Here are your Morning 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 top sports headlines of the day
• Our buddy Haggs in Boston told us last night that he thought Phil Kessel was getting into the NHL All-Star Game as an Eastern Conference reserve but that goalie Tim Thomas would not, by virtue of the fact that he split time with Manny Fernandez. The reserves have been announced, and Kessel's been screwed (thanks Kovalev and Habs vote-bots). Then again, so were Mike Richards and Mike Green and Patrik Elias and probably Ryan Miller. But hey, at least the Islanders and Senators are represented.
• The all-star reserves in the East are the Washington Capitals' Alexander Ovechkin, Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lecavalier, Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal, Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek, Boston Bruins' Marc Savard, New Jersey Devils' Zach Parise, Ottawa Senators' Dany Heatley, Atlanta Thrashers' Ilya Kovalchuk and Philadelphia Flyers' Jeff Carter up front; the Florida Panthers' Jay Bouwmeester, Boston's Zdeno Chara, the New York Islanders' Mark Streit, and Toronto Maple Leafs' Tomas Kaberle on defense; Thomas and the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist in goal. [NHL]
• The NY Daily News thinks very, very, very highly about its New York Rangers live blog chat. Barack who? [Sports Hernia]
• From the economy to the timing to the fact that the Atlanta Thrashers are "a ship that's had a great deal of trouble sailing out of the harbor," Adam Proteau explains why Don Waddell can't waste time in trading Ilya Kovalchuk. [Hockey News]
• JP has a terrific look at "the elephant in the room that is CapsNation," which is "the question of how to keep Karl Alzner on the roster if once the team finally got healthy." The rest of the Southeast wishes they had those problems. [Japers' Rink]
• Damien Cox on the Edmonton Oilers fans booing Mats Sundin last night: "As one onlooker suggested, it just proved there are Leaf fans everywhere. Another suggested that blue-collar Oiler fans were offended by the months of indecision from Sundin that only ended when he signed his rich deal with Vancouver on Dec. 18. At any rate, the negative reaction faded as the night wore on. Sundin as villain, after all, doesn't exactly have a lot of legs." [Toronto Star]
• Dennis Kane provides the most complete and compressive summary of Sundin's return to the NHL. </sarcasm> [Dennis Kane]
• After his stint in the Verizon Center urinals, Danny Briere is about ready to return to the lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers. Which means the team needs to clear cap space; which means moves ranging from the waiving of Lasse Kukkonen or Andrew Alberts to potentially trading Glen Metropolit. [DelCo Times]
• Interesting factoid from Razor down in Dallas, as the Stars get ready to face the Detroit Red Wings: "The Red Wings own the best faceoff percentage and powerplay percentage in the league. Do you think there is a correlation?" Indeed. [Razor With an Edge]
• Hush has some reflections on Canada's fifth straight world junior championship: "Imagine being a 17-year-old kid and having some reporter tell you that the ‘hopes of the nation' rest upon you and 21 other zit-faced teenagers. It's exciting, but probably more nerve-wracking than anything, especially with the tournament on home ice." [Penguins Connect]
• 2K Sports is slashing $10 off the price of NHL 2K9. It's fun on the Wii, we'll say that. [First Cuts]
• For the stat-heads today: Mirtle presents a list of "high-event players," in the sense that they're on the ice when goals are scored for or against. By that measurement, Alexei Ponikarovsky of the Toronto Maple Leafs is the most exciting player in the NHL. [From the Rink]
• James Duthie presents a rather inspired "reading between the lines" of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk's underwhelming "vote of confidence" for his coach and GM. [Ottawa Citizen]