Puck Headlines: Jimmy Howard’s injury; top 50 players; drinking beer out of hockey skate (yuck)

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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.

• From reader Johnny Smyrl Jr.: "I saw the hockey stick coffee table. That's cool and all, but I thought I'd show you the table I made back in 2005. We've been playing beer pong on this table for years."

• Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard broke his pinkie and will miss two games. ConkBlock time! [Detroit News]

• "It hurts more to walk than it does to skate.  That's how Danny Cleary categorized a large Baker's cyst that has formed behind his left knee, causing him tremendous discomfort and pain for more than two months." Ouch. [Red Wings]

• Left Wing Lock's Top 50 players rankings. Brian Elliott, under the bubble. [LWL]

• Some more facts and tidbits on Sam Gagner's eight-point night. [Copper & Blue]

• "Center Erik Christensen's tenure with the Rangers has come to an end as general manager Glen Sather sent him to the Minnesota Wild this morning along with a conditional seventh-round pick in 2013 for forward Casey Wellman." [Rangers Rants]

• Here's an amusing video in which a reporter tried to get comment from Florida Panthers President Michael Yormark after he asked the county for a $7.7 million loan. Yormark did his best ministry of silly walks thing. [Local 10, via On Frozen Pond]

• With plenty of talk about Ryan Smyth to the New York Rangers floating around, it appears trading him isn't in the plans at the moment for the Edmonton Oilers. [Cult of Hockey]

• There's an Owen Nolan press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Taking his talents to South Beach? Nah, probably retirement. [Working The Corners]

• Great work by Rob Trucks on Clint Malarchuk, who talks about his injuries, careers and battle with depression: "I'll tell you. I want to live now more than I've ever wanted to live before, because I've struggled with depression most of my life, and sometimes death looked better than living. And now, where I'm at, I want to live. And it always scares me because sometimes you—it's like when you go, be careful what you ask for, be careful what you pray for. It's like sometimes in life, when you've finally got things figured out, things change. And I'm kind of afraid of that. I'm kind of figuring things out now. I'm getting everything under control, and that scares me because as soon as you do that, God's going to say, OK, come on [laughs]. But then I always think, no, God, you had me here. I'm walking around with a bullet in my head and a scar on my neck. There's a reason. I think you want me to grow old and help people and be a wise old man." [Deadspin]

• The Toronto Maple Leafs are rolling with James Reimer. [QMI]

• Marc Paquette on how Brian Burke's open mind turned a hater into someone who appreciates the Leafs GM. [Paqman and Bull]

• Ellen Etchingham on Pierre Gauthier: "The point I wish to make here is not merely that the moves were terrible. Everyone knows that these moves were terrible. What is not as often noted is that the badness of the moves comes from the badness of the motivation. The second Gauthier looked at a rocky twenty games and decided he had to do something to fix it, he lost. Any personnel decision driven by haste and desperation is a bad decision. Any trade motivated by a panicked sense of that the team has to be fixed INSTANTLY is going to bring a weak return; any firing driven by the impulse to scapegoat is almost by definition a pointless gesture. The problem with Pierre Gauthier is not so much the specific things he's done as his certainty that he had to do something." [Backhand Shelf]

• Ryan Miller is one win away from breaking The Dominator's franchise record for wins. [AP]

• A primer for unconditional waivers. [Lighthouse Hockey]

• Daniel Alfredsson on the Ottawa Senators' playoff push: "We've been too consistent for too long to not believe in what we're doing," Alfredsson says. "So I think we've got to be cautious. We can analyse it too much sometimes, just because we've lost four in a row — oh, we've got to start winning here. We've got to stick with it, we know what we have to do to be successful. We can be better and we have to be better to win, so that's where the focus is." [Sens Extra]

• Joe Vitale gets a two-year deal with the Penguins. [Hockey Fights]

• Remember Todd Fedoruk? He's an assistant coach for Trenton in the ECHL. He's also been suspended for a game and fined for getting into an altercation with an opponent while on the Trenton bench. [ECHL]

• We salute the Rear Admiral's take on their domination at the hands of Carolina. [Barstool]

• Rudy Kelly's other ways the Los Angeles Kings can gain an advantage over visiting teams. [BoC]

• Finally, gird your stomachs: Tom Cattaneo writes that this happened after their Boston rec league on Wednesday. "Jimmy made a bet that he was going to score 2 goals. If he didn't he had to chug a beer out of a teammates hockey skate post game. Needless to say Jimmy didn't have a goal tonight."

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