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.
• There are 13 (!) games on the schedule tonight; we'll preview the biggies here. Check out the Scores and Scheds page for the full docket, and thanks for reading.
• Tonight's primary bit of awesome news: Remember the No Habs No! campaign, in which an Ottawa Senators blog had placed a "bounty" on the Canadiens and were rewarding players who scored game-winning goals with letters and loonies? Well, they say they've received their first (and only) response from a player thus far: Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames, who sent in an autographed card and (sadly) returned the loonie. Suppose they could just give the coin to whomever assisted on the goal; but that player would just be getting Dion's slop ... forget it. [Silver Seven, H/T to Dany Heatley Speedwagon]
Preview: Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers (7 p.m. EST; TV: RDS, MSG2). The Rangers control their own playoff destiny, and three straight wins will put them in the playoffs. How sensitive is this time of year? Coach John Tortorella isn't even going insane with the mind games: "I'll be honest with you, there are some people in this lineup right now, if it's game 15, they wouldn't be playing tonight. But that's not the answer right now, we have to find a way to grab some points and get in." The Habs are trying to limp into the playoffs after last night's loss at home to Ottawa. When one needs a savior, one turns to Jesus Price; with a win, the Canadiens are in the playoffs.
Preview: Florida Panthers at Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. EST; TV: CSP). Florida's played Philly tough this season, but the Flyers go into this one just needing a point for a playoff spot. Why it sucks to be a Panthers fan: The game isn't on TV or on the radio in South Florida, and if the team goes really deep into the postseason there's a massive scheduling conflict with Cirque du Soleil. In the interest of equal time: Why it's awesome to be a Panthers fan.
Get today's sports news out of Los Angeles. Here's the latest on the Dodgers, Lakers, Angels, Kings, Galaxy, LAFC, USC, UCLA and more LA teams.
• The IIHF rules that the women's hockey only needs one referee on the ice to police games. This is clearly sexist, and we encourage women's teams in either the world championships or Olympic Games to stage a massive bench-clearing brawl to prove them wrong. Hopefully with hair-pulling. [CP]
• According to a Hockey News blog, the Coach of the Year competition comes down to Nashville's Barry Trotz and St. Louis' Andy Murray. Once again, Tony Granato gets curiously overlooked. [THN]
Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators (8 p.m. EST; TV: CSNC, FSS). Nikolai Khabibulin vs. Pekka Rinne is a vital game for the Predators' playoff hopes. Really solid preview by On The Forecheck; good thing for Nashville these games aren't played on paper. Point of concern for the Hawks: Patrick Sharp's knee.
• "The Hawks can clinch fourth place in the West with a win at Nashville and a Vancouver loss in regulation at home against Calgary." So there you go. [Between the Circles]
• You know, we goof on the bandwagon/favor of the week nature of the Blackhawks this season, but setting an all-time single-season attendance record, as they will on Wednesday, is pretty pimp. [NHL]
Preview: St. Louis Blues at Phoenix Coyotes (10 p.m. EST; TV: KPLR). We previewed this game a bit earlier, but another ray of sunshine for the Blues: Coyotes starter Ilya Bryzgalov is 0-3-0 with a 3.03 GAA against St. Louis this season.
Preview: Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. EST; TV: RSW). We love a good self-explanatory headline, like the one from Nucks Misconduct: "This could be it. If the Canucks lose to the Flames (in regulation) the Northwest Division title is lost." Zanstrom also explains why home ice is vital for Cup contention. Meanwhile, Tom Benjamin has coverage of a rather odd story for the Flames the other night: Did Calgary not have enough money to ice a full team?
• The Edmonton Oilers are done if they lose to the Kings and if either the Predators or Blues are victorious. MacTavish: "It's critical that we win this game and keep trying to peck away." Please don't strain your beak, sir. It's not worth it at this point. [Sun Media]
• Finally, from the NHL, it's the best of last week. Good stuff: