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: Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. EST. Just about 28 hours after a heartbreaking loss to Canada, Brian Rafalski(notes) and Paul Stastny(notes) have to re-adjust to the NHL life after earning a silver medal for the Americans. Stastny is expected to play tonight for Colorado, but Rafalski may be given the night off for Detroit. The Avalanche will be without winger Milan Hejduk(notes), who is suffering from a bad back and Andreas Lilja(notes) will return for Red Wings after last playinga year ago yesterday due to a concussion.
• The Edmonton Oilers have started the firesale by sending defenseman Denis Grebeshkov(notes) to the Nashville Predators for a second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft. Does this mean a Dan Hamhuis(notes) deal is coming soon? [Oilers]
•A number of cable systems will be offering free previews of Center Ice from March 2-8 in hopes of capitalizing off the U.S. and Canadian Olympic success. [NHL]
• If you have NHL Network in the US, then good news for you as TSN's TradeCenter coverage will be broadcast on the channel from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. EST. Start preparing your excuses now to get out of school/work. [NHL]
• From the "Not a shock" department, yesterday's gold medal game was watched by 16.6 million Canadians, the largest viewership ever. [Truth and Rumours]
• The new IIHF rankings have been released and sees Canada overtake Russia in the No. 1 position. The United States stayed at No. 5. Before scratching your head about the U.S. ranked fifth, the IIHF explains the ranking process as so: "The IIHF World Ranking is a tool to reflect the long-term quality of the countries’ national team program. It is based on awarding points for the final positions in the last four IIHF World Championships and in the last Olympic Winter Games." [IIHF]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Jerk Store responding to Wysh's mother-in-law thinking the name of Canada's goaltender was Roberto "Ulongo":
"its actually oberto ulongo. hes half samoan, half beef jerky."
Bold Prediction: Rafalski (if he plays) and Stastny will each score tonight and Detroit will upend Colorado 4-3 in a shootout.