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Quick Hits: The Off-Season Continues

  • Despite everyone claiming the opposite since the day we signed him, Ian White is playing more and more like the Brian Rafalski of old and is looking absolutely fantastic out there.  Analysts suck at analyzing, who knew? [Detroit Free Press]
  • In what will amount to good news for only Brendan Smith, Mike Commodore is skating but is unlikely to play this weekend.  This should give Smith the opportunity to finish serving his 5 game suspension he received for a headshot on Ben Smith of the Blackhawks during the preseason.  In all likelihood, Smith will be sent down to Grand Rapids as soon as Commie is ready to play and not see any NHL action. [MLive]
  • With a setup paragraph that would feel right at home inside the Jedi Council, NOHS details why our power play is not up to scratch. [Nightmare on Helm Street]
  • Oh look, we remain undefeated and drop in ESPN's Power Rankings (but rise in's).  How does that happen? [ESPN -]
  • Hey guys, did you hear we are off for five days?  Longest break of the season?  What the hell? [MLive]
  • As the Wings found out with Curtis Joseph and Manny Legace, there is no defense for a bad goalie. [Wall Street Journal]
  • In the Battle for Florida, the Panthers prevailed over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night with a 7-4 win victory that included 4 powerplay goals (and two assists for Ed Jovanovski.  Go Shady Weber!).  For comparison's sake, the Wings have one powerplay goal in nearly 20 chances over 4 games. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • The Penguins are hit again as Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik joined Sidney Crosby as unhealthy scratches yesterday.  They fell to the Jets 2-1, who got their first ever regular season victory.  [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Bob McKenzie warns everyone to hide your wife, hide your kids, and to hide your husband because Phoenix Coyotes news is about to heat up again.  The NHL is expected to endorse one of two groups trying to purchase the team and (unfortunately) keep it in Glendale which should jumpstart the acquisition process.  Over/under 1 year after the purchase that sale and/or relocation news starts heating up again? [TSN]
  • "Gonchar not expected to play Tuesday, Ottawa fans probably okay with this."  Excellent. [NBC Sports]
  • Possible jerseys for the Winter Classic have popped up again and they are actually pretty good.  Previous renditions have had Flyers jerseys so bad that I cannot believe Chris from Icethetics has not gone apeshit and gotten suspended by Brendan Shanahan yet.  Hopefully these are what we see in January [Broadstreet Hockey]
  • Ryan Kesler will return for the Canucks tonight.  Ready your fantasy teams, (wo)men. [Nucks Misconduct]
  • Playing in Canadian puts unnecessary pressure on underperforming players whose first names are initials.  Who knew. [TSN]
  • Is there still room in the league for a designated fighter?  I don't believe there is, but there is room for MMA-trained, midget Czech pimps.  Could we ask for anything more? [NBC Sports]

Discussion of the Day: Today's discussion is a follow up to yesterday's question about possible free agent targets.  With how well Mr. White ('Whitey' according to Babcock) has played, is it really necessary to sign someone if Nicklas Lidstrom retires this summer? Or would we be fine with Kronwall-White/Stuart-Kindl/Ericsson-Smith/vet like Commie or Ruslan Salei