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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Draw Blues for Second-Round Matchup

Hold onto your hats, everyone. The Blues beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in a wild Game 7 last night, which means the Stars officially have a second-round opponent.

But how close was Dallas to having to face Chicago instead? Pretty darn close.

Owen Newkirk thinks that Patrick Sharp, for one, is probably pretty happy about the way last night’s game turned out.

As we get ready for Game 1 of Stars/Blues action, here are a few things to keep in mind.

If you’re wondering what the goalie situation looked like in those games, Mark Stepneski is one step ahead of you.

And, of course, there’s this little bit of narrative to consider.

(Hitch and Ruff also met during the 2006 playoffs, where they proved to be the best of friends.)

So what do you guys think? Are you glad to have the Blues, or would you rather have had the Hawks?

Since making his debut on March 12, Stephen Johns has played a big part in the Stars’ success. [Stars Inside Edge]

After Erin broke down that photo and parallax angles, the photographer of the controversial image chimed in on how the picture was taken and what it’s like going viral. [David Berding Photography]

Is it too early to start debating who’s gonna win the Conn Smythe? Probably. Are we going to do it anyway? You bet. Here’s Sean McIndoe’s case for Jamie Benn as one of several current contenders.

Admit it: Last year’s Art Ross felt a tiny bit like a fluke, right?

Well, about that. A year later, Benn’s coming off an even more productive season. And he’s been even better in the playoffs, dominating the Wild to the tune of four goals and ten points in six games, good for the league lead through the opening round. And he did it all with a smile on his face.

There’s more on the playoff heroes and zeros so far at the link. [VICE]

Mike Heika held his regular Stars chat yesterday and shared his thoughts on everything from Valeri Nichushkin‘s play to Jason Spezza‘s hot streak. [SportsDayDFW]

Also from Heika: The Stars aren’t always good, but they’re always entertaining. (Personally, I’m not convinced that “entertained” was how I felt on Sunday. Nauseous might be more accurate.) [SportsDayDFW]

That Jamie Benn guy is pretty good, huh?

It wasn’t all Blues/Blackhawks last night…

After making it past the Flyers, the Capitals will face a much tougher test in the Penguins. [TSN]

Brayden Schenn will have a hearing tomorrow.

The Lightning are hopeful that Anton Stralman—who’s been sidelined with a fractured fibula since March 25—will be back “at some point” during the second round. [TSN]

What does Jaromir Jagr’s lack of production in the playoffs mean for his future? [The Hockey News]

Henrik Lundqvist sounds pretty zen about that whole first-round exit thing.

You could say that former Stars goaltender Jhonas Enroth wasn’t happy about his playing time with the Kings. [The Score]

In a sport with an 82-game regular season and taxing travel schedule, sleep is a valuable commodity. That’s why some teams, like the Sharks, are calling on experts to ensure their players are well-rested. [New York Times]

Get to know Octavio Sequera and Arley Londono, the Panthers‘ Spanish broadcast team. [Sportsnet]

Ken Holland shared some thoughts on what is—or isn’t—going to be happening in Detroit.

Over at the New York Daily News, a look at how the goal horn came to be a quintessential part of hockey. [New York Daily News]

Alexander Radulov could be returning to NHL, and he could be headed to the Avalanche. [Sportsnet]

And finally, Radek Faksa is excited. You should be, too.