Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Admittedly, we were a little stunned when the results of a poll co-sponsored by the Toronto Star were released. Because the lede paragraph stated: "The majority of Canadians say they support a ban on fighting in professional hockey." Of course, our folly was assuming all Canadians are hockey fans; while the poll found 61 percent of respondents wanted a ban on fighting for pro hockey, 63 percent of "self-described hockey fans" opposed a ban entirely. We eagerly await the next poll, in which the Amish and squeamish teenage girls are asked their thoughts on the instigator. [CBC Sports]
The top sports headlines of the day
Preview: Atlanta Thrashers at Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: SS, FSPI). The two hottest teams in hockey meet in Pittsburgh. No, we didn't think we'd read that sentence on this preview a month ago, either. Johan Hedberg gets the start tonight in storybook fashion. Slava Kozlov will break Bobby Holik's franchise record for consecutive games played (191) when he answers the bell.
Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: VS., TSN2). Versus preempted the Lucas Oil Motorsport Hour for this? Tomas Holmstrom is out tonight for the Wings with a strained knee. Meanwhile, Flyers Coach John Stevens compares Danny Briere to Mats Sundin. In the "give this guy some time" way; not in, like, the talent way.
• The Rockford Ice Hogs have "unretired" a special ticket rate of $4 they had in honor of Brett Favre. And suddenly, NY Jets fans have a reason to be disappointed and angst-ridden about the Rockford Ice Hogs. [OSC]
Preview: Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: CSN, FSFL). Jose Theodore gets the start after getting the hook last night. Mike Green and Sergei Fedorov are back, while Brian Pothier is a healthy scratch one night after his big comeback. We don't know if our buddy George Richards is joking, but we're totally finding the cell phone footage of Panthers Ice Dancers doing a jig to Dropkick Murphys. Or we'll just borrow Craig Anderson's.
Preview: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: RDS, MSG). Guy Carbonneau has auctioned off his lucky tie for charity. He wasn't wearing it when he was fired. Henrik Lundqvist has given up 18 goals in his last four games at Bell Centre, leading Rory to wonder if its his own personal Overlook Hotel. That's odd ... usually the blood gets off at the second floor.
• It's Mystery Puck Night in Minnesota: "Custom designed pucks have been individually signed by Wild players, popped into clear puck cases and packaged to conceal the signature in order to ensure that it remains a 'Mystery.' Each puck also comes with a certificate of authenticity. One thousand 'Mystery Pucks' will be on sale for $40 each." Alternative contest name: "Forty Bucks for Dan Fritsche? What the Crap?" [Wild]
Preview: St. Louis Blues at Edmonton Oilers (10 p.m. EST; TV: FSMW, RSW). Fire up the Center Ice for this one, as the Blues attempt to leapfrog the Oil in the standings. Weirdness: The Blues power play is killer, the Oilers are 29th on the kill, but St. Louis is 0-for-13 against Edmonton this season on the man advantage.
Preview: Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. EST; TV: TSN, KDFI). Vancouver's looking for a franchise record 10th straight home victory tonight. For the Stars, there's still a chance Brad Richards could come back from his injury early (though not tonight), but that situation is rather delicate and complicated. Like French food or ex-wives.