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.
• Coolness: The chart that NHL GMs, executives broadcasters and the like that tracks the playoff picture is now open to the public. Brooklyn Hockey Guy and NHL Senior Director of Hockey Ops Damian Echevarrieta have it over on NHLPlayoffRace.com, as it tracks the "tragic number" for teams in the West and East. For example, the St. Louis Blues are 17 points away from elimination; the Colorado Avalanche are, sadly, four away. [NHLPlayoffRace]
• Interesting insight from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal about the Norris Trophy race: That some voters might opt for Mike Green of the Washington Capitals just to break the Nicklas Lidstrom stranglehold, and that he'd vote for Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks if not for Lidstrom. [Edmonton Journal]
• Bubba makes the case that the Carolina Hurricanes fans filling the building during their hot streak aren't just jumping on the bandwagon. Or, since it's North Carolina, in the back of the pickup. Big Hurricanes interview publishing after today's rumors chat. Please do check it out. [Canes Country]
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.
• How Dan Bylsma turned around the Pittsburgh Penguins season, as "only six first-time coaches in the entire history of the National Hockey League ever started their careers at a higher rate of success." And the best part: He's not Michel Therrien. [Post Gazette]
• Sun Media writers Randy Sportak and Dave Pollard debate whether Sidney Crosby is overhyped or if he's underappreciated. Crosby "progressed as a player since his MVP season," people expected too much, he's a whiner but so is Gretzky, the NHL mis-marketed him, Ovechkin doesn't backcheck ... rinse, repeat and please be sure to address your hate mail to Sun Media writers Randy Sportak and Dave Pollard. [Slam]
• Great transition hockey, smart line configurations and a Carey Price that's better that he's worse? Say, this Montreal Canadiens team isn't too shabby. Provided it actually shows up again, and can play the Thrashers more often. [Eyes on the Prize]
• Pepper writes that there are two reasons not to worry too much about the Washington Capitals: The flu bug and the fact that teams that roll into the playoffs lose just as much as the teams that stumble into them. [Japers]
• The SPHL's Twin City Cyclones are shutting down, as there are probably more people reading this sentence right now than attended their games on a nightly basis. Tapeleg rightfully wonders how many other towns are bound to lose their local hockey in this economic suck. [Jerseys and Hockey Love]
• Finally, Two-Line has a great write-up of the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks game from last night, which was highlighted by this low-bridging of Taylor Pyatt by the delightful Steve Ott as he leaves the penalty box: