December 05, 2011
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.
• The mask of Robert Zepp, goaltender of Berlin. He can hear what that bear ate.
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. Gigantic headline suggests that Joffrey Lupul(notes) thinks the Leafs have a chance in this one. The Rangers are on a 12-2-0 tear and have outscored their opponents 26-10 at MSG. Jonas Gustavsson(notes) is scheduled to start for the Leafs, but who can trust them anymore?
Preview: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. This would have been an awesome measuring stick game for the Eastern Conference, and Sidney Crosby(notes) still considers it as such; but with the Penguins missing Kris Letang(notes), Zbynek Michalek(notes) and Deryk Engelland(notes) and the Bruins owning a pulverizing forecheck, this one's a little tougher to judge.
Preview: Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. Alex Semin and Roman Hamrlik(notes) are out for the Capitals, despite Semin being "ready to go." The Panthers are leading the Southeast thanks to players like Tomas Fleischmann(notes), whose scoring the Capitals probably never thought they'd miss.
Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators, 7:30 p.m. The Bolts are 4-17-4 in their last 25 visits to Ottawa and have lost three in a row. The Sens have lost two in a row, but begin a stretch of 11 out of 15 games at home. You know who's pretty damn good? Erik Karlsson(notes).
Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. The Coyotes have lost two straight and will look to rebound with Mike Smith(notes) between the pipes. The Chicago PK has been struggling, but the Coyotes' power play has been "just not good" according to Shane Doan. Inexplicably your VERSUS game of the night.
• Montreal Canadiens General Manager Pierre Gauthier issued Monday a medical update on the status of defenseman Andrei Markov(notes). Markov underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to remove debris in his right knee. His recovery is estimated to be four to six weeks. [Canadiens]
• The Toronto-based war between Toronto-based writers and the Toronto-based GM they cover in Toronto escalates. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: "It's time for Burke to calm down and take a leadership role in the ongoing spat between local media and the Maple Leafs. His adding to the poisonous atmosphere benefits no one." [Toronto Sun]
• Cam Cole attempts to be the adult in the room: "Anyone who works as a reporter and has not been lied to, routinely — or simply misled, or misinformed, or had half the story given to him/her and the important part left out — is clearly covering something other than professional sports." [National Post]
• Meanwhile, the Leafs control your xBox. [Financial Post]
• Stu Hackel with a great rundown of the realignment movement. [SI]
• Ryan Lambert defeats Steigerwald. [Just Watch the Game]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: From reader Tom on the Matthew Barnaby DWI:
It's going to be embarrassing for Barnaby when we all find out he wasn't drunk, but acting because he doesn't want people knowing he can't afford a Porsche with all four wheels
Bold Prediction: Stamkos scores; Michalek doesn't.