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.
• Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is still rather stunned that Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks pulled his hair last night like they were fighting over Bret Michaels on the Rock of Love Bus: "That's not something I've ever had happen to me ... My little sister never even pulled my hair when I was a kid. It's kind of comical when you have a grown man trying to pull your hair on the ice." Adam Burish, meanwhile, lamented the fact that no player should have to endure that, "especially a nice haircut like Duncan has." [Chicago Tribune]
• Interesting blog comparing the brutality of the NFL and the NHL, leading to this conclusion: "So, if nobody else will say it, I will: The NHL is the most physical of the major sports. After the addition of the Brady rule, I'm not so sure the NFL is even a close second." We. Rule. [Sixty Feet, Six Inches]
Preview: New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers (7 p.m. EST; TV: VS, TSN). Versus preempted The USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series for this?! John Tortorella, Nik Antropov, Derek Morris, Sean Avery (again) and the Rangers against Martin Brodeur and the Devils in a critical game for both teams. Rather underplayed: Brendan Shanahan's first game back at MSG as a Devil.
• Toronto Maple Leafs boss Brian Burke admits he tried to sue the fake Brian Burke on Twitter. This also makes Brian Burke the kind of guy who asks for a refund at Outback Steakhouse because the waiters don't really speak Australian. [Sports By Brooks]
• Much like the good people of Minnesota, we now believe in the undeniable magic of Beavers. [Star Tribune]
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 Minnesota Wild announce plans for their Fan Celebration Week, including 5,000 commemorative coins; players giving fans the jerseys off their backs; and 18 game-used and player autographed sticks given away. Which is all much better than the usual gift the Wild give to their fans: yawning. [Wild]
• It's Central Division media lap-dance day, as both Darren Eliot of SI and Ken Campbell of The Hockey News extol the virtues of the division being more than the Detroit Red Wings and the teams they destroy for a President's Trophy.
• He's overshadowed by a couple of dudes named Alex all season, but Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals is having a season that "redefines" how a typical Swedish hockey player is supposed play. [Japers]
Preview: San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames (9:30 p.m. EST; TV: CSBA, RSW). Five Hole Fanatics is still rather baffled about the Flames getting jobbed by the officials and the NHL defending the indefensible. No Patrick Marleau for San Jose. Fact: On a routine road trip the Sharks carry 4,800 lbs of gear. And even more baggage in the playoffs! (rim shot)
• Manny Malhotra of the Columbus Blue Jackets is the only player of Punjabi descent in the NHL, and yet his team has never appeared on Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi. And we complain about Versus' coverage? [CBC Sports]
• What to serve when playing bartender for the Pacific Division foes. The Anaheim Duck better be merlot to waste wine like that. [Canucks and Beyond]
• Remember how Fresno lost its professional hockey team, the Falcons? Well, say hello to the Fresno Monsters, who will attempt to fill the void despite being an amateur hockey club. Who doesn't love this sales pitch from the local CBS affiliate: "The fact that the Monsters are not pro doesn't mean you'll be seeing second rate hockey, it means these players will be working twice as hard so they can gain notice and become pro hockey players." Remember, it's not that they'll cook you a bad meal in culinary school; it's that they're grilling twice as hard. [CBS47]
Preview: Dallas Stars at Phoenix Coyotes (10 p.m. EST; TV: VS). Versus preempted whatever the hell it is they put on after the 7 o'clock NHL game for this?! Steve Lepore of Puck the Media passes along that "it has been 172 days in between doubleheaders for Versus." Yikes. Expect a big effort from the Stars tonight, because they're playing with a goaltender for once.
• Every time someone argues that Ice Girls should be banned, the Baby Jesus cries. [Booktoots]