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.
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers (10 p.m. EST; TV: RSW, Yahoo! Sports). Please keep in mind that Mats Sundin made the decision that he's ready to make his debut tonight for the Canucks. Again: Mats Sundin and decision. We're hours before face-off; that's a whole lotta mind-changin' time right there. If he does play, it'll be with Mason Raymond and Kyle Wellwood. Prediction: He plays, he scores a goal and all Canucks fans achieve simultaneous climax.
• The KB is live-blogging the big debut tonight with some special guests. Do check it out. [Orland Kurtenblog]
The top sports headlines of the day
• Mark Madden, who has stirred more pots in Pittsburgh than the chili cook at Primanti Brothers, made waves this afternoon by "Introducing the next coach of the Penguins" as Pat Quinn. According to The Confluence, Madden said this afternoon on his WXDX radio show that the Penguins are considering Quinn, and that if the Penguins had lost to the Atlanta Thrashers then a change would have been made. [The Confluence]
• Elliotte Friedman examines whether or not John Tavares has cemented himself as the No. 1 pick in this summer's draft after world juniors. Great read. [CBC]
• Thanks to Craig Custance of The Sporting News for inviting Puck Daddy to participate in a little "how to fix the all-star game" feature. Our "team roster lottery" idea promises unpredictability and fun for all ages; former Lightning GM Jay Feaster wants to give home ice in the Stanley Cup finals to the winning conference. We win. [Sporting Blog]
• B Murf from Homer McFanboy is good people, and relays a surreal scene from the Washington Capitals locker room last night: "Imagine 30 priests huddled in the Capitals locker room, easily filling the room to near maximum capacity. Then, imagine Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin coming out of the showers wearing nothing more than a towel. He heads to what would typically be an empty locker room only to discover the room has been temporarily taken over by holy men. What's more, one of the priests is actually posing for a photo in front of Ovechkin's locker ... and wearing his helmet. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up." Check out his blog. Good stuff. [Homer McFanboy]
• Spector's Top 10 teams in the NHL at the midpoint of the season. The Lightning were R-O-B-B-E-D. [Fox Sports]
• George James Malik sounds the "everybody staaaaaay cool" alarm for Detroit Red Wings fans who might be steamed that more Wings didn't make the NHL All-Star Game: "The ballot-box stuffers cost Zetterberg, Hossa, Conklin, and Rafalski chances at All-Star appearances, but, as Mike Babcock suggested, those guys will get a chance to rest up, and I have no doubt that they'll return to the All-Star Game, if not find themselves in the running for both post-season awards and spots on the First and Second All-Star Teams." [Snapshots]
• First line of this story on the Buffalo Sabres Web site: "Tim Connolly won't play scared." Why would someone who knows it's a stone-cold lock he's going on IR again before the end of the season be scared? [Sabres]
• Speaking of the Sabres, Puck Daddy reader Shawn sends in this cell phone image of Andrew Peters after getting bitten by Jarkko Ruutu. "At the point the picture was taken, tape had been put over his thumb after it was cleaned and disinfected. I can assure you however that the thumb was indeed bleeding, so no injury was faked." So there you go, and thanks again to Shawn:
Preview: Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers (7 p.m. EST; TV: TSN, NHLN). Coming off a big win over the Penguins, shouldn't Rangers fans be, you know, happy? From The Prospect Park article "Oh Please Already": "That if you take away the 10 shootout wins and use the standard of that 1996 season then the Ranger record is actually 14-14-13 which is good for 41 points. That drops the 2008-09 Rangers from 2nd on that list from the article to 9th." Jaroslav Halak gets the call for the Habs.
• Today's stat-head story of the day: The Hockey News's countdown of "players leading the league in assists as a percentage of total points." Probably the only time in your life you'll see Filip Kuba and Jaroslov Spacek both ranked ahead of Nicklas Lidstrom in anything besides alphabetic first names. [THN]
• Finally, here are the top goals of the week via the NHL: