Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Around the NHL- Week 18

Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar?

Last season the Chicago Blackhawks came away as the Stanley Cup champions after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games, to the relief of many Penguins fans. Buffalo native (yeah!) Patrick Kane scored the (rather odd) game-winning goal in overtime for the Hawks. The puck that Kane scored the goal with has been missing ever since.

A Chicago businessman, Grant DePorter, CEO of Harry Caray's, has offered a $50,000 reward for finding the puck that gave Chicago its first Stanley Cup win since 1961. The FBI is also involved in the search.

From what I've been able to gather, the only "person of interest" in the investigation is Chris Pronger.

Versus Viewership (ASG)

Versus set a new viewership record for the 2011 All-Star Game. It was the most watched ASG in Versus history, averaging 1.5 million viewers, earning as many as 2 million viewers around 7:00 pm. Overall viewership was up 36%. Whether you loved or hated the new format, it accomplished what it was supposed to.

Malkin Practices

Evgeni Malkin took part in practice with the Penguins yesterday. While he will not play tonight against the Rangers, Geno will make the trip to New York with his teammates said that his knee is feeling much better. There is still no timetable for his return but he remains listed as day to day.

Meanwhile, Dustin Jeffrey has been recalled from the Baby Pens for tonight's game.

Speaking of the Rangers...

Malkin was not the only one who benefitted from the extra rest the All-Star Game offered. The Rangers are set to see a slew of injured players return to the lineup this week.

Alternate captain Ryan Callahan is set to return against the Penguins tonight. There is a chance that Brandon Dubinsky may be back for the Blueshirts as well; his status right now is "possible". He was one of 13 Rangers who took part in this morning's optional skate and his x-rays looked good.

Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen will miss Tuesday's game, but they will be back this week. Prospal could return as early as Thursday and Christensen by Saturday. Ruslan Fedotenko, on the other hand, will miss roughly 10 more days before he can play again.

TooToo is Clean and Clear

Predators forward Jordin Tootoo has not taken part in a game or practice in December 27th. That was the day that Tootoo voluntarily entered both substance abuse and behavioral health programs.

After missing more than a month of action, Tootoo has been cleared by the NHL and the NHLPA to begin practicing again. He will continue to undergo outpatient care while practicing, but has not been cleared to play in games or travel with his teammates on road trips.

Tootoo, who is not allowed to state why he sought help, is grateful for all the support he's received throughout treatment:
"With the support I've gotten from my teammates, my family, the fans of Nashville, it has been unbelievable. Without their support, I probably couldn't have done it. I think the bottom line is it's something I needed to do and at the same time, I'm just happy to be back and thankful."
Future Shot-Blockers?

Congratulations to Devils' defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who's wife is due to give birth to twins in a little less than a month's time!

Volchenkov and his wife already have a son, but apparently he wants a large family so the twins could only be the beginning...

Tampa Bay's New Unis

The Lightning released their new uniforms and logo yesterday afternoon. Thoughts?

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