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.
• Here's President Obama with the Chicago Blackhawks this afternoon at the White House. That's Jonathan Toews in the middle likely shooting daggers at a member of the media not paying attention to the President's remarks.
Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET. Two streaks on the line tonight for the Capitals. First is their current seven-game winning streak that kept them just ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for tops in the Southeast Division. Second is the fact that Washington has won all four meetings with Carolina this season. The Hurricanes will be playing one of their two games in hand on the New York Rangers who sit two points ahead of them for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Watch this game live via Y! Sports.
Preview: New Jersey Devils at Atlanta Thrashers, 7:30 p.m. ET. It's the first of two meetings between the teams in the next week as the Devils trail Atlanta by three points in the standings. The Thrashers have gone 4-9-2 since the All-Star break and seem to be fading, while the Devils have been rising up the East standings.
Preview: Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET. One advantage Dallas has going into tonight's game with Minnesota is that they've won their last 14 games against the Wild at American Airlines Center. The Wild last won in Dallas in March of 2003. Dallas broken out of a slump with a 5-0-2 record over their last seven games powered by Jamie Benn and his five-game goal scoring streak.
Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. ET. Speaking of dominance, Anaheim goes for their 14th win in 16 tries against a free-falling Colorado team. In goal will be Dan Ellis who's looking to improve to 5-1-1 since coming over from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Watch this game live via Y! Sports.
Puck Daddy Comment of the Day: Chris W. sends in a response to this morning's post about whether or not violent acts could make you quit the NHL:
"Yes, after 32 years since my first game (Blues/Flames, Gary Unger first star) I'd like to quit the NHL.
After watching the Chara hit, as well as seeing talking hair-dos like Melrose talk about 'intent' ('he didn't mean to injure him'), I've found myself deciding to tell the NHL that I want to 'see other people'.
Not that other sports govern themselves better or worse, but the NHL beats everyone as far as teasing at the edges of a game that can truly be great. Why implement rules to improve the speed of the game, but be so obtuse but to realize that maybe its not fun watching, on a monthly basis, players being carried off in stretchers?
In addition, suspensions/fines are all wallpaper and nothing else. If you want to have players stop intentionally sending each other into traction, ban them from the game at 30 game clips (and have that salary still count towards the cap). Let Milbury, Cherry, and every other relic from 'old NHL' complain. Much like everything else, things change, and either you move with the tide, or simply drown in one's own stubbornness. It's become too much for me to bear when we
hear goons politely ask each other if they want to fight, but Chara can, without any warning, or resulting recrimination, ram a kid's head into the turnbuckle.
Until then, between the Chara hit, and the others (Richards on Booth; Cooke on Savard; etc.), I'm done watching a sport governed by former 'gritty, 3rd line role players' who lack the fundamental ability to look within themselves to comprehend the criminality of their non-actions."
Bold Prediction: Brad Richards has a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over Minnesota.