defenseman Marc Staal
writhes on the ice after taking a deflected shot to the face. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Rick Nash scored twice in the third period to spark New York's 4-2 win over the Flyers, but the mood was grim as everyone waited word on the extent of Marc Staal's injury. Here's hoping the visor debate this has reignited goes past the talking stage and finally leads to action.
• The Wild made it interesting for a few minutes, but they couldn't derail the Blackhawks and their record-setting streak. The Avalanche take their swing tonight.
• Can't be easy to be Carey Price. Two rough games, including lost night's loss to the Islanders, and he's raked over the coals by Habs' fans who apparently have forgotten this team finished in the Eastern cellar last season.
• If the Washington Capitals find their way into the playoffs this spring, they'll probably look back at this comeback win over the Boston Bruins and this will over skill OT winner from Eric Fehr as the season's turning point.
• Could the Blue Jackets come away from the 2013 NHL Draft with both Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon? With three picks in the first and a little courage from new GM Jarmo Kekalainen, Columbus is well situated for a franchise-altering day.
• If the Calgary Flames want to silence the constant trade buzz surrounding the team, they might want to mix in a few wins. Tonight's contest against the Sharks would be a good place to start.
• Calgary stopper Joey MacDonald reveals he almost signed with the doomed Lokomotiv squad that was wiped out in a tragic plane crash last season.
• Kyle Quincey isn't doing much to help Detroit's offense, and that's exactly how Mike Babcock wants it. That's been one of the strengths of the organization: the ability to get exactly what they need out of veteran players.
• If you're coming to play the Maple Leafs, you'd better be ready to drop the gloves. Toronto's commitment to tough hockey has been an obvious factor in their surprising turnaround campaign.
• Jeremy Rutherford feels the density of the Western Conference standings is hindering the Blues' ability to make a trade. They may want to find a way around that after allowing five unanswered goals in a 6-4 loss to the Kings.
• How do Vancouver fans feel after watching former Canuck Cody Hodgson's amazing goal for the Sabres? Sounds like they're not talking it well. Relax guys. Hodgson ain't Cam Neely.
• How does a team properly discuss a young player who is showing promise without building him up too much? That's the question Sportsnet's Chris Johnston asks about the Maple Leafs and the development of Nazem Kadri.
• Here's an interesting take from Jason Botchford on how the Canucks acquired Keith Ballard from the Panthers and basically parked him in the garage.
• Muskegon Lumberjacks winger Frederik Tiffels tops this week's THN Hot List. The German national is a 2013 draft eligible who is committed to Western Michigan University next season.
• Speaking of The Hockey News, Lyle Richardson examines trade rumors surrounding Marian Gaborik, Daniel Briere and Jonathan Bernier.
• Former NHL official Kerry Fraser has some thoughts on curbing the proliferation of diving.
• Elliotte Friedman has the latest on Ryan O'Reilly, including a conspiracy theory among his weekly 30 Thoughts.
• Have you heard the Phoenix Coyotes are for sale? Apparently the City of Glendale is negotiating with multiple buyers including Greg Jamison, in hopes of selling the team and saving Westgate Center. Not in the story: I think we're fast approaching the end game here. My gut says this team doesn't draft without knowing that they're staying permanently in Phoenix or moving to a new home for 2013-14.
• Joe Yerdon takes a look at a critical weekend for NCAA hockey.
• And we'll close with this amazing video of Chicago Blackhawks' anthem singer Jim Cornelis doing something you've never seen him do before: