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.
Canucks dancing kid is pretty much the greatest thing ever, at least when it comes to dancing kids in Canucks jerseys. [Hot Clicks]
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m. SIDNEY CROSBY WILL … watch this game as his teammates face the Leafs. Carter Ashton debuts for Toronto, as Joffrey Lupul is out for up to a month. Brad Thiessen gets the call for the Pens against Jonas Gustavsson.
Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. The Canes are bringing Cam Ward back after last night's win over the Capitals to face Ryan Miller and the Sabres. The line of Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville has no points and is a combined minus-12 over the last three games; Sabres Edge thinks they better go rolling or Lindy Ruff might shuffle'em tonight.
• If you've not heard today's Marek Vs. Wyshynski podcast, then please do download it here or on iTunes. Because Brad Marchand talks about killing a bear.
• Colorado Avalanche star Matt Duchene will miss Thursday's game against Nashville, after which his leg will be re-evaluated. [All Things Avs]
• Last night's loss put one Minnesota Wild blogger in the depths of hell. [Wild Puck Banter]
• Said Tootoo of the incident: That's the last thing that I want to do is to hit or hurt the referees or the linesmen. I am deeply sorry for what happened. The game is so fast and sometime your brain doesn't process quick enough to clearly see how to react. It's all instincts. I'm sure everyone realized that's what happened. I felt a helmet or elbow hitting my head and that's what I did." [Tennessean]
• Bourne asks: "Do GMs and coaches ever purposely tinker with their players' numbers to sign them to lower contracts?" [Backhand Shelf]
• What has to happen for the Florida Panthers to make the playoffs. Beyond the whole "more points than the other guys" thing. [Litter Box Cats]
• The Top 10 all-time best lines in hockey. No love for Tanner Glass and the GST Line?! [THN]
• Sam Fels smacks up the Chicago Blackhawks on several fronts: "-When Duncan Keith had his Norris year, his game was still high-risk. It involved all of the tight turns and pivots in his own end and corner that we see now, it's just that they all worked. I don't know whether the legs have been sapped just enough that they're not as tight and quick as they used to be, or the league just knows they're coming, or both, but Duncs would be well-served to simplify his game for the next little while." [Second City Hockey]
• Colin Greening is earning his time with Spezza and Michalek. [Ottawa Citizen]
• On the next GM of the Montreal Canadiens: "The only real challenge for the next GM of the Canadiens will be to find the right coach. That is a legitimately hard job in Montreal due to the pressure and language issues. If this nameless GM can do that, he will undoubtedly gain universal praise due to the false expectations of everything going wrong this year. Fans expect more frustration, but the chess pieces are there for a contender." [Eyes On The Prize]
• Marty Turco was going to take a family vacation in Italy. And then the Boston Bruins called. [NESN]
Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: From a German reader, on the Mario statue:
"Why is the statue so generic? No number, no penguin, no anything. Might as well be wearing a t-shirt."
But but but … Rich Pilon!
Bold Prediction: Ryan Miller plays like he's back on the West Coast and shuts down the Canes.
- Toronto Maple Leafs