Some time before making the Children's Hospital visit and then heading to the Jay-Z concert at the American Airlines Center on Tuesday, Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott took the time to talk about realignment.
(Seriously, check out the Twitter links above if only for Ott's wonderful choice of background and his intense focus at Jenga).
He was one of several players who offered their positive reviews of the NHL's new conference format, which the Board of Governors approved Monday.
"It’s an extremely drastic change for us here in Dallas. I am obviously going to miss going to LA, Anaheim and Phoenix and playing in the warm spots, but to honest with you the travel is awful," said Stars forward Steve Ott. "All in all, it definitely makes things a lot easier on us."
The Stars start their "goodbye to the Pacific Division" tour this week with games at the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings before heading to the east coast. The availability of Mark Fistric, who had a phone hearing with Brenden Shanahan on Tuesday for his hit in the game against the New York Islanders, should be known today.
After the jump, even more good news on the injury front, Razor tells you how he would have realigned the league and a must read series on the life and death of Derek Boogaard.
- We already knew that Brenden Morrow and Trevor Daley were going to play Thursday against the San Jose Sharks. Now coach Glen Gulutzan says Alex Goligoski is a "60-40" chance to play as well. The power play rejoices. I know we had a whole post about this Tuesday, but it's such happy news I felt it deserved linking. [DallasNews.com]
- ESPN Dallas gives us a very comprehensive roundup on how Stars prospects are faring. [ESPN Dallas]
- Razor reminds us of all his suggested conference alignments from this summer. Sadly, the league does not appear to listen to him. [Razor with an Edge]
- The NHL draws some parallels between the Stars and Minnesota Wild, who were both very unhappy in the former alignment and equally happy with the new look. [NHL.com]
- This entry from Vancouver is kind of all over the place, as indicated by the awesome if slightly ADD headline. [The Province]
- This is a must-read story on the life and death of Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard, who died of a drug and alcohol mixture earlier this year. Beyond the annoying things trying to tie his death to CTE in the third part, which is wholly theoretical at this point, it's a fascinating look at the pressure and temptations of being someone in the role of Krys Barch. [New York Times: Part 1/Part 2/Part 3]
- Meet the enemy: It was a good news-bad news deal for Stars fans in Tuesday's Sharks game. One one hand, the Wild walked away with a 2-1 victory which means the Sharks will be trying to bust out of a mini-slump when they play Dallas. One the other hand, they still haven't pulled away from anyone else in the division either. [San Jose Mercury News]
- Around the Pacific Division: Speaking of making a move in the division, the Phoenix Coyotes moved into sole possession of first place with their 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. And Bruce Boudreau finally got his first win as Anaheim Ducks coach with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. [On The Forecheck/Los Angeles Times]
- Because I know there's an audience for this here, I present the 2011 NHL beer price review. [SaveOnBrew.com]
- The Boston Bruins scratched Tyler Seguin for missing breakfast and a team meeting before they went out and lost to the Winnipeg Jets. Somewhere, Mike Ribeiro is nodding knowingly. [Puck Daddy]
- Brenden Morrow can turn his head again! Okay, so you won't see that Glen Gulutzan quote in this particular interview, which is mostly about realignment. And maybe it's me inferring a little too much, but he does look more comfortable.