Fred Sjostrom is in and Petr Prucha is out tonight for the 2-0-0 Rangers, who will have Adam Graves, Harry Howell, and Andy Bathgate dropping the ceremonial first puck at the MSG home opener. Hawkey Central has already played this game out on the PS2, and the "final was 3-2 Rangers with two goals from Scotty Gomez and one from Markus Naslund. Patrick Kane and Brian Campbell scored the goals for the Hawks."
• You know, on the list of all the things the NHL needs to do in order to point hockey in the right direction, "move the press boxes closer to the ice" is ranked right below "make the players paint animal faces on young fans between periods." Idiot. [Fox Sports]
Preview: New York Islanders at New Jersey Devils (7 p.m. EDT; TV: MSG2, MSG). Martin Brodeur begins his quest for every other goaltending record he doesn't currently hold as Devils fans formally welcome Bobby Holik back to Jersey. (Oh, and if you see an old guy with a mustache complaining about the Devils never getting any calls, tell him you enjoy his son's Yahoo! Sports Hockey Blog.)
Preview: Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. EDT; TV: FSFL, FSS). The Peter DeBoer era begins for the Panthers, and we're interested in seeing how the Stillman-Horton-Olesz line operates under regular season conditions. Bubba from Canes Country believes we'll be seeing a Brind'Amour-Samsonov-Ruutu trio from the home-opening Hurricanes.
• Sports Illustrated believes that Barry Melrose will be the first coach fired this season. [SI]
• Is there anyone out there who doesn't have a Center Ice package nightmare story to tell? "Squirrels and Hockey on TV Do Not Mix." [Slap Shot]
Preview: Montreal Canadiens at Buffalo Sabres (7:30 p.m. EDT; TV: RDS, MSG). The Habs open their 100th season overall and (second with Jesus Price) up in Buffalo. Getting Caught from Behind has a preview and, perhaps, the greatest blog name we've run across in some time. Meanwhile, Habs Inside/Out has put Mats Sundin behind it.
Preview: Washington Capitals at Atlanta Thrashers (7:30 p.m. EDT; TV: CSN, SS). Good buddies Bruce Boudreau and John Anderson battle each other as coaches for the first time in the regular season. No stunners for the Capitals' lineup, and Tarik El-Bashir indicates that the Thrashers are rolling with a top line of Ilya Kovalchuk-Todd White-Jason Williams. No, we're not intimidated, either.
• Speaking of the Canucks, after one game their fans evidently don't feel offense will be an issue this season. [Waiting for Stanley]
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars (8:30 p.m. EDT; TV: FSOH, FSSW). Jere Lehtinen is out with a groin injury for Dallas, and the unicorn at the circus is scratched as well. Always interesting when these two teams meet, thanks to Ken Hitchcock and the never-ending psychological damage for Jackets fans who wonder if Rick Nash could score 80 goals with Brad Richards as his center.
Preview: Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues (8:30 p.m. EDT; TV: FSS, FSMW). An interesting matchup, what with Alexander Radulov in Russia and Erik Johnson on crutches while having waking nightmares of demonic golf carts. Our buddies at St. Louis Game Time remind us that it's been a while since the Blues last played.
• Finally, Ohio State ice hockey players seem pretty stoked about the idea of Sarah Palin becoming the first hockey mom in the White House: