Gang take the ice in anger for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown:

“Seeing some things that we’ve been working on since the start of training camp, what we’ve been trying to do with the puck,” Bowness said when asked what he would like to see. “Making sure that our defensive structure is where we need it to be. Making sure our forwards and defense are working together and that the trust between the forwards and defense (is there).

“There’s going to be some mistakes and some misreads, but we’re making sure our intensity is up there. We’ll live with mistakes, but we want to make sure our structure is there.”

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


Stars Stuff

“They just lock the game down and make it impossible to do much of anything.” Sean Shapiro zeroes in on why the Stars have been productive while also being dull as dirt.

Jason Dickinson brings the players’ perspective on returning to play.

There really is no such thing as “just an exhibition game” right now, as Coach Bowness suggests.

Around The League(s)

In On The #Kill Taker

Wonder what it’s like to be in the arena for a pandemic game? Toronto Star writer Kevin McGran live-tweeted it.

The preternatural silence in the arena made the Edmonton Oilers’ tribute to the late Colby Cave even more moving.

The Boston Bruins came out on top, but where are the Dallas Stars in USA Today’s current NHL power rankings? FIND OUT. [USA Today]

The Blackhawks are keeping their name, but they also want to keep a promise to respect tribal communities.

However you feel about faux crowd noise on the NHL’s Corona-casts, you have to admit that Emily Kaplan has a point here,

Finally

Make that HOCKEY TODAY. Enjoy.