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.
• As of 6:42 p.m. EST on Monday night, the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings are under 10,000 votes for Scott Niedermayer away from not having a single representative in a starting position in the NHL All-Star Game. Not that this would make the ASG voting a total joke or anything, being that it already is. Help them Nicklas Lidstrom ... you're their only hope ... [NHL Fan Balloting]
Preview: Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche (9:30 p.m. EST; TV: ALT, FSS). The line for the Shea Weber Norris Trophy bandwagon is forming. We still think Nicklas Lidstrom, Dan Boyle and perhaps Zdeno Chara are going to have something to say about this race. Meanwhile, to the surprise of absolutely no one, the Avalanche have a star player lost for two months with a crushing injury.
Preview: New York Islanders at New York Rangers (7 p.m. EST; TV: MSG). Chris Botta wouldn't go so far as to say the Islanders have once again botched Rick DiPietro's injury recovery by rushing him back ... but he comes damn well close enough.
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Preview: San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars (9 p.m. EST; TV: CSBA, FSSW, Yahoo! Sports). The biggest news of the day for the Sharks is off the ice, where Claude Lemieux signed a two-way contract for the rest of the season
to ensure he'll be ready to piss off Detroit in the playoffs so he can continue to work hard in his NHL comeback. Did an injury slow Marty Turco for the first third of the season?
Preview: Montreal Canadiens at Florida Panthers (7 p.m. EST; TV: RDS). The Habs have a four-game point streak going; the Panthers took one point in two games against Tampa Bay. Good to hear Jean Beliveau is OK after a little medical scare.
• God bless the Wichita Thunder's "Awful Night" on Feb. 13, 2009, which will be dedicated to the 0-16 Detroit Lions. "The first 399 fans will receive commemorative 0-16 toilet paper in honor of the 399 yards per game allowed by the Lions' defense. Any fan who has a social security number or drivers license that ends in 016 can receive a pair of free tickets to the game. Anyone born on December 28th, the day awful history was made, or December 23rd, the date of the Lions' last win, can also receive a pair of free tickets. Anyone with a matching first AND last name to anyone on the Lions' 53-man active roster can receive a pair of free tickets. During the game, fans can register to win a toilet bowl and a pair of tickets to the 2009 toilet bowl game of the year between the Lions and the St. Louis Rams. A ‘Millen' dollars will be given away that night in honor of former Lions' GM Matt Millen." [CHL]
• Your moment of Winter Classic Zen:
Preview: Minnesota Wild at Calgary Flames (9 p.m. EST; TV: KSTC, RSW). Kent explains why the Wild are slumping and the Flames are playing good hockey. If you're someone who wants to discuss every single aspect of Lemaire hockey in real-time, Hitting the Post has a live blog tonight.
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSW). The Kings are one point out of a playoff spot, their goalie was one of last week's three stars and their defense is absolutely owning right now. And hamburgers eat people...
• Wacky deserter Stefan Legein will meet with the Jackets about his future on Jan. 5. [Puck-rakers]
• Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated gets Carolina Hurricanes Coach Paul Maurice in a Q&A. Asks about coaching with Ron Francis; fails to ask what it's like to be a placeholder for Ron Francis's first head coaching job upon his firing. [SI]
• Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Ron Wilson jokes that Nik Antropov's illness, which forced him out of practice, was a result of Canada's 15-0 drubbing of his native Kazakhstan. "He might have owed some guys some money and he just decided not to come and hope they forgot." Or perhaps he was just making travel arrangements for the annual Running of the Jew. [CP]
• Finally, it's the Patrick Sharp eating tour. Shoulda been you, Wellwood.