Puck Headlines: Stress on Pens' Fleury for Game 6; can playoff beards actually save modern masculinity?

Here are your 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.

• An interesting essay about the playoff beard and what it stands for: "The NHL playoffs provide a bit of much-needed PR for the male of the species at what is shaping up as a very troubled time for masculinity. As the recession continues to decimate the manufacturing industries, men are finding themselves disproportionately shunted to the margins of economic life, a shift that threatens to become permanent." [Macleans]

• Bruce "Malkin To the Kings" Garrioch calls out Marc-Andre "The Flower" Fleury, and wonders if the goalie can "save the Pittsburgh Penguins from defeat." [Off The Posts]

The Penguins, meanwhile, aren't that worried about "The Flower" wilting in Game 6. [Y! Sports]

• Puck The Media reports that Game 5 on NBC "drew an average of 4.28 million for their broadcast of Red Wings-Penguins Game 5, and a 1.6 among Adults 18-49." Steve Lapore expects it to be the lowest rated of the NBC games. And not just because of that interview where Pierre McGuire asked if Guerin needed a pillow. [Puck The Media]

• Wondering how the new Colorado Avalanche general manager will operate within "a Lacroix power sandwich." Which probably is as dirty as it sounds. [Hockey Guy]


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• Brent Sutter says that his decision on whether or not to honor his contract with the New Jersey Devils will be made this week, and that the Calgary Flames head coaching vacancy has no bearing on his decision. Cut the cord, Lou. Surely there's someone out there less homesick and more successful in the playoffs. [Red Deer Advocate, via Kukla]

• "What's this? Americans watching Stanley Cup?" What's this? Canadians condescending again regarding professional hockey? [Toronto Star]

• The Chief's legions at Abel To Yzerman are none too pleased with our intrepid blogger The Two-Line Pass and his comments about the Red Wings this morning. [A2Y]

• Friend of Puck Daddy Ben Schmitt of the Freep goes undercover in Pittsburgh to see if he can purchase an octopus as a Red Wings fan. We don't believe for a second that the lady wouldn't do it for $1,000. Not a second. [Freep, video]

• Interesting series on how the Boston Bruins are spending their summer vacation. Shawn Thornton, for example, thought he was visiting Niagara Falls until he realized he was standing under several dozen Boston fans recalling Scott Walker's overtime goal. [Bruins]

• Ed Moran reports that the Philadelphia Flyers and Ray Emery have agreed to a yet-to-be-signed deal of $1.5 million for one season, and looks back at the rest of the franchise's goalie roulette in recent years (Roman Cechmanek, Brian Boucher, Robert Esche, Jeff Hackett, Antero Niittymaki and Marty Biron ... yowzer). [Philly.com]

• The court decision on the Phoenix Coyotes' relocation could come down to Jim Balsillie's easing of debt to creditors vs. the judge's reluctance to buck the "tradition of sports" in his ruling. So, in other words, logic vs. illogic, based on how the NHL has argued this case. But again: What about that massive fine the City of Glendale can levy if the team relocates?  Does that have bankruptcy protection? [Toronto Star]

• Bitter Leafs Fan explores the territorial rights issues that came to light in the publication of the NHL bylaws, and how they could affect the Toronto Maple Leafs when it comes to the Balsillie case. We have an interesting post in the bylaws coming up next. [BLF]

• The reason why Buffalo Sabres fans and media aren't doing insane over the prospect of Hamilton getting the Coyotes? "We've got enough to worry about the football team, to obsess about whether the hockey team is in trouble because of the relocation of a franchise that hasn't happened yet." [CBC Sports]

• It's actually been five years since the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup, which Koules and Barrie recently tried to hock in order to keep the lights on at the arena for the summer. [Raw Charge]

• The ghostly visage of Sidney Crosby's floating head oversees the reconstruction of the "That 70's Show" set in front of Mellon Arena before Game 4. (Seriously, how much awesome can you cram into one photo? From the droopy Cup to the NHL Network dude to the fact that Franco Harris is helping to move furniture.) [Getty]

• Canes Country gives Eric Staal a glowing assessment of his 2008-09 season, even if some other Staal is the one still playing in the postseason. [Canes Country]

• For those expecting Paul Maurice to get bumped upstairs with the Carolina Hurricanes ... not so fast. [News & Observer]

• Why the Calder Cup Final duel between Michal Neuvirth and Cory Schneider could be looked back on as a pivotal moment for two burgeoning NHL stars some years down the line. [OFB]

• All told, the AHL raised $2.38 million for charity this season. In a related story, Danny Briere will make $8 million next season. [AHL]

• Why the Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks should all trade their first round picks in this year's draft. [THN]

• Finally, Don Cherry had his "most interesting man in the world" beer commercial parody, and now ESPN and Barry Melrose have their take. And, in the end, surpass Grapes and CBC. (H/T to Wayne)

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