December 15, 2011
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.
Russia's Igor Makarov uses Finland's Mikko Kousa as a surfboard for his Silver Surfer impression during today's Channel One Cup game. [AP]
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. ET. As the Kings wait to see who will be their full-time coach going forward, they try to snap a five-game losing streak. News from the morning skate is that rookie blueliner Slava Voynov will sit and Alec Martinez will take his place in the Kings lineup. John Stevens was not happy with Voynov's play Tuesday night in Boston. No Derek Dorsett for the Blue Jackets after he suffered a leg injury on Saturday night, and Curtis Sanford will get the start in net trying to break a personal two-game skid.
Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET. As the Predators go for their fourth straight win, they'll face a rival Detroit team that's won 10 of their last 12. Jimmy Howard, who leads all goaltenders in wins and is second in goals-against average, has been in goal for all 10 of Detroit's wins during their current streak. Sparkplug Chris Connor will be out of the lineup after breaking his hand Tuesday against Pittsburgh. Tomas Tatar has been recalled to take his place.
Preview: New York Rangers at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET. Brian Elliott has been the key to the Blues' turnaround winning 12 of his 14 starts this season, including seven of eight since Ken Hitchcock took over. He's yet to beat the Rangers in his career (0-3-1) and will face a team in playoff position for the fourth straight game. Henrik Lundqvist will be in net for the Rangers two days after taking a Sheldon Souray slapshot near the collarbone. According to the New York Daily News, Lundqvist wore an extra piece of padding near the shoulder during practice on Wednesday, but the injury should not affect him going forward.
• A Winnipeg hockey dad convicted of assaulted a fellow parent claims he was coached by Graham James, and while he was never abused by him, says that he benched and bullied him while a member of the team. [Cape Breton Post]
• "The National Hockey League team has taken several Las Vegas casino operators on tours of the Sunrise property and discussed the possibility of building a destination resort casino on the land surrounding the arena if Florida legislators approve an expansion of casino gambling." As @JTortsTSN pointed out, this all an elaborate plan to lure Jaromir Jagr to South Florida. [Miami Herald]
Puck Buddy comment of the Day: "J.C. Hinds" on the Todd McLellan's job security:
"The Sharks are doing well. This makes as much sense as a "Fire Slappy" movement."
Damn straight. #TeamSlappy
Bold prediction: The Kings' struggles continue with a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Blue Jackets. Rick Nash nets a pair.