Puck Previews: Avalanche vs. Canucks; Gonchar reaches No. 1,000

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.

Listen to today's Puck Daddy Radio podcast, with great debate about instant replay and Matt Sekeres of the Globe & Mail on the Vancouver Canucks.

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m. ET. Vancouver was 4-1-1 against the Avs last season. Colorado enters the game with John-Michael Liles(notes) looking to break Filip Kuba's(notes) NHL record for consecutive games with an assist by a defenseman to start a season. The Avs will also get Scott Hannan back for their defense, which is great news for a team second-to-last in the NHL in goals allowed on average (3.56). Meanwhile, Henrik Sedin(notes) is fine letting his brother be the Hull to his Oates. Watch the Game Live via Hockey Night on Y!

Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. ET. Sergei Gonchar(notes) will play in his 1,000th NHL game, becoming only the fifth Russian to reach that milestone. Name'em without looking.

Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. ET. What's going on with Tyler Myers(notes) in his sophomore slump? He tells NHL.com: "It's only my second year in the league, so it's kind of hard to say (what the problem has been), but this year is definitely different. ... I don't have the element of surprise anymore." When, exactly, does a 6-foot-8 guy have the element of surprise again? The Flyers should come out with some fire after a listless effort against the Blue Jackets. Your VERSUS game of the night; Keith Jones homerism alert!

Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET. Fun fact: As of tonight, there will have been as many Battle of Alberta games in October as there have been original episodes of "Saturday Night Live." SNL will take the lead on Saturday with the return of Jon Hamm as host; a night that will undoubtedly be more entertaining than watching an Oilers road game, considering they're 2-22-2 away from home since Dec. 23, 2009.

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

• Someone must stop Ruslan Salei(notes) before he breaks everyone on the Anaheim Ducks. [Anaheim Calling]

• Our favorite feline reporter, Patrice Purrgeron, brings us Boston Bruins Halloween costumes. [Days of Y'Orr]

• The Tampa Bay Lightning place Simon Gagne(notes) on IR. You know, for a change. [Lightning Strikes]

• Via Puck Buddy Todd S., the Rochester Americans are mourning the passing of Craig Charron from cancer. [Democrat and Chronicle]

Drew Doughty's(notes) status for Saturday's game against the Devils is in question. [LA Kings Insider]

• We need to move to Rockford. [IceHogs]

• Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts. [CBC Sports]

• Spector looks at the Boston Bruins trade rumors, including news that the B's might be targeting Keith Yandle(notes) of the Coyotes. Plus, the Colorado Avalanche have the lowest payroll in the league and could be in play for the Bruins. [Spector]

• Do the Nashville Predators need more Wade Belak(notes) and Shane O'Brien(notes) to protect their skill position players? [On The Forecheck]

• Earl Sleek points out the Anaheim Ducks' success against anyone not in the Central Division, as only Earl Sleek can. [BoC]

• The Dallas Stars plan to be very accommodating to the 5,000 fans who will show up for Saturday night's home game while the Rangers are in the World Series. [Stars]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Here's Tadzio on the Tom Lysiak stick-handling -

The reason you could get away with that back then is no one was watching. I'm only half kidding. It was not just the different "culture" of the game (i.e. "Thunderdome"), but because the media tools and coverage was different. Now you can see that stuff, almost immediately, on a cell phone across the world. Anyway, crass gestures like that should be laughed off for the most part--toss the guy from the game and forget about it. (If it really was about the fans, it seems timely in another way, too, given the discussion the Rypien incident has instigated. I think fans need to be ejected more often for their abusive and obscene comments, if we want to grow the game and encourage parents to bring their children to games and raise them to love hockey.) What concerns me more is his cavalier and disparaging attitude about helmets. Guys today are so much bigger and stronger, the game so much faster and more ferocious, that his remark strikes me as irresponsible and ignorant. In the contemporary game I'd say helmets (and visors) are a sine qua non.

Nicely done.

Bold Prediction: Jason LaBarbera(notes) outplays Brian Elliott(notes), Shane Doan(notes) scores and the Coyotes still lose in Ottawa.