Wed Dec 30 07:12pm EST
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: Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. EST. Can you imagine going through life as Pat Quinn does, in which headlines toss the around the modifier "crusty" as if the rest of his name was "the clown"? Expert analysis from Mike Zeisberger: "Quinn's Oilers have struggled this season, mostly due to injuries and a lack of talent." Great preview from Pension Plan Puppets as Quinn takes on the Leafs for the first time as Edmonton coach.
Preview: Washington Capitals at San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m. EST. The conference powers meet, with San Jose looking for its sixth win in a row and the Capitals looking to rebound from that awful loss to the Hurricanes after trading their captain. Mike Green(notes) on missing the Olympic cut: "I really wanted to be a part of that team and felt like I did everything I could. I don't have any regrets. They obviously had something different in mind." Watch the Game Live via Hockey Night on Y!
Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games (like the ones in progress) on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page.
• Great breakdown of Olympians by NHL team, with the San Jose Sharks leading the way with seven thus far before the US team is named. That extra fatigue won't affect them in the postseason, will it? [On The Forecheck]
• Jonathan Willis makes the case for Mike Green's inclusion on Team Canada, at the expense of Dan Boyle(notes). Easy argument: Boyle has a Stanley Cup and 639 career games; Mike Green flamed out in the playoffs last season when the pressure was on. But it's not about Boyle and Green; it's about valuing Duncan Keith(notes) more than Green, and thus valuing the inclusion his defensive partner over Green. And putting Doughty on the roster is grooming what Hockey Canada believes is the next great defenseman from their soil. Defending Green's credentials is immaterial when it's simply a matter of roster spots and organ-i-zational philosophy. [Hockey or Die]
• Doughty on his selection: "When I got the call, I was still half-asleep. It was pretty early for me. I was just waking up. I actually had a voice mail at first, because I was still asleep and I didn't hear my phone ring. But when I woke up, I was definitely pretty happy. I woke up Brownie right away, my roommate, and told him, and I started calling everyone in the family." [LA Kings Insider]
• Looking back at some Team Canada predictions. Not too shabby. [The Hockey Writers]
• The Coyotes introduce the 'recession buster' ticket deal. So what were the rest of the even deeper discounts and giveaways this season? Depression busters? [Coyotes]
• Also from Lebrun: The NHL and NHLPA are angry at Russia for claiming it'll change its roster after announcing it and not for injury. [ESPN]
• Finally, Steve Kouleas and yours truly scrap over trend of the decade, worst team of the decade and best player of the next decade on our weekly segment on The Score:
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: IvanM doesn't buy your Canadian hype:
Nah, Russia has the best set of goalies in the world. Brodeur is still no. 1 but I'd take Nabokov, Bryzgalov and over Loungo any day, and in a couple of years, Varlamov will be regarded higher than Fluery.
Bryzgalov over Luongo. OK then.
Bold Prediction: Someone on the Kings gets Phanuef'd tonight.