Ovechkin vs. Malkin vs. Crosby vs. Math

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.

• Seth over on Empty Netters attempts to find a winner in the Alexander Ovechkin vs. Evgeni Malkin vs. Sidney Crosby "who's better?" debate with some statistic projections from a reader. Assuming the Pittsburgh Penguins stars took as many shots as the Washington Capitals star, the reader figures 64 goals for Malkin, 58 for Sid and 53 for Ovechkin. Does this assume a static shooting percentage for Malkin and Crosby despite the increase in shots? Because we suck at math, and even we know that's improbable. [Empty Netters]

• Ovechkin, by the way, will miss only his second NHL game tomorrow against the Nashville Predators after flying home to Russia to be with his ailing grandfather. (Ovi-bama?) Naturally, this Ovechkin-less game will be on Versus. (Ed. Note: Actually, Versus has the rights but will be showing the Flyers and Thrashers to an eager nation.) [Capitals Insider, via Simply Sensational]

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• "Famous for the NHL" actor Taylor Kitsch recalls meeting Steve Yzerman and compares Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock to Kyle Chandler on "Friday Night Lights." We're still torn over whether having a hockey fan playing Gambit in the next "X-Men" flick qualifies as cool or lame. [Sporting News]

• Admitting this is "probably the worst stretch in the 391-game career" of Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco, Andy Moog will take a more prominent coaching role and tries to figure that sieve out. [Dallas Morning News]

Brandon Sutter is out of the hospital after suffering a concussion on that Doug Weight hit. And since injuries and the Carolina Hurricanes go together like Jon Hamm and john ham, defenseman Joni Pitkanen could miss a month. [Hurricanes]

• Oh, and for the record: This Brandon Sutter hit on the late Alexei Cherepanov is roughly 20 times worse than the one Weight put on Sutter. The kid left his feet so high that he could have touched backboard. [YouTube]

• The KHL has taken action in the wake of Cherepanov's death. But Russian hockey blogger Sergei Balashov doesn't believe it does anything to prevent another tragedy: "In a country where the healthcare system leaves much to be desired and sports medicine is very poor, the lack of a hockey stadium's management preparation for a situation like this can hardly be seen as something accidental." [THN]

• Interesting interview from Pension Plan Puppets with former Toronto Maple Leafs mastermind Pat Quinn, who discusses everything from the media coverage of defenseman Luke Schenn to teambuilding in capped NHL. [PPP]

Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray talks about why Anze Kopitar isn't dominating games this season. [Inside the Kings]

• Jay Feaster recalls his working relationship with John Tortorella with the Tampa Bay Lightning. We believe the term is "sugarcoated." [THN]

• So why wasn't there a delay of game penalty against the Philadelphia Flyers when a fan at the Wachovia Center tossed a smoke bomb on the ice during Saturday's game? Because he (or she) did it without a formal warning having been issued. [Fire & Ice]

• After reading Sergei Fedorov's candid comments about American greed, Pepper asks if fans really want to know the political, word or religious leanings of NHL players. Actually, we'd love to know who the many Alaskans in the NHL are planning to vote for next week. Speaking of which ... [The Red Skate]

• Sarah Palin gets an Iowa Chops jersey. If Chris Pronger, Paulina Gretzky, Sean Avery and Gary Bettman wearing a "Go For It, Jews" T-shirt had been there too, it would have been like a Puck Daddy meth hallucination. [Chops]

• Should Ken Hitchcock and Scott Howson catch hell now that defenseman Kris Russell has been sent down to the AHL, after making the leap from junior to the NHL last season? [Puck-rakers]

• Some people believe that the NHL is turning into the WWE with all of these one-sided fights after clean hits, which is silly: If the NHL had turned into the WWE, then it would actually get cable ratings and bigger celebrity fans than Taylor Kitsch. But we digress ... the contention from Chuq is that in order to stop players from jumping opponents after legal checks, the instigator rule not only needs to stay, but needs to be strengthened to include situations that don't even involve fighting. [Two for Elbowing]

• The Junkies have much love for the Pittsburgh Penguins' defensemen. [The Hockey Junkies]

• The Ottawa Senators aren't pushing the trade panic button yet. "The team could also be on the lookout for a goaltender." That's why Bruce Garrioch gets paid the big bucks. [Ottawa Sun]

• Finally, the blissful marriage between human hockey puck and human bowling:

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