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.
Marc Methot clears Toni Lydman (Getty Images)
As an NHL defenseman, Marc Methot's dwarf-tossing background has come in handy.
The Devils really seem to like February. They're aiming for their 5th straight win Tuesday, a feat they haven't accomplished since an 8-game win streak that kicked off one year ago yesterday. They'll have their hands full with the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers who are just as hot. New York has won 4 of their last 5, the only loss during that stretch being an overtime defeat to these very Devils.
The Panthers and the Capitals have been halfheartedly jockeying for position for weeks now, but it seems as though neither club is really all that interested in holding onto the Southeast lead. The Panthers are 4-3-3 in their last 10. The Caps are 4-4-2. Seriously, does anyone want to win the Southeast? You wonder if the Jets are going to catch fire and embarrass both teams soon.
It's wacky line combos time, as Henrik Sedin will be skating on a line with Mason Raymond and Byron Bitz, and Daniel Sedin will be playing with Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows. (Clearly, Daniel is AV's favourite Sedin. Either that or Henrik is the one being punished.) Will AV's in-game version of "Will It Blend" last the entire game? No, probably not. The Predators have won 7 of 8 and Pekka Rinne is near-unbeatable these days: he's won 11 straight, allowing two goals or fewer in 10 of those outings. Some Sedin wizardry will likely be necessary.
• This Canadian girl thinks it's stupid that some Ottawa Senators season ticket holders are considering not renewing their tickets because they find Toronto Maple Leafs fans obnoxious. So do I. [A Canadian Girl's Hockey Blog]
• 10 former Canucks that could help the current Canucks. [PITB]
• Can the Leafs afford to part with Mikhail Grabovski? [The Globe & Mail]
• Ilya Kovalchuk is doing everything for the Devils. [Backhand Shelf]
• More on Stephen Harper's ongoing politicization of hockey, my personal pet peeve. [The Guardian]
• Don't tell this orthodontist he can't play hockey forever. [NY Times]
• Hey, remember when Alexei Ponikarovsky got traded? Well, he did. Here's how he's doing with his new club. [In Lou We Trust]
Contrary to popular belief, Phaneuf is smiling in that picture
Swift's Toole Box:
Phaneuf: KALI MA! KALI MA!
/rips out Phil Kessel's still beating heart
There's a lot going on in Phaneuf's facial expression.
Bold prediction: Someone streaks in the Minnesota-Columbus game and it becomes the surprise most-talked-about game of the night.
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Rangers
- Henrik Sedin
- Daniel Sedin