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.
The Steve Ott Bobblehead doll will forever change our lives. [s/t Brandon Worley]
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. What, no pregame ceremony to welcome Keith Ballard back to Florida? This could be a trap game for the Canucks, what with all the emotions wrapped up in that Boston win from the weekend. Roberto Luongo when facing the Panthers since his escape from Florida: "In four games against them since the trade, he's 3-0-1 with a 1.68 GAA, including a 31-save shutout in his last visit to Sunrise, Fla., on Feb. 11, 2010."
Preview: Washington Capitals at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m. Battle of The Teams That Fired Their Coaches Because They Weren't Living Up To Expectations! The Kings are 5-1-3 under Darryl Sutter, while the Capitals are 9-7-1 under Dale Hunter. No Backstrom or Green for the Capitals; Tomas Vokoun gets his sixth straight start. Sutter's trying to get Kopitar rolling by shaking up the lines. If Dustin Penner scores, we damn well better see a pancake on the ice.
• Terrific post by the Puck Buddys on a gay player competing on a "perennial powerhouse high school team in the upper Midwest." [Puck Buddys]
• Nashville Predators GM David Poile on the lack of progress in talks with defenseman Ryan Suter: "We'll be prepared, if we feel that we weren't going to be able to sign Ryan, and if we thought we were in a position that we had to or should trade him. I'm certainly hoping that doesn't happen, I don't want that to happen, but I want to be prepared for that." [The Tennessean]
• Colby Cosh on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the hyphenated name revolution in the NHL. [MacLeans]
• Twelve stories to watch in the second half of the NHL season. That Crosby fellow sounds interesting. [NHL]
• Finally, to help feed your emotions on Brad Marchand's suspension, it's the great Mason Raymond hit comparison video! (Which means absolutely nothing because it was pre-Shanahan!) [YouTube]
Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day:
JC Hinds on the Penner Pancake affair:
"Rick DiPietro will point and laugh once he's off oxygen."
Bold Prediction: Luongo shuts out the Panthers.