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.
On the plus side, no one could claim Cory Schneider lost the post.
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Pittsburgh Penguins, 4 p.m. ET
While Sidney Crosby continues to dominate the Pittsburgh news cycle, Evgeni Malkin has been a monster lately. Seriously, he's been living in a little kid's closet for weeks, that's how much of a monster he is. Malkin has 13 points during Pittsburgh's 7-game winning streak, and while a 6-game point streak ended in a victory over the stingy St. Louis Blues, the Maple Leafs tend to be far more acquiescent with opposing superstars. That said, the Penguins have been similarly kind to Phil Kessel, who has 7 points in the last four meetings between the two clubs. Expect scoring.
Preview: Winnipeg Jets at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. EST
The Jets' franchise has had Philly's number of late, winning four straight and putting up 9 goals versus the Flyers over their last... one game. Oh right. Will we see another 17-goal game in Winnipeg's first visit to Philadelphia since their 9-8 win on October 27th? Probably not, but I'd watch anyway. The Flyers have been the common component in two of the season's most absurd games, the other being the stalemate game versus Tampa, so watching them play Southeast opponents is now akin to watching a David Lynch movie. Expect bewilderment.
Preview: Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. EST
Wherein Team Alfredsson and Team Chara finish up their home-and-home, albeit with slightly different rosters. Can Alfredsson exact revenge against the man whose team beat him on home ice and whose goaltender robbed him of his MVP? Expect revenge.
Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m. ET
Reasons to tune in: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp return for Chicago, who lost their final two games before the All-Star break and will be looking to get back on track. Brendan Morrison will see his first action as a Blackhawk as well, against the team with whom he spent the bulk of his career. Also: it's Canucks vs. Blackhawks. These two teams find one another disagreeable. Expect sneering.
• Are the New York Islanders moving to Brooklyn? For at least one game they are. The Islanders announced Tuesday that they would be playing an Oct. 2 exhibition game in Brooklyn's Barclays Center, home to the New Jersey Nets. "The announcement serves as another shot across the bow of Nassau County politicians and voters, who have rejected every effort by Islanders owner Charles Wang to upgrade or replace Nassau Coliseum, the club's 40-year-old home. Although the 16,250-seat Coliseum is one of the N.H.L.'s best buildings for sightlines and intimacy, it is virtually inaccessible by public transit and has few of the money-spinning corporate luxury enticements that provide revenue at other arenas." [NY Times]
• Alex Ovechkin feels "pretty rested". Well, thank God he skipped the All-Star Game, or he wouldn't have gotten any time off at all. Why did he skip it again? [Montreal Gazette]
• This doctor says shutting the players down is the wrong way to go about treating concussions. [The Star]
• I enjoyed this little blog post reminding us that, divisive as the All-Star Game may be among puckheads, kids still love it. [West Island Gazette]
• In horribly sad news, Phil Esposito's daughter died Monday of a sudden illness. [Tampa Bay Times]
Bold prediction: Someone registers an Ovechtrick in Philadelphia.