Dallas Stars Daily Links: Hockey Night in Texas

Texas hockey is flourishing, even when you're not looking. Plus, the Blues have Ken Hitchcock for one more year, and the Eastern Conference finals will go to Game 7.

The Allen Americans honored former Dallas Stars play-by-play announcer Ralph Strangis last night, moments before forcing a Game 7 against the Ontario Reign in the Kelly Cup Western Conference finals. The Americans won 2-1 despite being outshot 29-21 by the Reign.

The Allen Americans have no formal relationship with the Stars; in fact, they're the ECHL affiliate for the (hated, by many) San Jose Sharks. But their ongoing quest for a cup of their own, and the crowds they draw to the Allen Event Center, are a nice reminder that hockey in Texas continues to flourish, even when we're not looking.

Besides, everybody loves Ralph. And he brought Allen some much-needed mojo after they gave up a 3-1 series lead earlier in the tournament. Tickets are on sale now for Game 7. Go Red.


Another conference finals game is in the bag, and did you know there's a new Jurassic Park movie coming out?... THERE'S A NEW JURASSIC PARK MOVIE COMING OUT, EVERYBODY. In case you missed it.

Yesterday, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was 14-3 in elimination games. Now he's 15-3 — and as good as he was, the Rangers' offense ensured he really didn't need to be. Joe Fortunato gives a fan's perspective on how the Broadway Blueshirts respond to this kind of playoff peril. [Blueshirt Banter]

@MyRegularFace was all over the case, as usual. Here she GIFs an exquisite overhead of Lundqvist stoning the Lightning's Steven Stamkos:

Speaking of Stamkos, did you know he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016? What difference does it make when he will surely stay in Tampa Bay to collect the Super Saiyan 4 payday we all know is coming? Jason Brough dares to think outside the box, or maybe just to suggest the Bolts' captain isn't worth Patrick Kane money. Trigger warning: He also compares Stamkos to Vincent Lecavalier. Yes, that Vincent Lecavalier. [NBC Sports]

And of course summer is sequel season, but who knew this was going on? Mumps 2: The Mumpening...?

Ken Hitchcock and the St. Louis Blues have come to terms, and those terms include a one-year extension. [St. Louis Blues]

So does this make Hitch the new Bruce Boudreau, or does it make the Blues the new Sharks? Donut King shares some thoughts. [St. Louis Game Time]

And Blues captain David Backes says he has "no issues" with Hitch, which is better than poking him in the eye with a sharp stick, I guess. [NBC Sports]

Elsewhere, Jeff Blashill — the leading (read: only) candidate to replace Mike Babcock in Detroit — will meet with Ken Holland sometime this week to talk about making it official. [NHL]

Matt Beleskey came up big for the Anaheim Ducks in Honda Center Monday night, tapping in a Ryan Kesler rebound 45 seconds into overtime to win Game 5 for the homers. His teammates were pretty happy about it. Watch Beleskey crawl out from under a sea of black- and orange-clad humanity in this video:

Before that happened, this happened: Jonathan Toews doing Jonathan Toews things. See and hear him force overtime with two late goals:

As much attention as the Anaheim forward corps gets, it's their puck-moving defense that has stunned Chicago in this series. There's a good piece from the Associated Press for all your Blackhawks Bandwagon friends who don't know what a Hampus Lindholm is. [SportsNet]

Meanwhile, yet another Ducks-Hawks game went to extra minutes, which means the "Anaheim and Chicago destroy each other in the conference finals and the EC champs romp to the Cup" scenario may be that much closer. (Oh, like you weren't thinking it.) Former NHL coach Claude Noel discusses the role fatigue has played in both teams' fortunes during the Cliffhanger Series. [NHL]

This is sweet. Bill Hanstock wrote a love letter to syndicated TV shows you've seen only the last few minutes of, and only because you're waiting for a playoff game to start. "There probably aren't too many more opportunities left this year to accidentally watch the end of Bones. Please make them count." [Everything Is Sports]

Finally: No one has had a better week to date than Rangers center Derick Brassard, who racked up the first Rangers playoff hat trick since 2007 to make sure there was a Game 7 to bring to New York. It's all right here.