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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Special Teams’ Powerless Play Has to Change, Says Heika

It was déjà vu all over again. The Dallas Stars threw everything but the kitchen sink at Semyon Varlamov only to be turned aside again and again and yet again. Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche took advantage of sloppy and frustrated play in other areas of the ice to bag another victory at Our Gang’s expense.

The power play shouldered the brunt of the blame for last night’s loss, and well they should have – scoring only once in 9:33 of the man advantage, and that only because defender Jason Demers was digging in at the net. Simply put, the Stars’ best players aren’t playing like their best, but head coach Lindy Ruff has some ideas about how to change that.

“We had some great opportunities,” Ruff said. “I’d like to see Jamie [Benn] hit the brakes and go for a second rebound. Tyler [Seguin] the same thing. Tyler had some great opportunities to make a difference in the game, and when you’re struggling, sometimes they don’t go in.”

Ruff also hasn’t ruled out shaking up the first power-play unit, and last night’s only power-play scorer agrees that something needs to happen.

“We made too many big mistakes that cost us,” said Demers. “Our power play has been struggling for a while, and we all need to pick it up. It’s a privilege to play on the power play and penalty kill, and those are two areas we haven’t been good. We all have to pick it up and clean that aspect up, because it’s costing us games.”

You’ll find the rest of the story at Mike’s blog. [SportsDayDFW]


Lindy Ruff talks about the Stars’ “a little bit stale, a little bit slow” special teams in the post-game interviews.

And Patrick Sharp thinks the team can work on the second and third opportunities around the net.

Elsewhere in the #MurderDeathKill Division:

“Dallas Stars Sunday” is back: Listen live to Bruce LeVine and Owen Newkirk on 1310 The Ticket at 11 a.m. Central time.

Matt Pryor has boiled down the Stars’ January difficulties to the five S’s of slumping. (The first S is for Special Teams. Of course.) [THW]

The Montreal Canadiens snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in a shootout last night, but the contest was most remarkable for being the first NHL game broadcast in 4K resolution. [Sportsnet]

Evgeni Malkin scored a hat trick and Linden Vey scored in his own net during the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ hectic 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. [Puck Daddy]

How much is Jonathan Drouin worth now that he’s made himself difficult in two different cities – and worse, with every potentially interested team knowing they will also have to deal with his agent? The Sports Illustrated round table talks us through some trade scenarios for the embattled Tampa Bay Lightning prospect. [SI]

Meanwhile, it would seem at least one Bolts fan has made up his own mind.

Don Cherry is rooting for the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. That is the official explanation for this suit.

New Jersey Devils forward Jiri Tlusty will be out three to four months after surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. [The Hockey Writers]

Jaromir Jagr should help drive interest in the 2016 All-Star Game, even though the All-Star Game has never held much interest for this year’s Atlantic Division captain. But the NHL’s punishment for backing out of its annual mandatory-fun carnival defeats the purpose of skipping it. Adam Gretz explains. [CBS Sports]

It’s never too early to start thinking about the NHL Draft, and your 2016 hosts, the Buffalo Sabres, have posted a first look at this year’s logo. Chris Smith of Icethetics provides a quick overview.

The aftershocks of the Seguin trade will affect how the Boston Bruins negotiate with pending UFA Loui Eriksson, whether that’s fair or not, says Allan Muir. The former Star is at the top of Muir’s list of nine tough trade-deadline cases, which also includes rumored Stars target Dustin Byfuglien. [SI]

Congratulations to Team USA, which won its second consecutive World Sled Hockey Challenge yesterday. The roster includes Rico Roman and captain Josh Sweeney, who helped the Dallas Stars Sled Hockey Club win the 2012 USA Hockey Sled Classic Division A Championship; and Luke McDermott, who skated with the team at the 2011 and 2012 championships.

Sad news: Former NHL defenseman Rik Wilson has passed away at age 53. No cause of death has been given. Wilson played 235 regular-season and 22 post-season games with the St. Louis Blues, who drafted him 12th overall in 1980.

Finally: The KHL All-Star Game skills competition is insane, you guys. Take a look at how these guys roll, from bows and arrows to Salavat Yulaev LW Linus Omark taking a shot with a flaming stick.

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