Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Your Norris Trophy Finalists: Mike Green of the Washington Capitals; Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins; and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings. Green'll win it, but we'll have analysis coming up next. [NHL]
• Mondesi's House offers a few emails from Pittsburgh Penguins fans, enlightening the world to their experiences inside the Wachovia Center's sea of orange. Punches to the ribs, assaults in the men's room and enough gay-baiting material to qualify as an unofficial prequel to "Bruno." We enjoyed the email that theorized that the Philadelphia Flyers fans' behavior is a Pavlovian response to the scoreboard showing every close call. [Mondesi's House]
• Meanwhile, Dan Hopper wore his powder blue Evgeni Malkin jersey to Game 4, and gives a period by period rundown of every slur, intimidation, provocation and nonsensical quip that was hurled at him. Best in Show: "‘Powder blue, are you kidding me??' [It's sure no bright orange with taped-on pee-wee looking nameplates]" [Elvis Has Left; some NSFW language]
• The Flyers were loosey goosey at practice yesterday, not looking at all like a team that's playing for its lives tonight in front of a rabid, whited-out crowd in Pittsburgh. From Anthony J. SanFilippo: "The team might need to be collectively checked for dementia too, but it's better than being the walking dead." [Journal Register]
• The KHL announces that its regular season winner will be the KHL champ, and then the playoff winner is the Gagarin Cup champ. Future plans also include a Television title, Extreme Hardcore belt and a KHL Divas division. [IIHF]
• Great story by Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch, who tracked down a Detroit Red Wings fan (and Ohio State student) that tossed an octopus on the ice during the Wings' Game 3 win at the Columbus Blue Jackets. Cool: The fan has a strange encounter with Gary Bettman in the bowels of the arena. Weird: He names the octopi he throws after Red Wings players. Do they have little outfits, too? [Dispatch]
• Speaking of captains, San Jose Sharks Coach Todd McLellan is not having any of this Patrick Marleau-as-playoff choker stuff. "As far as being a PR agent, you don't promote crappy products. ... I'm happy and proud to talk about our captain. I think he's been unfairly targeted by people that have absolutely no idea how the hockey world works." Snap! [Mercury News]
• Interesting take on the four elite defensemen battling each other in the Ducks/Sharks series. [OC Register]
• After getting punched in the how-do-you-do at the end of Game 4, the New Jersey Devils will likely play Game 5 without injured Jamie Langenbrunner and Bryce Salvador. And, of course, with Marty Brodeur's replacement stick. [Fire & Ice]
• A battle we can support: Jibblescribbits declares war on the silliness of the plus/minus rating. "This is the exact reason (±) should just be tossed out the window like a 6-month old carton of eggs." [Jibblescribbits]
• There's just something wonderful about walking to a Stanley Cup playoff game and having it be icier then Mike Keenan's heart outside. [Getty]
• Back on the Flyers/Pens for a moment: Lori's outrageous response to homophobia amongst the fan bases is not for all audiences but pretty scathing. [Hockey, Football and Stiletto Shoes, NSFW]
• Puck Daddy's official ECHL darlings the Las Vegas Wranglers advance in the playoffs. [ECHL]
• Down Goes Brown's "Google Similar Images" post is the funniest thing you'll read all day. We bow to you, "Brian Burke". [DGB]
• Finally, LCS Hockey passes along this song by Dave Dameshek of 710 ESPN in L.A. that skewers Scott Harntell to the tune of a Billy Joel classic. Who said songs have to rhyme? Click the photo to hear the song.