Back by popular demand, here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
Preview: Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m. EST. James Patrick will coach the Sabres with Lindy Ruff out of action thanks to three broken ribs suffered in practice. Good news for the Sabres: Ryan Miler has a .962 save percentage in his last four games. Bad news for Sabres fans: Milan Lucic is a Boston Bruin, so Miller could end up in traction by night's end. Tuukka Rask is in for the B's.
Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. Jimmy Howard saw a doctor and the doctor said he'll "return to the lineup will depend greatly on how much pain he can tolerate." Joey MacDonald gets the call as the Red Wings put their 17-game home winning streak up against the Oil. Tom Renney is back coaching after taking a puck to the noggin and suffering a bit of a concussion. "It's a good thing they had the Coke machine in the medical room in Toronto, or I would not have known who we played." OK then.
Preview: Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m. Miikka Kiprusoff goes for win No. 300 against Antti Niemi. Todd McLellan on Kipper: "I think it's probably fair to say when those players walk into the locker room in Calgary and they see his number or his name circled, they get a pretty good feeling. That's a true sign of a goaltender that can carry a team and he's been that for many years there."
Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Anaheim Ducks, 10:30 p.m. The Ducks are on a 10-2-2 roll, and there's nothing Bruce Boudreau likes better than something on a roll. Preferably with bacon and mayo and/or bayo (bacon mayonnaise). Trade winds have followed the Canes to the West Coast.
• Henrik Sedin's ironman streak of 552 straight games is in trouble, as the Vancouver Canucks forward is wearing a protective walking boot after suffering an ankle injury against Nashville. Wow, 552 straight games in the NHL; was he Thelma or Louise, Mr. Milbury? [The Province]
• The toughest goalies to beat in the shootout? Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers and Pekka Rinne of the Predators, followed by "Marc-Andre Fleury, Devils," according to SI as of 7 p.m. EST. [SI]
• Shane Doan is at least entertaining the thought that he'll need to move on from the Coyotes franchise: "My preference is to stay here (in Phoenix)," said Doan. "I've made that clear. But at the same time, obviously if the team's not here and we're not here everything is quite a bit different. It's been that way for the last two years, but I've been kind of blocking it out. But I recognize that in the next three weeks it's probably going to come to a head. If not then, it's going to come to a head in the summer." [CP]
• Custance on the Blackhawks/Red Wings rivalry. [ESPN]
• Dave Stubbs is killing it this week: Here's a story about how the young lad that Alex Ovechkin snowed during player intros in the 2010 playoffs reconnected with Ovi at a charity event. [Gazette]
• "Jenna Privette remains paralyzed from the waist down following an on-ice incident in a girls high school hockey game last month, but 'doctors are anticipating a full recovery,' her mother said today." [Pioneer Press]
• Ryan Smyth's trade deadline dilemma. [Y!]
Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: Johnny Spectacular from Ottawa on Coaches' Challenges:
I feel like a coach's challenge, as outlined above, could end up extremely beneficial to the league. its not just about the goal, but also giving the refs a second look and a chance to undo a mistake or stand by their original call.
A recent example I can think of is the disallowed goal in the recent PHX/OTT game. It was a blown call, and lead to a tremendous amount of ill will towards the referees here in Ottawa. But if they can review and overturn? There's accountability there, and everyone is a lot happier.
And just to duck accusations of bias, the same applies to the 'Spezza sitting on Reimer' goal from a couple weeks back :p
Bold Prediction: Kipper gets No. 300 … in a shootout.
- Buffalo Sabres
- Boston Bruins