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.Reddit Hockey, Dion Phaneuf's smile dies a little every year. In 10 years, he'll look like Lisa Simpson without braces.
The Anaheim Ducks continue their pivotal, pre-trade deadline road trip with a stop in New Jersey, where the Devils are rolling. New Jersey is 6-1-1 in their last 8, having scored 29 goals over that span. Ilya Kovalchuk has 6 goals and 10 assists. But the Ducks are a team of destiny now, and you just can't fight destiny. Keep an eye on Teemu Selanne: a goal will push him ahead of Brendan Shanahan for sole possession of 12th on the NHL's all-time scoring list.
As if the Predators didn't already have plenty of motivation heading into Joe Louis Arena for a battle with their division rivals: the Red Wings haven't lost in 21 consecutive home games and, with Jimmy Howard set to return Sunday, this will likely be Joey MacDonald's last start for awhile. In short, there's a lot of great stories the Predators could smother with a convincing win Friday night.
For the first time in a long time (save that time a certain footballer went to jail) there's a dogfight in the Southeast. However, I remain unconvinced that the Capitals even want to win the division. After dispatching the Panthers in tidy fashion a week ago in a 4-0 rout, briefly taking over the Southeast Division lead, Washington has dropped three in a row. They've fallen four points back of Florida and three back of the 8th place Toronto Maple Leafs. A loss tonight opens up a 6-point gap between the two teams. If they're interested in making the playoffs, they should, you know, try hard.
• Meanwhile, in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, Hockey Regina is making it mandatory for hockey parents to complete a course in appropriate behavior. [CJME]
• Ontario Superior Court Master Ronald Dash ruled today that the details of Todd Bertuzzi's closed-door settlement with Orca Bay -- who owned the Canucks at the time of the Steve Moore incident -- be made public. [Mile High Hockey]
• During the Vancouver riots, Ryan Dickinson smashed a police car with a newspaper box. He became the first rioter to be jailed, sentenced to 17 months in prison for his idiocy. [Vancouver Sun]
• One day after reports that Lin-sanity had gotten Time Warner Cable and MSG talking again, the two sides have reached a settlement. Is there anything he can't do? [NY Times]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Mustache of Kes suggests the NHL allow one premeditated beating per game:
What if you had one free pass on the instigator rule per game to use at the coach's discretion? Like a time out?
If Vince McMahon ever launches the XHL, this is happening.
Bold prediction: The Red Wings' home winning streak ends with a Pekka Rinne shutout.
- Anaheim Ducks
- New Jersey Devils
- Detroit Red Wings
- Dion Phaneuf