Here are your Evening Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• The NHL comes down with a couple of suspensions today. To the surprise of no one, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier was suspended for five games after his head-shot against Josh Gorges of the Canadiens; Gauthier is what we like to call a "repeat offender." Meanwhile, Tyler Kennedy of the Pittsburgh Penguins gets a one-game suspension thanks to the pestering of Toronto GM Brian Burke. Evidently, Rule 70.2 of the CBA states: "A player who has entered the game on a legal line change... who starts an altercation may be subject to discipline ..." Yeah, we didn't know, either. [Kings and Penguins]
Preview: St. Louis Blues at Detroit Red Wings (7 p.m. EST; TV: VS). The Red Wings are reeling a little bit, but they're also defeated the Blues four out of the last five games. Who will be the first player to show his "V" during the broadcast? Our money's on Manny Legace.
• The Beanpot is underway! The annual college hockey tournament in Boston pits Boston University, Boston College, Harvard and Northeastern against each other on the ice and their spirited supporters in the stands. USCHO has a Beanpot blog going, Stanley Cup of Chowder offers a thorough preview while Slap Shot has some good coverage as well. Chris Drury of the New York Rangers is getting inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame during the tournament as a former BU star.
• Alexander Ovechkin can't really still have NCAA eligibility after signing that contract?
• Robert Lang of the Montreal Canadiens had successful surgery on his Achilles' tendon. The team says he's out indefinitely; press reports say "indefinitely" means about four months, effectively ending his season. [CBC Sports]
• You know, as original stories go, you have to hand it to the National Post: There haven't been many article written about the correlation between how angry your team mascot looks and your team's success on the ice. Blame Sparky the Dragon for the Islanders' struggles; but obviously, Sabretooth is a cuddly mascot for the Sabres. Even though he's attacked and killed at least four pee-wee players in the last two seasons. [National Post]
Preview: Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche (9:30 p.m. EST; TV: RSW, ALT). the Avalanche are 1-5 on their current homestand; Mile High Hockey provides an epic preview of this one, including handy ways to extinguish flames.
• As we mentioned earlier today, Chris Clark of the Washington Capitals is going under the knife and could miss the rest of the season. Coach Bruce Boudreau was very quick to mention that Clark, despite the situation, is still the team's captain. [Capitals Insider]
• Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith is injured, and day-to-day, which means the Bolts are in Kari Ramo's hands. But can a goalie currently suspended by the AHL still play in the NHL? Bolts Report says "maybe." [Lightning Strikes]
• The delicate balancing act of the Nashville Predators' goalies, as Pekka Rinne continues to steal Dan Ellis's job while the team creeps closer to the playoffs. [Nashville City Paper]
Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. EST; TV: MSG, FSPT). Anaheim could have Todd Marchant back from injury against the Sabres. Defenseman Mike Weber is up again for the Sabres, who are going to likely start Pat Lalime against Jonas Hiller tonight.
• It's a 2009 mock draft! [THN]
• Luca Sbisa is headed back the Western Hockey League from the Flyers. [CP]
• The Atlanta Thrashers' top scoring line: Ilya Kovalchuk, Rich Peverley ... Chris Thorburn?! Isn't this like Ottawa icing Heatley-Spezza-Neil? Then again, if you're Ottawa or Atlanta ... [AJC]
• Finally, Wrap Around Curl brings us this photo of actor Tim Robbins (via Jezebel) in which the man who invented the hula-hoop is one snarly Thrash fan. From Curl:
He must reallllly like hockey. Because you'd think if he was a poser, he'd pick some other team. But picking the Thrashers, that's kinda indie or punk rock. Or maybe just bizarre. Like Napoleon Dynamite levels of weird.
That said ... fly on the wall, please, for the Thrashers celebrity fan club meeting, with Tim Robbins and Lil' Jon alone in a room for three hours.