Puck Headlines: Babcock calls out Wings; pray for Ducks tonight

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: Anaheim Ducks at Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSPT, FSD). Here's what Mike Babcock had to say about his Red Wings today after practice: "Who's the hardest-working team in the National Hockey League? ... Well, in the past I've been able to say without any question, here. I don't think that's the case right now." Detroit is 1-2-1 in its last four; think they'll be fired up tonight? The Ducks were being coy about their starting goalie against the Wings tonight. Goalie Post claims it'll be probably be Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Alexei Kovalev hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 1. Some might call that a massive slump; easily-corruptible NHL supercomputers call that an all-star. [Canadian Press]

• In preparation for their game on Tuesday, Calgary Flames star Jarome Iginla strikes back at Sean Avery for calling him boring with great vengeance and furious anger! "It's not the first time he's said something publicly or whatever. He's always talking on the ice, that's what he does. He says a lot off the ice, and that's fine. That's his way." Zzzzzz ... oh, wait, is he done? [TSN]

Preview: Nashville Predators at Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. EST; TV: FSS, MSG). Pekka Rinne gets the call tonight for the Preds in goal. Buffalo will get Ales Kotalik back from injury, but will be without Patrick Kaleta, who is out with a head injury. Which means Adam Mair may have the shoulder the load of being the anti-Tootoo this evening.

• The first job for Krys Barch of the Dallas Stars? You guessed it: Working the anus vacuum on the kill-floor of a slaughterhouse. Plus-1 to The Two-Line Pass for this gem: "I don't think I even want to know what that means, but one suspects David Frost is involved in some way." [Two-Line Pass]

• Meet Taylor Hall, hockey super-prospect who is already making waves despite being two years away from draft eligibility. [The Good Point]

Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. EST; TV: RSW, FSOH). Huzzah! Roberto Luongo skates again! Even nuttier: After he rejected a $20 million, two-year offer, the Canucks are still trying to convince Mats Sundin to play in
Vancouver.
Either he's playing one wicked game of "hard to get" or the Canucks really, really, really can't take a hint.

• The boys from Pension Plan Puppets have a reader fan-post contest rolling and are offering a Sundin Leafs jersey at the prize. Also, check out their photo in which they rock Wendel Clark 'staches. Hell of a look. [PPP]

Sidney Crosby, Nicklas Lidstrom and Saku Koivu have all contributed items to an auction for the Luc Bourdon Memorial Fund. Classy. [CP]

• You know, there's going to be a young man in an Islanders captain's jersey that's really going to regret his art project if the team ever relocates to Hamilton or Kitchener.

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. EST; TV: VS). Would anyone have believed that the Wild could have their best November in franchise history (eight wins) without Marian Gaborik? The Avs are trying to break a losing streak in Minnesota; perhaps the secret intel of former Lemaire acolyte Daniel Tjarnqvist can be of some assistance.

Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and New York Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald are your three stars for November. [NHL]

• And we're still revisiting those Alexander Semin comments about Crosby, as Sid refuses to answer to them and Sports Illustrated pounces on the story with the timeliness of a Spuds Mackenzie reference -- while getting some candid comments about Semin from former teammate Olaf Kolzig. [Japers Rink]

Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: LTV, FSW). Ron Wilson on his relationship with Brian Burke: "Brian and my philosophy kind of mesh really well together, I am sure we will have our disagreements about things ...But you wouldn't want it just to be Brian and I sitting in my office and singing Kumbaya, or the Providence College fight song." Well, for basketball the fight song is "When the Saints Go Marching In," according to Wikipedia. We'd actually like to hear some harmonizing on that. Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings is convinced that defenseman Jack Johnson will return sooner than the prescribed two months.

• The Forechecker looks at nine hockey people who are Twittering. Almost makes us want to figure out the 'hells a Twitter ... (/Still Rents VHS) [On the Forecheck]

• Finally, TSN takes a look at the brilliant Brian Burke: Quote Machine. Gotta love the "Holik money to a second-line center" smack. Feel the Kevin Lowe love all over again!

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