Puck Daddy - NHL

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.

Puck Previews: Wings vs. Stars; agent says Barch innocent

Gary looks fun.

Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Dallas Stars, 8 p.m. EST. Mike Commodore is "starting to actually feel like a hockey player again" now that he's playing in his sixth straight game. Winging It's message to Stars fans: "Sorry Dallas, the only stars you'll be seeing tonight are the ones wearing the Winged Wheel and the stars floating around your head after you get Kronwalled."

Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. EST. The Sabres have lost six of seven games. Jason Pominville has the flu. Coach Lindy Ruff may put Derek Roy with Thomas Vanek, seeing as how Roy has 2 goals in his last 21(!) games. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is out for the Oilers with a shoulder injury. Josh Green to the rescue!

Preview: Calgary Flames vs. Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. EST. The Capitals are starting to turn the corner with Dale Hunter behind the bench and get Mike Green back tonight. The Flames had lost three in a row after winning the first two games of a seven-game road trip. Jarome Iginla shoots for No. 500 tonight; since it's against a Capitals goaltender, chances are it end up behind him.

Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. EST. The Bolts are 5-1-1 in their last seven while the Leafs are 1-2-1 in the last four. The Monster gets the call for the Leafs over the struggling James Reimer. Ryan Malone is out after an injury in practice for the Bolts.

Preview: New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. EST. The Hurricanes stink, but they have won 4 of 5 games at home recently and are 10-0-2 against the Islanders in their last 12 games. Evgeni Nabokov faces Cam Ward as the hockey world anticipates coach Kirk Muller's first game against a team he played 27 games with in the mid 1990s.

Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. EST. The Blues ended 2011 with a thud, losing three straight games. If you didn't already think this was going to be a low-scoring affair, the Coyotes get Mike Smith back tonight.

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For tonight's starting goalies, check out Left Wing Lock.

Evening Reading

Krys Barch's agent said he is "100 percent confident that Krys will be proven that he did no wrong and there were no racial undertones or slur stated. I want to call it a miscommunication or misunderstanding. I'm confident the league will clear him of any wrong-doing." [Sun Sentinel]

• Just a sad, sad story here: Benilde-St. Margaret's (Minn.) High Red Knights junior varsity star Jack Jablonski was paralyzed when he was accidentally checked from behind into the end boards during a Holiday Hockey Classic Tournament game against Wayzata (Minn.) High on Friday night. [Prep Rally]

• Picking on Danny Briere's contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. [Orange and Black Report]

Nazem Kadri on the Leafs in the Winter Classic: "It's something that definitely needs to happen for sure." [The Star]

• The eighth biggest market for Winter Classic ratings? You guessed it: Richmond, Virginia. [Puck The Media]

• This is a rather deplorable scene between some Flyers and Rangers fans. Strong language and violence warning. [YouTube]

Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: Tommy V. on the NHL to Seattle:

Seattle has no potential ownership group, no NHL-ready arena to play in, and supposedly would also have to have an NBA team to share a mythical arena with in a town that keeps voting against publicly-subsidized this and that. Is this really a story?

Portland has an NHL-ready arena that currently houses an NBA team. The WHL Portland Winterhawks have a billionaire owner who has stated (as recently as December 2011) that he is interested in bringing NHL hockey to Portland. The city has two sports teams that sell out every single game. The NBA Trailblazers have over 100 consecutive sell-outs. The MLS Timbers sold out every regular-season home game in season 1 and currently have a waiting list of 5000 for season tickets which are already sold out for the upcoming 2012 season.

Seattle's MLB Mariners play to roughly 50% capacity. The Seahawks come close to sell-outs but still cannot sell out just eight home games per season. In Seattle, you need to win to have attendance. In Portland, you just need to be team in one of the five major sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS).

The conversation here should be a about Portland, not Seattle.

Bold Prediction: The Caps keep Iggy from No. 500.

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