The Kansas City Cyclones Quebec Nordiques New Jersey Devils picked up  Alexei Ponikarovsky for pocket lint and a firm handshake from the Carolina Hurricanes. The fifteen points he racked up in Raleigh put him equal with rookie defenseman Adam Larsson who is playing his first season of North American hockey. If that doesn’t put the rest of the eastern conference back on their heels nothing will.

Pernell Slewban is at it again. The Canadiens defenseman who is developing a not quite flattering reputation had another $2500 lifted from his pocket for the incident. This is the same player who got Mike Richards to say unkind things in the press about him, and teammate Hal Gill to remonstrate him in front of the media for being a slob in the locker room.  One can only wonder when Subban will focus enough on playing the game to have more stories written about his game winning goals, glorious defensive plays and slick passes than about the boneheaded things he does.

If the playoffs started going into today’s action: three teams in the east would make the playoffs who did not last season, only one team who was out in the west last year would be in.

Lot’s of fun games on the schedule:

  • The Battle of Alberta is rejoined. The Oilers offense against the Flames goaltending provides a nice contrast.
  • The Kings and Avalanche are trying to climb a bit higher in the standings and are currently rubbing elbows and 7th and 8th.
  • Panthers vs Jets: With a win or overtime loss the Panthers reclaim first in the division, with a regulation win the Jets will climb to within one point of the division lead.

The KHL is streaming their All-Star game live for all to see, anywhere in the world.

Also, look for my debut column over at Hockey This Week real soon. They are carefully hidden on Twitter: @HockeyThisWeek I hope you can find them.

Where oh where did the sad sack Ducks go? Bruce Boudreau seems to have gotten the Ducks to know their role and roll in their lane. The Ducks have won six of eight since the start of the year with one of the losses coming in OT.  Just a hunch but I bet it has something to do with holding their shots against count down. Instead of their average of slightly over 30 per game on the season, only two opponents have broken 30 in the new year, and 3 have been held to 25 or less.

Rene Bourque, hockey goon? Well, probably not but he did drop the gloves on his first shift against the Capitals.

I’m sure he’s put eastern conference enforcers back on their heels.

The Colorado Avalanche seem to have gotten the Wonkavator to change directions again.

They’re 6-3-1 in their last 10. Does this mean we can all look forward to another season half season (or more) of Where’s Sacco’s Sack? No doubt there are at least a few ex-NHL coaches who would love to go to the mile high city.

Tonight marks the return of Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley to the Bruins lineup. One from being exiled to Siberia, the other from personal issues that had him depart the team and miss the Tampa debacle.  Undoubtedly their cavalry charge will be at least as successful as this one.

Finally with eleven games on the schedule tonight, those of you having trouble deciding what to watch:

  • Game of the night Senators Vs Sharks, two teams at or near the top and playing well.
  • Slaughter in the making: Oilers vs Blues, with all the injuries to Edmonton’s finest, there isn’t much excuse for Blues to end the night without two points.
  • Defensive Dance: Flames vs Kings, if there are more than four goals scored in this one I’ll be amazed.
  • Gong Show? The Wild vs The Maple Leafs: The Leaf’s are spiraling towards the basement in the east, and all the Wild not on the IR are busy wondering when their turn for casts and surgery is.