Matt Ellis used to be afraid to look at the Bruins bench. But not tonight.
Preview: St. Louis Blues at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:00 p.m. ET
Will Sidney Crosby's second game be as awesome as his first? I'm gonna say no, simply because the St. Louis Blues will probably try to stop him. Mind you, in the Islanders' defense, it was hard for them to do much defending while holding those 'Welcome back' signs. The Blues will be motivated. They're winless in four straight road games, and I bet they'd rather they weren't.
Preview: Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres, 7:00 p.m. ET
Wherein the Sabres and the Bruins meet for the first time since Milan Lucic knocked Ryan Miller's block off and said block-knocking went unreciprocated. As Biblically encouraged as being 'slow to wrath' may be, one assumes the Sabres will be a little more aggressive this time around. This one's a must-watch, if only because Christian Ehrhoff looks hilarious when he's standing up for himself.
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Colorado Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. ET
The two best powerplays in the NHL go head-to-head in what is sure to be a penalty-filled affair. Not because the NHL will see to it that both powerplays get opportunities to flex, mind you, but because Alex Burrows and Shane O'Brien, frenemies to the end, will be facing one another. Pick the Canucks to win. It's been over two years since they left a game with the Avalanche without at least one point.
• The Minnesota Wild have signed 51-year old Paul Deutsch to an amateur contract back up Josh Harding Wednesday night. I love stories like this. I remember when the Canucks signed Chris Levesque, the UBC Thunderbirds' third-string guy to back up Alex Auld back in 2003. [Star-Tribune]
• Speaking of Canuck backups, their five best, post-lockout. [PITB]
• There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between Jarome Iginla and Brent Sutter in Calgary. That's not ideal. [Calgary Sun]
• Why should we care about Wayne Gretzky playing in an alumni game? [Backhand Shelf]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Sneakylikeafox, on Drew Doughty's $2500 fine:
The fact that $2500 is the maximum allowable fine under the CBA is pretty ridiculous."
That's 0.125% of the average NHL salary of $2 million. I once got fined 1.5% of my annual income for not having my UPass on the SkyTrain. Granted, I'm super poor. But still. Kind of revolting.
Bold prediction: One measly fight in Buffalo. It happens in the first two minutes, it's lame and staged, and everything after that is tamer than an episode of Puddle Lane.