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.
• Youppi!, still angered by the lockout, calls out his next victim. [Getty]
Preview: Dallas Stars at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET. Detroit finally has their defenseman! OK, maybe Kent Huskin isn't the answer, but more of a fill in after Carlo Colaiacovo and Jonathan Ericsson went down with injuries. They'll j0in Todd Bertuzzi on the sidelines after it was learned that he has the flu and not mono over the weekend. The underrated story of tonight's game is that the Smith brothers, Reilly (Stars) and Brendan (Red Wings) will face off against one another for the first time in the NHL. The game at the Joe will also be the Red Wings' first since the passing of PA announcer Budd Lynch in October. He may be gone, but his voice inside the the Joe will live on via a recording.
Preview: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. ET. Two of the eight remaining undefeated NHL teams faceoff tonight with what doubles as the Blackhawks home opener. Brian Elliott will be in goal for the Blues, while Corey Crawford is expected for the Blackhawks. The Blues needed a shootout to get by the Nashville Predators on Sunday night, so head coach Ken Hitchcock hinted this morning that there will be some changes to his lineup. Will one of those moves be Wade Redden?
Preview: San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers, 10 p.m. ET. No, Scott Gomez isn't a Shark ... yet. It appears he'll finally sign a deal sometime this week, but in the meantime he continues to practice with the team. It's their home opener and to celebrate the Oilers have placed 20 625-pound jerseys encased in ice around the Rexall Place as part of a fan promotion. The team, like many others so far, is also doing their own fan givebacks, like deep discounts on concessions and merchandise.
• Tomas Holmstrom officially announced his retirement this afternoon during a press conference. Goalies around the world rejoiced. [Free Press]
• Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi had a little bit of a problem as he tried to hop on an elevator during the team's home opener on Saturday night. 'After being informed that Gaglardi was the team’s owner, the attendant eyed him with suspicion, but begrudgingly let him ride." [D Magazine]
• Congrats to Lokomotiv. who qualified for the KHL playoffs a year after a plane crash wiped out their entire team. [R-Sport]
• New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal on what the team needs to do to turnaround their 0-2 start: "We have to get that arrogance back." [ESPN New York]
• Let the Mike Commodore sweepstakes begin! The veteran blue liner was released today from his tryout with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs. [Renaud Lavoie]
• Spokane Chiefs. Portland Winterhawks. End of game brawl! [Buzzing the Net]
• Really interesting look back at the design process of the Pittsburgh Penguins jersey change in 1992. [Icethetics]
• Finally, Evgeny Artyukhin took exception to a hit from behind and wasn't going to let the assailant get away without some punches to the head:
Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: Jared has an alternate option next time the Leafs want to hold a ceremonial faceoff from space:
"They could have just had Bryzgalov drop the puck."
Well, if that Luongo-to-Toronto deal falls through...
Bold Prediction: Alex Kovalev scores in his return to Montreal and crowd erupts into an "Ole, Ole, Ole" chant.
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