Puck Previews: Battle of NY; Habs, Wild, Oil look to end skids

Preview: New York Islanders at New York Rangers 7 p.m. EST

I know it's tempting to skip the Rangers' games and just catch the sexy HBO recaps with their David Fincheresque grit-filtered, behind-the-scenes magic, but there are plenty of reasons to watch this one live. First, the Rangers have won 4 straight at home and the Islanders are 5-1-1 in their last 7 on the road. Second, anything interesting that happens is going to be on Rangers-Flyers 24/7, so think of it like watching a three-hour teaser where most of the scenes will be cut.

Preview: Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets, 8:30 p.m. EST

Offensively monolingual coach Randy Cunneyworth and the Habs fly into Winnipeg, the city whose fanbase doesn't care if you speak two languages. Must be nice. The Habs are 0-3 in the Cunneyworth era. Does the anglophone coach's first win come tonight? If it doesn't, one suspects the province of Quebec will be strapping him to a chair and forcing him to learn French (and unlearn English) via aversion therapy, Clockwork Orange-style.

Preview: Minnesota Wild at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. EST

The Wild have lost 5 straight. Are they merely slumping or are they suffering the inevitable regression due a team that gets wildly outshot pretty much every night? Depends on if you're a Wild fan or not. Either way, if they want to go into Christmas atop the Northwest Division, they need to start winning again, and the Oilers are a good team in that regard --in the sense that they're not a good team in most other regards. They've lost 4 straight, and have fallen to 13th in the conference. Since I don't think it's possible for everyone to lose (unless there's a shootout, amirite NHL fans?), somebody's losing streak ends tonight.

Evening Reading

• Speaking of the Winnipeg fanbase, the city sold out of 20,000 Jets' license plates in eight days. Will they have the same zeal for the Human Rights Museum? #priorities [PHT]

• And in Minnesota, the most Canadian state in America (in the sense that its hockey fans are insane), a man has been charged with choking his son's hockey coach until he began to black out. [Star-Tribune]

• The NHLPA has donated $300,000 worth of hockey equipment to programs all around the world. Amazingly, they only used money from James Wisniewski's suspension. [CBC]

• Chloe Ezra's 10 best Roberto Luongo animated gifs of 2011. The dude makes some odd faces. [PITB]

• Maybe it's just because I'm a sucker for Daft Punk, but I think this Grand Rapids Griffins video is cool. That is all. [Reddit Hockey]

Bold prediction: The Wild snap the losing skid with a shutout win over the Oilers.