Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Twitter: For those who feel Facebook status messages are too densely plotted. Anyhoo, there's a Twitter user with the handle wayne_gretzky; and despite it looking rather authentic, the NHL tells Information Week that it's actually bogus. Which could be news for the 336 followers of The Fake One. His first post? "Shaq told me I had to start using Tweeter. Now what?" The Forechecker (H/T for this tale) called B.S. right off the bat. [On the Forecheck]
Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Edmonton Oilers (9:30 p.m. EST; TV: RSW). Meanwhile, Gretz returns to Edmonton with the Coyotes tonight. Mikael Tellqvist gets the start for Phoenix, who is playing a line of Daniel Carcillo-Olli Jokinen-Viktor Tikhonov these days. Robert Nilsson is the latest Oiler to take a seat in the Chateau du Dustin Penner this evening.
• The Coyotes are offering a special deal for their New Year's Eve game against the Avs: "The All-You-Can-Eat Pack - that will regularly be available at all Saturday Coyotes home games - includes an upper-level game ticket and unlimited hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts and fountain sodas for only $25." Yippee, economic downturn! We can think of a few other items we'd like to see offered in unlimited quantities if there are, in fact, bottomless nachos. [Coyotes]
Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. EST; TV: VS). Great game for Versus, as the Pens try to bounce back from a bad loss over the weekend while Buffalo is 5-2-1 in its last eight. Patrick Kaleta will miss his second-straight game for the Sabres, but says he doesn't have a concussion after this sucker-punch (video) from Dennis Gauthier last Friday.
• It may be time for the Detroit Red Wings to place Chris Osgood and his wonky groin on LTIR. Which is obviously great news for whoever has Jimmy Howard in their deep-as-hell fantasy league. [Snapshots]
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Atlanta Thrashers (7 p.m. EST; TV: LTV). The Leafs are looking for their fifth win in six games. They'll have 22-year-old conundrum Justin Pogge in the crease, taking his .890 save percentage in the AHL up to the show. Kari Lehtonen should be in the net for the Thrash.
• Derick Brassard will miss the rest of the season for the Columbus Blue Jackets after shoulder surgery, suffering the injury in this fight (video) with James Neal of the Dallas Stars. The Jackets lose their best offensive center this season and a Calder candidate. What's a team to do? According to Pierre LeBrun, it won't be the obvious, like trading for Michael Nylander from the Washington Capitals. [ESPN]
• Marty St. Louis's scathing critique of his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates was backed by coach Rick Tocchet. Which doesn't change the fact that their defense blows, but is a nice show of support. [Lightning Strikes]
• Patrice Bergeron is at home, resting and taking a week away from the media to see if his concussion symptoms subside. What a crappy situation for a good center and a very good Boston Bruins team. [Bruins Blog]
Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. EST; TV: KDOC, RSW). Lost in all of this Trevor Linden Night and Mats Sundin Derby malarkey was the really important moment for Canucks fans: the return of beloved center Brendan Morrison with the Ducks tonight. That sound you just heard was champagne being chilled. It should be Jonas Hiller against Curtis Sanford tonight between the pipes.
• Finally, here's Version 2.0 of the Winter Classic commercial. Yep, still awesome: