Puck Daddy - NHL

Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

Puck Headlines: Ovechkin on hot seat; Carlyle watch; 24/7 Preview

• So things are going well for the Anaheim Ducks at 6-13-4. From Eric Stephens at Ducks Blog regarding Bob Murray and Randy Carlyle: "As close as they are, it would seem extremely unlikely that Murray would ever cut loose Carlyle without doing it in a face-to-face meeting. The belief is that Murray might be on the fence as far as deciding whether or not to move one of his big stars or remain patient and hope they come around to pull the Ducks out of their freefall." [Ducks Blog]

• Daniel from Anaheim Calling: "I don't know who or what to blame. I could blame Murray for over estimating the talent on this team. I could blame Carlyle for not squeezing more out of the roster. I could blame Getzlaf for not playing desperate until the last two games, or the entire roster minus Teemu for simply not meeting expectations. At this point, I don't care. I just want the losses to cease.  Everything is going against the Ducks at this point, and it just needs to stop." [AC]

Sidney Crosby(notes) of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider(notes) and St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott(notes) are your three stars of the week. Sorry Jonathan Toews(notes), better strap on the pads or get concussed if you want your accolades. [NHL]

• Via Dan Murphy of Sportsnet, Schneider starts against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, leading to a wonderful Roberto Luongo(notes) quote: "Schneider has been 100% behind me since the start so there's no reason why I wouldn't be behind him 100%." Right now, you're behind him, sir. One-hundred percent. [@sportsnetmurph]

Chris Pronger(notes) is having surgery on his left knee and will miss four weeks, which is really confusing when the Philadelphia Flyers have been talking about his suffering from a virus. Patella flu! [Broad Street Hockey]

• Will this Pronger absence lead to a trade for the Flyers? [Daily News]

• Adam Proteau on Alex Ovechkin(notes), post-Boudreau: "Ovechkin made that disembodied head commercial for Reebok-CCM, but has since switched his endorsement of hockey companies to Nike Bauer. Ovechkin also has changed agents (from the powerful Don Meehan and Newport Sports to his parents) and now seen three head coaches (the other being Boudreau's predecessor Glen Hanlon). Sooner or later, whether he sees it or not, the problem becomes him." [THN]

• In which Ovechkin claims he had a good relationship with Boudreau. [Capitals Insider]

• Bow down to Michael Farber's prose on Ovie/Gabby: "s soon as Ovechkin signed his 13-year contract extension in January 2008, the left-winger had the hammer. Boudreau had to find a way to make it work when Ovechkin's enthusiasm began to fade and his attention to detail vanished. Boudreau, tried, including the last minute benching that prompted Ovechkin's Jenny Craig observation. But even with the "C" on his sweater, Ovechkin seemed to have his own agenda, which didn't include backchecking. (See that 5-1 loss in Buffalo last Saturday.) So now McPhee starts over with a no-nonsense coach, which should at least provide a dead-cat bounce to a team that showed its talent when it stormed through October. Like Boudreau in his salad days in Washington -- and we use the term in its figurative sense -- a different voice behind the bench might have a salubrious longer-term effect." [SI]

• David Poile on allowing Kirk Muller to leave the Nashville Predators organization after just two months: "I hoped selfishly it would have been a little bit longer with us. But I don't like to stand in anybody's way. We promote and developed not only players, but management and coaching prospects." [Predators Insider]

• The Fall of the Second Maurice Dynasty: "Whether intentionally or as an unfortunate consequence of his coaching style, Maurice over the course of his career has stifled his most creative players. The result is all too often a lowest-common-denominator approach that seems designed to create four fourth lines, three third defensive pairings, a goalie who plays 90 percent of the time (or more) and a toothless power play. Meanwhile, underperforming veterans are always given preference over unproven young players. [Canes Now]

Puck Headlines: Ovechkin on hot seat; Carlyle watch; 24/7 Preview

• In an attempt to prove how old school and hardcore he is, new Washington Capitals Coach Dale Hunter lit and smoked this magic marker during practice today.

• Plenty of reaction to Hunter on Japers' Rink. [JR]

• Guy Boucher of the Tampa Bay Lightning, on being Elder Statesman of the Southeast: "That's what I hear," Boucher said. "I'm so experienced now." [Lightning Strikes]

• Look, we're all just going to have to admit that the Toronto Maple Leafs are making the playoffs, OK? [National Post]

• The Montreal Canadiens could have Andrei Markov(notes) back this week. [Globe & Mail]

• The Pensblog take on the Bryan Murray vs. Sidney Crosby flap. [tPb]

• Really terrific piece by David Pollack on Dan Boyle(notes) of the San Jose Sharks: "When he looks for an explanation of what is going wrong, Boyle talks about much of the problem being between his ears, a combination of frustration and waning confidence. He says it isn't age or injuries or illness, though his wrists are wrapped and the flu was a problem a few weeks back. Some of it is just bad luck or bad bounces." [Mercury News]

• The Canada 2012 World Junior invite list, including three returnees from the team that couldn't beat the Russians. [NHL.com]

• Expect the team to be a tad less "blue collar" this year. [Buzzing The Net]

• Taking the NHL Network to task for its coverage of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Montreal Canadiens: "Bob Cole is a legendary hockey broadcaster. I don't care if he's 6,000 years old and watched Newsy Lalonde play as a young boy, I want to hear everything that man has to say. Instead, they cut into the wrap-up from the game's broadcasters." [Puck The Media]

• Finally, with ye olde language warning, here's the teaser for HBO 24/7 Flyers Rangers. Looks awesome.

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