Puck Headlines: Blackhawks get schooled; Avery gets, uh, exotic

Here are your 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.

• Breaking ratings news: Detroit and Chicago drew a 2.0/5 on Sunday. Steve Lepore: "That rating marks the best ever rating for an NHL On NBC broadcast, excluding obviously the Stanley Cup Finals and Winter Classic." Coolness. [Puck the Media]

• The Chicago Blackhawks' hard-fought wins over the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks apparently weren't indicative of their postseason maturity, because Game 1's loss to the Detroit Red Wings has many hockey pundits questioning whether the Western Conference finals is men against fetuses. [Freep]

• Darren Elliot, for another example, believes that the Chicago Blackhawks may have blown their chance at winning the series by not taking Game 1 when they had the chance. [SI]

• Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell(notes) has his John Lennon/Jesus moment, declares his team "bigger than the Cubs" for Windy City sports fans. He does know he plays hockey, right? [NHL]

• In case you haven't heard, Scott Walker(notes) of the Carolina Hurricanes announced that his wife Julie, was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer. She's expected to make a complete recovery, but as Bubba writes: "It's amazing how some people can compartmentalize things enough to put personal tragedy aside and focus on the task at hand." And it's also amazing to think that Walker scored the series-clinching goal against the Boston Bruins carrying that emotional weight. [Canes Country]

Sean Avery(notes) went to Scores on West 28th Street recently and "enjoyed a lap dance from a busty Brazilian," who later chased him outside and gave him her phone number. That must have been some damn impressive fashion advice he shared. [Page Six]

• Meanwhile, Avery appears to be content to keep his criticism of the NHL to himself these days. Which is really kind of disappointing and an indication that Gary Bettman did something no one else has been able to do: Muzzle him. [TSN]

• Ryan Kennedy on the death of "The Fighting Sioux" as a nickname for North Dakota athletics. Clearly, it's time to rally behind the only alternative when your mascot is deemed racially insensitive: The North Dakota Fightin' Whities. [THN]

• Great piece by Mike Dell about the death of the "shadow" forward in the NHL, which evidently you can add to the ever-expanding list of things the neutral zone trap ruined. [LCS Hockey]

• The Hockey Guy suggests that the St. Louis Blues should wait a year before attempting to bring Chris Pronger(notes) back to the franchises, for various financial and personnel reasons. And of course to see if the NHL ever passes a new rule banning hits to the head, which could seriously affect his ice time. [Hockey Guy]

Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray vows to try and not hit a woman with a wooden stool if he's upset about a controversial goal that the Ducks intend to challenge for another Cup and remain a fixture in the postseason. [NHL]

• The Gloating Bruins Fan winner and gallery will be posted on Tuesday. The GBF abides.

• Interesting piece on Kyle Verdino, a defenseman playing in the Memorial Cup who just happens to be that rarest of rarities: a life-long Phoenix Coyotes fan. Before you ask, the answer is yes: He is crapped on like a PortaJohn by the native Winnipeggers. [Sun Media]

• Jeff Klein asks a vital question in this whole Coyotes/Balsillie/Hamilton mess: Why isn't anyone talking about the Buffalo Sabres, a.k.a. "a team that could conceivably be destroyed if Balsillie is able to defy N.H.L. rules in court and install a team in Canada's Steel City?" Could the birth of a new hockey city destroy another hockey city? [Slap Shot]

• Meanwhile, the question is asked: Can Phoenix even support an NHL team? There's some remarkable info in this piece about the ills of the franchise. [AZ Central]

• Hopefully, Lowetide is going to make this a series because it's outstanding: Assessing the pros and cons of Pat Quinn as a coaching candidate for the Edmonton Oilers. [Lowetide]

• Larry Brooks nails it in regard to the NHL's current TV deal: You can't fault Bettman for taking the Versus/OLN money coming out of the lockout, but the exclusivity in the subsequent contracts could be (or is) crippling to the growth of the NHL at a time of genuine superstardom. [NY Post]

• NOT HOCKEY: Fox chooses "Dollhouse" over "Sarah Conner Chronicles." [EW]

Niklas Backstrom(notes) and Andrew Brunette(notes) are both recovering from their respective surgeries for the Minnesota Wild. [Wild]

• Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins are revealing a preposterous number of injuries in the wake of their postseason loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Chief among them: RFA forwards David Krejci(notes) and Phil Kessel(notes) are both going under the knife. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

• The man who created the "Seen Stamkos" campaign for the Tampa Bay Lightning? Laid off. [Lightning Strikes]

• The NHL has extended its line of credit with CitiBank to $200 million. Anchor babe pronounces the BlackBerry billionaire's name as "Jim Bosley." As in, "Angels, Bosley's waiting ..." [Bloomberg]

• Finally, not sure we ever posted this video, and no time like the day of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. So here's a fan-made Pittsburgh Penguins playoff anthem called "Get the Cup." Needs more bobbleheads.

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