Puck Headlines: Allegedly biting Steve Downie is so minor league

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.

• Let's start with this nugget from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News from Monday that detailed Albany River Rats captain Tim Conboy getting "a fighting major, instigation and unsportsmanlike minors, a game misconduct for instigating and a game misconduct for 'persisting in a fight'" in a scrap with Steve Downie. What does that mean? Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren: "The report I got was that [Conboy] bit Downie on the hand. He had blood and teeth marks on his hand." This led to a rather wonderful post from Japers, that included this video. No suspension yet from the AHL.

• The latest news on this strange affair: The Rats expect nothing to come of it. Said Conboy: "I kind of went bananas. Maybe I should have calmed down a little bit, but when you see a guy swinging his stick around like that, there's no place in the game for that. I have no problem with playing aggressive and playing tough and fighting, stuff like that, but there's no need to swing your stick at someone." [Daily Gazette]

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Preview: Nashville Predators at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. EDT; TV: Nope.) Obviously the big news here is Alexander Ovechkin returning to Russia to be with his ailing grandfather, causing the Capitals to shuffle up their lines and deal. The Washington Post reports that there is a chance Ovechkin could miss two games. Upon hearing Ovechkin had flown to Russia, the Predators said "good luck getting him back, suckers."

Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. EDT; TV: TSN). The hapless Bolts mingling with the Toronto media ... no good can come from this. Prepare for 10,000 stories about Steven Stamkos's ice time and Barry Melrose's coaching on Wednesday morning, and maybe one or two about this game. Radim Vrbata is scratched again for Tampa.

• How, exactly, are the Bruins ice workers going to fix that embarrassing face-off dot paint snafu? Because they're not melting the ice, and Coldplay (ironic) is coming to town. [Bruins Blog]

• Taking Gary Bettman and the NHL to task for tonight's Preds/Caps game not being televised. [THN]

Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. EDT; TV: RDS, FSS). What a strange footnote to this game: The return of former Habs cup-of-coffee netminder Michael Leighton to Montreal, holding court with a reporter at a Tim Horton's. The Andrei Kostitsyn-Tomas Plekanec-Alexei Kovalev line should be reunited tonight, Bubba points out that this game could offer some killer five-on-five hockey.

• Oshawa Generals forward John Tavares and Belleville Bulls defenseman P.K. Subban, top NHL prospects, will battle the Russians next month in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge. Remember Herbie, boys: "Their time? Their time is done. This is our time." [NHL]

• If you didn't read it before, Jim Kelley's piece on the potential financial disasters facing Atlanta, Nashville and Phoenix is rather dubious for the NHL. [Sportsnet]

Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Atlanta Thrashers (7 p.m. EDT; TV: VS). Whether or not the Flyers "are back" was a topic of some debate last night on Versus, mostly because the Flyers were going to be on Versus tonight. Philly swept the Devils over the weekend, and face an Atlanta team that is making more headlines about who isn't coming to the game than what's happening on the ice. 

Preview: Boston Bruins at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. EDT; TV: TSN, NESN). Hey, remember that story about how the wickedly awesome Milan Lucic had his Memorial Cup championship ring stolen? Well, the Vancouver native was given a replacement ring by his former junior hockey team, which is really sort of heartwarming. Stanley Cup of Chowder has a rather good preview of this tilt, including an obligatory embarrassing fan YouTube.

Joel Lundqvist could miss six weeks for the Dallas Stars. [Stars Blog]

• The Phoenix Coyotes love them some Ken Klee. [Slam]

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames (9:30 p.m. EDT; TV: RSW). After being named second star of the week, Peter Budaj's many supporter(s) are rallying behind the Colorado keeper. Wayne Primeau thinks he has it all figured out for the Flames: "You've just got to get pucks to the net, create traffic. What the goalie can't see, he can't save." Which mean's it's Bertuzzi Time!

Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. EDT; TV: FSPI, CSBA). Depending how you feel about these teams, one might say this could be a Stanley Cup finals preview. If one was so inclined. How rare is a Penguins' visit to San Jose? We actually had a "Do people recognize Sidney Crosby on the street?" story today in the Mercury News.

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