Tue Mar 24 06:28pm EDT
Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Two good interviews coming up this week, as well as some Frozen Four previewing. Thanks as always for reading and participating. Tips and quips and hockey banter at email@example.com.
Alexander Ovechkin has decided to up the ante in the Don Cherry debate, donning a "Coaches' Corner" T-shirt and "Hockey Night in Canada" boxer shorts while kicking around a soccer ball in Toronto. Oh-boy. [Capitals Insider]
• George Gillett isn't sure if he's going to sell either of his ownership shares in Liverpool FC or the Canadiens. Goal.com reports that he's not intending to sell Liverpool; the Habs are still up in the air. Which is another way of saying that they're in mid-crash. [Yahoo!]
Preview: Atlanta Thrashers at Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: RDS, SS). So it's Carey Price time again, as the Canadiens attempt to end their longest losing streak in over two years. Why turn to Jesus Price? From columnist Arpon Basu: "So, the franchise goalie is getting another opportunity to sink the franchise. Maybe this is why it isn't wise to have your general manager behind the bench, because a GM isn't able to exclusively think of the here and now, he always has the future on his mind."
• Meanwhile, Habs fans are collecting more coins than a slot machine because the loonie has their team's logo on it. Insert depreciation joke here. [Gazette]
• Taking a look at the crappy crop of 2008 UFA defensemen, from Wade Redden's flame out in New York to the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks are paying Brian Campbell $1 million per goal. (In fairness, we don't think Campbell is a bad signing. Yet.) [THN]
• Steve Lepore believes that NBC's decision to move around its Stanley Cup finals schedule was motivated by Conan O'Brien's move to "The Tonight Show." Which may be the greatest evidence to date that Andy Richter controls the universe. [Puck the Media]
Preview: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. EST; TV: TSN, CSN). Leafs Coach Ron Wilson on why Alexander Ovechkin's goal celebration has been covered so intensely by the hockey media: "Because you guys have nothing better to talk about, to be perfectly honest ... I haven't heard or seen on ESPN in the United States a big deal about this. It's up here. And I think Bruce Boudreau is right -- you've got to find something else to talk about." OK ... how about the fact that Niklas Hagman perfectly cut to the core of the "head shots" controversy by putting the onus on the players to end them.
Preview: Minnesota Wild at New York Rangers (7 p.m. EST; TV: VS). The Rangers will have 21-year-old Michael Sauer in the lineup playing with Paul Mara, stepping in for the injured Michal Rozsival. Speaking of injuries, Mikko Koivu could miss the rest of the regular season, which is a terrible break for the Wild.
• Mirtle is keeping tabs on what teams are doing with their ticket prices next season. Plenty of price freezes thus far. [From the Rink]
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSOH, SUN). Ken Hitchcock ripped the ever-loving crap out of his team at practice for playing unfocused and soft. Which makes sense, because this is a trap game for Hitchcock's team. Then again, what isn't a trap game for Hitchcock's team. (Jokes ... it's "positional defense." We know) Having Derick Brassard back for the postseason would be killer good.
• Did you know that Paul Gaustad of the Buffalo Sabres is the official spokesperson for the Sabres Green Team, "an initiative designed to educate and help fans reduce their environmental footprint?" Damn hippie. [Sabres]
• Would you pay $19.99 for one night of NHL GameCenter access on NHL.com? [NHL]
Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators (8 p.m. EST; TV: FSPT, FSS). Game of the night, if not aesthetically than in its importance to the Western Conference playoff picture. If the Ducks are going to continue the push to the postseason, they're going to have to beat Pekka Rinne for the second time in a week. For the Preds, Jason Arnott remains out of the lineup; they're 2-1-2 since he went out.
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues (8:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSW, FSMW). According to Blues beat writer Jeremy Rutherford, St. Louis needs 15 points in their next 10 games to make the playoffs. Part of the equation is taking five or six points against the Blue Jackets; Steve Mason is 1-2 against them this season. So, slim as it is, there's a chance.
• Really solid column from Lisa Dillman over on Versus.com about Wayne Gretzky and the Phoenix Coyotes, and how the team's financial problems "seeped into the locker room" and affected the players. [VS]
• San Jose Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau will not play in Chicago on Wednesday night, as he's back in California to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. Luckily, his name isn't Roberto and Sharks fans aren't a small, irritating portion of the Canucks fan base back in 2008. [Working the Corners]
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Dallas Stars (8:30 p.m. EST; RSW, FSSW). The Ossi Vaananen Era begins tonight for the Canucks. He'll replace Shane O'Brien in the lineup, since scoring for your opponent is generally frowned upon for NHL defensemen.
Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Edmonton Oilers (9:30 p.m. EST; TSN, FSD). Please to be checking out The Triple Deke, a sometimes NSFW-language but generally passionate Detroit blog who dropped a line today. The Oilers have the second-worst home record in the Western Conference (thanks, Colorado). Chris Chelios is back in the lineup for the Wings; Tomas Holmstrom thinks he is.
• The video we wanted to end with this Pavel Datsyuk bubble hockey clip (H/T Jai), in which he takes on a Fox Sports reporter for the Bubble Cup. But alas, Fox Sports won't allow us to embed it. So here's the next best thing: Bud Light ... bubble boys ... The Great One.