Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews:
The top sports headlines of the day
• The Top 10 goal celebrations in hockey history. No. 1 is a guy who pointed his stick at the goalie and mow down the goalie with an imaginary machine gun. Your move, Alex. [THN]
• Where the hell was this when we were falling off old tires in the elementary school playground? There is a San Jose Sharks-themed life-sized playhouse being raffled off for charity. It's two stories, with an "ice rink" playing surface and a second-story locker room and a mock Zamboni control panel and a climbing apparatus and a spectacular fiberglass shark head with dorsal fin and C'MON, GRANDPA, JUST BUY IT FOR US!!! [Sharks, via Slanch Report]
Preview: San Jose Sharks at Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. EST; TV: CSBA, CSNC). Personnel situation and offensive downturn being what they are for the Sharks, and with the Patrick Sharp-infused Blackhawks looking to get on a roll, this should be a hell of a game. And there's really no better way to preview it than with this bit of literary art from Fear the Fin:
Oh Brian Campbell
Eight years of seven million
Hawks cap is now poop
-Ancient Japanese Haiku
Preview: Florida Panthers at Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. EST; TV: FSFL, MSG). According to the AP, "Buffalo has allowed 30 goals in its last seven games, going 1-5-1 over that span." So the chances are that the suck-fest that has been the Panthers offense could make it out of this one OK.
• For all this NHL talk, clearly the eyes of the hockey world will be on the AHL tonight, as the inaugural regular season rivalry between the Rockford IceHogs and the beloved Iowa Chops comes to an end. Rockford is 4-5 against the Chops, which means tonight is a must-win if the Blackhawks affiliate wants to avoid dropping the season series to a team named after meat. [OurSportsCentral]
Preview: Ottawa Senators at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. EST; TV: TSN2, FSS). Operation: Run The Table heads down to Carolina in a meeting of two red-hot teams. Brian Elliott, winner of eight straight, takes over for Alex Auld between the pipes. If you haven't read our Cam Ward interview, here's your chance.
Preview: Minnesota Wild at New York Islanders (7 p.m. EST; TV: FSNO, MSG+). Another facet of the Islanders' inexplicable late-season success: home dominance. They're 5-1-1 in their last seven at the Coliseum. Incredible. More incredible: Cal Clutterbuck is two hits from breaking the NHL record for hits in a season.
• Puck Buddy "Habs1rule" wanted us to share this fan photo from the Montreal Canadiens' game against Toronto over the weekend. Our question: How did Francis Bouillon get such good seats? [Getty, via Faceoff.com]
• Late-season announcing stunts: Wild GM Doug Risebrough will do color commentary tonight against the Islanders; and in a stunt whose mechanics we're not entirely sure about, "Rick Peckham and Bobby 'The Chief' Taylor are breaking free this weekend and will call this Sunday's Tampa Bay Lightning versus Ottawa Senators game, live beginning at 6 p.m., from inside the Fifth Third Bank Club inside the St. Pete Times Forum." This could be the greatest real-time audio in hockey history.
Preview: Calgary Flames at Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: TSN, NHLN). It's Calgary's first game in Pittsburgh since Dec. 2005, back when Sidney Crosby was a rookie and Ziggy Palffy was still in the League.
Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. EST; TV: FSPT, ALT, Yahoo! Sports). Interesting piece by Randy Youngman about why the Ducks have not, in fact, quit on Randy Carlyle and many of the fixes the team has made in challenging for the postseason. Meanwhile, in a rather shocking development, the Avalanche have suffered a significant injury to a prominent player.
• Tony Granato is about as careful with the youngsters as the Octomom. [Jibblescribbits]
• Martin Gerber gets the automatic three-game suspension from the NHL for abusing referee Mike Leggo in last night's game against the Washington Capitals. Check out Three Stars for the video. [Sportsnet]
• Finally, via the NHL, this is a well-done look at Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster's long road back to the League.