Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the First Losing Streak of 2015-16

The Stars have a lot to learn from their first back-to-back losses of the year, says Mike Heika. Plus, four teams making waves at the World Juniors, and six teams that should trade for Jonathan Drouin.

The Dallas Stars have a lot to learn from their first back-to-back losses of the season, says The Dallas Morning News' Mike Heika.

The second loss in as many days, against the New York Islanders, showed a faltering road game and a lack of discipline in taking penalties that indicate the Stars "simply aren't playing smart," Heika says. [SportsDayDFW]

"When you spend the amount of time we did killing penalties, a lot of bad stuff is going to happen," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

The Stars played their sixth game in nine days, and Ruff said fatigue is starting to show.

"When you're playing a lot of games in a few days, your discipline and your attention to detail isn't good, and you get away from the mental part of the game that we've been so good at," Ruff said.

Still, they have to try to shake it quickly. They finish this three-game road trip at the Rangers on Tuesday, then return home for games Thursday and Saturday before they get a five-day break.

The Good

After a slow start to the season, and a scary injury-related departure from the NYE game against the Predators, Valeri Nichushkin is finding his feet and had two goals against the Islanders to show for it. [SportsDayDFW]

"He skated pretty good, and he found himself in some good spots," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "He got a break on the first one, but he had a heck of a shot on the second one. I was happy for him. I think the big positive of the game was getting him on the board and getting him going."

The Bad

Jason Demers was ejected after a boarding call on Cal Clutterbuck and may be in for another call from the Department of Player Safety. For the record, Lindy Ruff is having none of it.

"You get one for that? There's no chance you get one for that," Ruff said. "Did you guys see the play?"

Demers was playing the left point and the Stars were in the offensive zone. Clutterbuck was battling for a puck along the right boards and had fallen to his knees. Demers skated over to make a play and hit Clutterbuck as he was fallen. Ruff said the impact of the hit wasn't significant.

"I think the guy who got hit has a history of diving," Ruff said of Clutterbuck. "I looked at the play, and don't think (Demers) elbowed him, I don't think he did anything, really. And (Clutterbuck) didn't seem to be hurt, but he sold it pretty good. Maybe (Demers) deserved a minor penalty, that's my take on it."

More on the Demers situation here. [SportsDayDFW]

The Ugly

Captain Jamie Benn discusses the "selfish and stupid" penalties that helped put the Islanders game out of reach.


Razor brought the Cormac McCarthy references for last night's road edition of The Emporium. Go ahead and feel your feelings, for Razor is feeling them, too.

And here's another bright spot from the game in Brooklyn: the Old 97s' Rhett Miller, representing like a longtime fan.

Meanwhile, as befits the current road stand, Heika turns to Jersey Boys for inspiration in a new piece about the Stars' journey back to NHL importance. [SportsDayDFW]

Elsewhere in the #MDK:

The World Junior Championships semifinal round begins today with Finland (and Stars prospect Roope Hintz) vs. Sweden, and the USA vs. Russia. Mike G. Morreale chooses five things to watch for in a tournament that one NHL scout has described as "like being a kid in a candy store." [NHL]

Now that everyone knows Jonathan Drouin has requested a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jimmy Hascup has made a list of six teams that should try to make a deal for the former third-overall draft pick. [USA Today]

ICYMI, here's what Drouin's agent had to say the day after the Lightning assigned Drouin to its AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

John Scott thought the All-Star vote was a joke, too. But now that he's officially the Pacific Division captain, the Arizona Coyotes enforcer has decided to try to do the movement proud. [ESPN]

Sportsnet has posted a new video in its Hometown Hockey series featuring Patrick Sharp and a few of his many memorable goals for the Stars this season. [Sportsnet]

Several players from the NWHL's Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters may be getting calls from the Department of Player Safety after a line brawl that erupted during the Whale's 6-1 win over the Riveters on Sunday. [Puck Daddy]

Finally: Here is a video of Jagr scoring on the first shot of the game against the Wild, as called by the Panthers' Spanish-language broadcaster, Arley Londono of ESPN Deportes, in classic soccer style. [SI]