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Puck Headlines: Big head Don Cherry; Mason Raymond scratched; NHL ratings vs. NCAA

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

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Puck Daddy

• Via Ian in Rochester: "The big head phenomenon that has struck college basketball has made its way to the NHL. Brought these to our annual trip to Ottawa for a Sens/Leafs game. They were a huge hit with the fans in our section. Don Cherry approved the intermission marriage proposal as well." As if the guy needed a bigger head …

• Why you heff to win back-to-back player of the week awards? [CP]

• In celebration of Scott Hartnell's 35-goal season: "Hartnell is shooting better this season than he ever has, but is that a product of playing with Giroux and Jagr? Maybe to a certain extent, but probably not. Who knows what it is -- and I'm curious to see if it's something he can keep up beyond this season -- but for now, I'm going to enjoy the ride." [Broad Street Hockey]

• NHL ratings are a bit low, considering the Crosby factor on NBC: "The broadcast of Pittsburgh-Philadelphia — which will be the NBC Game of the Week again on April 1st — drew a 1.0 overnight rating. This was up 30% from last year's comparable matchup (NYR/PIT, no Crosby, 3/20/11: 0.7). It was also up 30% from the comparable matchup two years ago (NYR/BOS, 3/21/10: 0.7) and up 20% from last week's NBC game featuring the Penguins without Crosby (BOS/PIT, 3/11/12: 0.8). The game's major competition was NC State-Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament (4.3) and NASCAR's Food City 500 (4.0)." [Puck The Media]

• The New York Rangers' Artem Anisimov on his shoulder injury: "It's a tough injury, but I just need a full recovery and not to be rushed. If I go on the ice and someone hits me in the same shoulder, it could be much more serious." [NYDN]

• Niklas Backstrom returns for the Minnesota Wild against the Canucks this evening, out since March 1. He'll back up Josh Harding. [Pioneer Press]

Mason Raymond? Healthy scratch for the Vancouver Canucks, for the first time in nearly three years. Said Coach Vigneault: "He can be such a valuable player for our team when he's playing his skill game and being strong on the ice. Right now, we're having a tough time finding the players he could have the most success with. So tonight we'll put Manny back in and let Mason watch the game from up above and maybe that'll help him." [Province]

• In case you missed it, the Nashville Predators' statement on Alex Radulov. [Preds]

• Sebastian Caron on potentially being the Tampa Bay Lightning's savior between the pipes: "To be honest, I just go with the flow," he said. "I just want to enjoy my time here and hopefully get some playing time, do my best and try to show something. This came up just a few days ago, and why not, you know. I'm not going to say no to that." [Bolts Report]

• Interesting column by Bruce Arthur on the lack of physicality against Sidney Crosby in his latest comeback: "Crosby skated away from the dark alleys, and nobody emerged from the dark alleys to mug him. It is not even that he wasn't the subject of dirty hits; he has yet to be subjected to a hard, clean, big-time check that skirts the edge of what is acceptable, and which can therefore spill over into what is not. During the NBC broadcast they showed footage of a Flyers-Penguins game from 2005, and Derian Hatcher smashed Crosby as he entered the zone, bloodying his mouth. That hasn't happened yet." [National Post]

• Post mortem on the Winnipeg Jets losing at home to the Carolina Hurricanes. [Sun]

• Is the clutch and grab back in the NHL? [IBT]

• The History Will Be Made backlash against the new NHL ad campaign. [s/t Harry Hawkings]

• Jack Skille is done for the Florida Panthers … but the return of Scottie Upshall grows forever closer. [On Frozen Pond]

• Dave Tippett wins Game No. 400 in the NHL. [Coyotes]

• Dean Lombardi, GM of the Los Angeles Kings, on building a winning culture: "I am kind of a history buff from all angles," Lombardi said. "I had done some research before I came here and I remember looking at the Kings' history. It was 10 years before a first-round pick — Jay Wells - played for them. You have got to try to mess up your drafts to go 10 years before your first first-round pick plays for you. They either traded the picks to Montreal, or made bad picks. Then they had a little period where they drafted well, but they traded Larry Murphy. They got Wayne Gretzky and that was successful, but it had no staying power." [Kings]

• Is it time for the Dallas Stars to reunite Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson? [Defending Big D]

• Red Fisher on the Montreal Canadiens: "What Canadiens management has learned this season is that its team can do no wrong. Hardly a day passes without longtime season-ticket holders sending me emails they've had their fill of the Canadiens, vowing they no longer want to spend good money watching bad hockey. I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen." [Gazette]

• The Detroit Red Wings lose Darren Helm to an MCL sprain, and he'll miss 4-6 weeks. [Malik]

• Nicklas Lidstrom and Johan Franzen will both miss the Wings' game vs. the Washington Capitals tonight, but are making progress. [Freep]

• Hey, remember when the Washington Capitals played firewagon hockey? [RMNB]

• Again, Semyon Varlamov is playing really, really well. But don't we have to wait a few years before declaring that Greg Sherman is "smart" for giving up a No. 1 pick for him? [NHL.com]

• Finally, I love this video because I was these kids — hockey lovin', video project makin' knuckleheads. Presenting a movie for English class, "The Hockey Sweater" … 4:45 mark is the punchline.

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