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.
Erik Johnson can control pucks ... with his mind.
Preview: New York Islanders at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET. The Islanders are coming off a 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night that snapped a six-game losing streak. Evgeni Nabokov will start in goal meaning it's been six games since Al Montoya was anywhere to be found. Boston has won nine of their last 10 meetings against the Islanders inside TD Garden and they're coming off a 7-0 rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If you're watching on Versus in the U.S., Mike Milbury will be providing color for the game.
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. ET. It's a rematch of last season's first round battle that went six games and was ended by Joe Thornton's overtime series-clincher. Drew Doughty will be playing in his fifth game after returning from injury and during his time back in the lineup the Kings have gone 0-2-2. While he was out they went 4-1-0.
• Jeff Blair on Georges Laraque's steroid claims: "The question is how many in the NHL will ask 'what if?', and right now the chances aren't good that anybody will bother. Who's going to hold the feet to the fire, eh? Congress doesn't care a wit about the NHL, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is an unabashed, dewy-eyed romantic about."
• Dick Pound, the former World Anti-Doping Agency president, responded to Laraque's allegations: "They still don't test in the off-season. If you've got an IQ higher than room temperature, you know they can do this program for a number of weeks and have the stuff all flushed out of your system and still get the benefit of it. If you know you're not getting tested before the season begins, it's an invitation to do it in the off-season." [CP via Winnipeg Free Press]
• Neate with your junior hockey Dynamic Dozen of the week. [Buzzing the Net]
• Via JoeBlo.com, here's the new trailer for the upcoming hockey flick "Goon":
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: From Kent G. on Columbus' struggles:
While the coach hasn't been inspiring, this situation in Columbus has been a constant as they rotate through coaches and personnel. The constant is the GM and upper management. At some point, you have to go higher than the coach to make real change in an organization.
Looking at the goaltending, they have had some injuries. However, Mason hasn't performed since his rookie year, Dekanich is unproven, Sanford has had plenty of NHL opportunities and without success, and now there left with York. There are several able veteran goaltenders which would only cost the league minimum to bring in and have some stability. I say again, this issue comes from higher up than just the coach.
Bold Prediction: LA snaps their recent skid with a 3-2 OT victory. Put me down for Mike Richards with the winner.
Photo credit: AP