The NHL Evening Skate for Jan. 8

Yahoo Sports

Heading into this evening’s action, here are the day’s top NHL storylines:

NHL Power Rankings: The Flames are looking elite
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Hey everyone, we here at Yahoo Sports are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how we’re feeling about these teams, meaning you can’t tell us we’re wrong because these are our feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. Please enjoy the Power Feelings.

NHL and NHLPA reportedly expected to meet this week

With both the National Hockey League and the Players’ Association able to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) this upcoming September, it looks like the two sides will have a chance to talk some things over ahead of time. The groups will both reportedly be in Las Vegas at the Consumers Electronics Show this week. One talking point which the PA is likely to bring up is offering the league an extension of the current CBA. [More]

Truck driver in deadly Humboldt Broncos crash pleads guilty: ‘I don’t want a trial’

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the man driving the transport truck that crashed into the bus holding the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to all charges related to the accident. After the hearing, Sidhu’s lawyer Mark Brayford spoke on behalf of his client. He discussed Sidhu’s desire to move forward as quickly as possible, as not to cause more pain for the families of those who died in the crash. [More]

Lamp-lighters

Are the Lightning the NHL’s super team?

Though it’s extremely difficult to quantify or define exactly what a “Super Team” is in professional sports, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning are probably pretty close to being labeled as such no matter how you slice it. Boasting a lethal group of forwards complimented by an elite defense corps and arguably the NHL’s top netminder, there aren’t many, if any, holes to be found throughout the NHL leader’s lineup. [More]

Subban to teen facing racial abuse: Keep pushing forward

Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban has reached out to a teenage hockey player facing racial abuse. The defenseman recorded a video and texted it to Ty Cornett, a 13-year-old Detroit-area hockey player last week. ”I can tell you this right now: As long as you’re still breathing in this world, you’ve got to believe in yourself and let nobody tell you what you can and can’t do, especially if it’s because of the color of your skin,” said Subban, who is black and was born in Toronto. [More]

Gritty might be running low on material, guys

In a completely haphazard, but at the very least current, bit performed during a stoppage in Monday’s game between the Philadelphia Flyers and visiting St. Louis Blues, Gritty did his darnedest to let fans momentarily forget about the misery inside the rink by reintroducing the torment being experienced in another sports city. [Watch]

Game of the night

Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to start a new streak when they return home to play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. The Lightning was their 16-game point streak snapped Saturday with a 5-2 defeat at San Jose, their first regulation loss in 5 1/2 weeks. Tampa Bay, which has a league-leading 66 points with a 32-8-2 record, had won seven straight games and was 15-0-1 since a Nov. 27 loss at Anaheim. The Blue Jackets are doing just fine themselves, going 8-2-1 in their past 11 games – including a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday against the host Florida Panthers[Follow on Yahoo Sports]

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