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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Is the Best Defense Really a Good Offense?

Heading into the playoffs, the Stars‘ biggest question marks are what they’ve been all year: goaltending and defense. Puck Daddy’s Josh Cooper breaks down the “unconventional” team that GM Jim Nill has built and discusses whether Dallas’ defense is good enough to give the team a shot at the Cup.

When most contending teams in today’s NHL look for defense, Nill has pushed for offense. While winning teams almost always favor one starting goaltender, Nill likes his two-goaltender system.

“We’re all dealt certain cards, we’ve built our team a certain way,” Nill said. “We’re probably still not where we’re going to get to. I think we’re going to be a better team the next two or three years but our makeup, the way we are, it is kind of what we are and (coach) Lindy (Ruff) and his coaching staff are playing the way we think we’ll be most successful.”

Cooper also points out that although relying on offense over defense isn’t the best recipe for playoff success, it doesn’t necessarily mean the Stars can’t succeed in the postseason.

Since 2010-11, the league Stanley Cup champion has ranked either first or second in goals allowed per-game. In 2009-10, the champion Chicago Blackhawks ranked fifth in goals allowed per-game.

Dallas would trend more towards the Pittsburgh Penguins template in 2008-09. That team scored 3.15 goals per-game and allowed 2.84 goals per-contest.

There’s more, including Nill’s thoughts on using a goalie tandem in the playoffs, at the link. [Puck Daddy]

Mike Heika held his regular Stars chat yesterday, and it touched on everything from Jamie Benn‘s chances of winning the Hart to whether or not Valeri Nichushkin could be the “odd man out” in the playoffs. [SportsDayDFW]

Sean McIndoe ranks the 10 best potential first-round matchups, and both Dallas vs. Minnesota and Dallas vs. Chicago make the cut. [Sportsnet]

It’s crunch time for the Stars, who still control their playoff destiny. [SportsDayDFW]

Last night, in the #MDK…

The Rangers received a visit from the injury bug.

In TSN’s latest power rankings, the Capitals are still at the top, and the Stars are lucky No. 7. [TSN]

From concussions in the NHL to Steven Stamkos‘ future, Elliotte Friedman covers plenty of ground with his latest 30 Thoughts. [Sportsnet]

With Marc-Andre Fleury out with a concussion, the Penguins have had to rely on 21-year-old Matt Murray. As it turns out, Murray is more than up for the challenge. [The Hockey News]

Erik Karlsson is having himself a season.

Travis Yost crunches the numbers on when you should pull your goalie. [TSN]

The Flyers beat out other interested teams (Elliotte Friedman named the Blackhawks and Hurricanes among them) to sign Yale goalie Alex Lyon to an entry-level contract. [Broadstreet Hockey]

Alex Carpenter’s overtime goal led the US Women’s National Team to a 1-0 win over Canada at the IIHF Women’s World Championship. [USA Hockey]

You can read more about how the US got there at The Players’ Tribune.

I’m not sure I’d ever use “Sharks” and “lovable” in the same sentence, but Allan Muir makes the case for why Canadians should adopt San Jose as their team in the playoffs. [Sports Illustrated]

And while our Northern friends may have to suffer through this postseason without any Canadian teams to cheer for, things won’t be so bad next year. Right? [TSN]

Get to know Wild coach John Torchetti a little better, thanks to Dan Rosen’s latest Five Questions. [NHL]

And finally, NHLers reveal their celebrity crushes.