Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Face Playoffs Preview Against Bruins, Blues

This two-game stretch could prove whether they’re ready to contend, writes Matthew DeFranks. Plus, the dogs-and-hockey event you want, the playoffs-race updates you need, and more.

After battling back from a dire start, the Dallas Stars are hanging out near the top of the Central Division. And now they’re wrapping up their busiest month with a true test of their potential playoffs prowess: They face the league-leading Boston Bruins tonight and perennial #MurderDeathKill foes the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

Interim head coach Rick Bowness says the next two games will be a “measuring stick” for a team that will be tested in several ways:

“We’ll get a good feel of where we are,” Bowness said. “This has been a tough month, we know that. It’s been a grind because of all the travel and everything. It’s been a great opportunity for all of us to see where we are as a team, and these two games are going to give us another evaluation of just where we are.”

Boston and St. Louis were the league’s Stanley Cup finalists a year ago, the last two teams standing during a Game 7 at Boston’s TD Garden. They were also the first two teams the Stars faced this season, a one-two punch that pushed the Stars toward their worst start in franchise history.

The Stars have come a long way since Red October, but they can’t let off the pedal with the playoffs in sight, and no one seems to know that better than IHC:

“This is just a normal National Hockey League season, man,” Bowness said. “Expect the unexpected. Every day is a new day and new challenges. So we’re not the same team we were in October. As the season goes along, you’re supposed to improve, you’re supposed to get better. We’ve done that. There’s always challenges, there’s always ups and downs, there’s always bad games, bad streaks, good streaks, good games. There’s all of that.”

Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]

Stars Stuff

Jason Dickinson is coming into his own at a great time for the franchise.

And, you know, there’s this, too.

Pets + hockey = a great Stars weekend no matter what happens.

Around The League(s)

#Death Notes

  • Special teams made the difference as the Colorado Avalanche outlasted the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2. [Die By The Blade]/

There’s a good Jay Bouwmeester update, but still a lot of uncertainty ahead for the Blues blueliner.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will enter a crucial part of the stretch run with a depleted defensive core. Can they get the X anyway?

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ own injury issues will mean another hard push for a playoffs spot.

This guy helped lead the Chicago Blackhawks back to glory – and it sounds like he thinks the Florida Panthers are ready for a run at it, too.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

The Texas Stars earned a point but dropped the game in overtime last night against the Rockford IceHogs.


Tyler Seguin and his epic sleeves, at your service. Enjoy.