Here are your Morning 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.
• Your season is in the pooper, everyone wants to break up your team and you root for the Cousin Oliver of Canada ... such is life for the Ottawa Senators fan. You may recall Vancouver Canucks bloggers and fans being featured in a "We Are All Canucks" ad campaign for the team. Ottawa's slogan this season is "A Force United." Bitter Senators fans of the Ottawa Bloggers Collective have co-opted it, and created parody ads called "A Farce United" to symbolize their aggravation and depression. Check out Scarlett Ice (Dany Heatley's Speedwagon, above left), The Universal Cynic (Erin Nicks, above right), Five for Smiting, Sens at Land's End, and Hockey Schlock. Fantastic work; kudos and discounted Prozac for all involved.
• Spector examines that wacky Marian Gaborik for Ilya Kovalchuk trade rumor from over the weekend, and correctly states that it's more likely the Minnesota Wild want to trade a defenseman (they have plenty) for an Atlanta Thrashers' forward (they also have plenty). [THN]
• Interesting little spat between St. Louis Blues Coach Andy Murray, who called out several players in the media, and Blues star Keith Tkachuk, who shot back: "I don't need the coach to tell me through the media, or any other player through the media ... if that's what he's searching for, it's a very young and fragile team to be doing that right now in the middle of the season. But if that's what he has to do, that's his decision.." [Post Dispatch]
• Whatever the hell it is, one blogger finds the Minnesota Wild logo to be one of the best in sports and breaks down why. The last time we stared at the Wild logo for this long, we were stoned in Boogaard's rec room. OK, that's a lie -- we've never been in Boogaard's rec room. [The Good Point]
• Fantastic bit of number-crunching by JP, in which he looks at the rankings for each team at even-strength, on the power play and shorthanded. The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks are that damn good; but who knew the Carolina Hurricanes would rank above only the Lightning and the Stars? [Japers' Rink]
• Pepper has had a crisis of faith about the Washington Capitals' goaltending, and either wants to see the team trade for a new one or potentially demote Jose Theodore in favor of Simeon Varlamov down the stretch. [The Red Skate]
• Good stuff: "Proceeds from several events before and during the ECHL's Dayton Bombers' Dec. 28 home game against the Wheeling Nailers at the Nutter Center in Dayton will help pay for medical costs for Kyle Cannon, an Oregon, Ohio, teen and student at Clay High School, who was critically injured last month." [Dayton Daily News]
• The NHL announces that on Wednesday, Dec. 31, and Thursday, Jan. 1, the corner of West Waveland and North Clark Streets will become NHL Winter Classic Spectator Plaza, a free outdoor hockey and entertainment fan festival near Wrigley Field. According to the League: "Six professional face painters, four juggles and four stilt walkers from Chicago-based Productions USA, Inc. will provide roving entertainment." If we see anything less than four stilt-walkers, we're raising hell. [NHL]
• "Dave Schultz" makes Christmas hockey cookies. We'd pay good money to see the actual Dave Schultz make cookies. Especially if it involved beating the hell out of Alton Brown on a Food Network special. [I Mean, We Got Guys ...]
• John Tavares nails Victor Hedman with a body check on his first shift, as the consensus top prospects in next summer's draft meet in a world juniors exhibition game. [CBC]
• Rather than highlight the historic lowlights of the Detroit Lions, why doesn't the media just tell everyone to watch the Detroit Red Wings instead? There's really no contest as to who has the better quarterback, center and special teams. Although the Lions probably lead in guys named Ikaika Alama-Francis. [Snapshot]
• Finally, Patrick Kane takes us inside his bedroom in Buffalo (Ladies ...). The man has a few more sombreros than we expected.