Puck Daddy - NHL

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.

Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. EST. In September, claiming that this matchup would be the game of the night on Nov. 4 may have been grounds for institutionalization. Yet here we are, with the Yotes fifth in the West at 18 points and the Avalanche still first in the conference with 22. Colorado is 4-0-0 at home. Peter Budaj(notes) gets the start after the battle with swine flu. Watch The Game Live Via Hockey Night on Y!

Preview: Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. EST. The Capitals play their first game since Alex Ovechkin's(notes) "week-to-week" injury, facing a Devils team that would probably much rather be playing in Washington tonight because they're undefeated on the road and because everyone in North Jersey will be watching the Yankees anyway. Watch The Game Live Via Hockey Night on Y!

Preview: Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. EST. Dallas has activated center Mike Modano(notes) and right wing Jere Lehtinen(notes) from injured reserve. Meanwhile, an Alberta Health Services staff member has been canned for giving the Flames preferential treatment for H1N1 vaccinations. "The decision to allow preferential access to the Flames and their families was a serious error in judgment on the part of the staff involved," said Stephen Duckett, president and CEO of the AHS board. No kidding?

Check out the Y! Sports scores and schedule page for previews of the other three games tonight.

Evening Reading

• The twisted mind of Rudy Kelly presents scenes from the Los Angles Kings' father/son dinner. Had no idea Raitis Ivanans's(notes) father is actually a bear, but it makes sense.[Battle of California]

• "Internet reports" have the Chicago Blackhawks interested in Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle(notes). The gist of the story is on-point: Marian Hossa(notes) is inching back, and the cap issues are on the front burner. [Kuc, via Second City Hockey]

• Good news for the Hawks: Jonathan "Lloyd Christmas" Toews is practicing again. [ESPN Chicago]

• Round 545,192 in the "Is Chris Osgood(notes) overrated or underrated?" debate. [Snapshots]

• How much are the Olympics playing on the mind of Vincent Lecavalier(notes) during his horrendous start? [LeBrun]

• Eric Duhatschek takes a look inside the Dany Heatley(notes) bonus grievance filed by the Ottawa Senators, and how the timing of it is interesting with regard to the NHLPA. [Globe & Mail]

New York Rangers forward Dane Byers(notes) was handed a one-game suspension by the NHL on Wednesday while Coach John Tortorella was fined $10,000 for that weird non-brawl against the Vancouver Canucks last night. [CP]

• Meanwhile, Vancouver's Shane O'Brien(notes) will have a disciplinary hearing for using his stick to make contact with Ranger Sean Avery(notes). [TSN]

Shawn Horcoff(notes) is out about a week. [Sportsnet]

• The Boston Bruins have been shut out two games in a row. "According to Bob Waterman at the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bruins only once have been blanked in three straight games, which happened in 1929 (the same year the Bruins won their first Cup)." Wait, so should Bruins fans be rooting for or against a shutout against the Habs on Thursday? [Bruins Blog]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: From Mr. Corey Atkinson on Twitter, regarding Team Canada's goalie for the Olympics:

"Honestly, I would think even Joey MacDonald(notes) could beat Cam Ward(notes) right now."

Bold Prediction: You want bold? We'll give you bold: Brodeur ties the shutout record tonight.

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