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The NHL Eastern Conference Standings as of February 2, 2011
The NHL Eastern Conference Standings as of February 2, 2011

The lingering buzz of Raleigh's fabulous All Star Weekend is slowly diminishing, but the Carolina Hurricanes and the 2010-11 NHL season schedule are in fact back up to speed, with related injuries, paybacks, recalls, and penalties all part of today's headlines. Here's today's links to what's here and now.


Jokinen Expected to Miss 1-2 Weeks - Paul Branecky, Tracking the Storm Blog Jussi Jokinen’s most recent lower-body injury does not appear to be serious, but it will be enough to keep him out for a week or two.

Which brings us to: Zach Boychuk Recalled From Charlotte - Canes Country

Excellent profile of the Canes Top Producer from the Blueline : Corvo Takes Rutherford's Message to Heart - Branecky Beginning with the Dec. 29 game in Ottawa, few Hurricanes players, regardless of position, have been as hot as defenseman Joe Corvo.

Reimer likely to start against Hurricanes | Toronto Sun The 22-year-old [Goalie James] Reimer is becoming a poster boy for those who spend a few years developing in the minors. He won an East Coast title with South Carolina in 2009 and won 14 games for the Marlies last year, with his solid play this season earning him a call to the Leafs.

This Canadian Press story just went up today for a Toronto area paper: The Kitchener Record - Hurricanes think rookie forward Jeff Skinner will shine down the stretch 

"He’s a hockey guy," Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said in a recent interview. "He wants to be out there when the game’s on the line. He’s scored some huge goals for us, a couple of shootout goals, and I think as we go along in the season you’ll even see more great things from him because that’s really when he excels."

More challenges and controversies and some A$G results after the jump

Challenges and Controversy 


Brown gets a new deal, Payback for Gleason? - James Mirtle, Leafs Notebook, The Globe and Mail 

The Carolina Hurricanes are in town for a game tomorrow and given the fireworks last week in Raleigh when these two teams last met, there could be more to come. Clarke MacArthur was asked if the Leafs will be out for retribution against 'Canes defenceman Tim Gleason, who punched out Nikolai Kulemin last week. "I wouldn't pass up a hit on him, that's for sure," MacArthur said. "I don't think anyone's going to tomorrow after what he did. He's a hard-nosed player and we want to play him hard tomorrow."


YouTube - Jordan Staal Sucker punches Prust How does that little push put Prust down? Despite the match penalty, there was no further action or suspension levied by the NHL today. Puck Daddy's had this observation with his follow up story today: Jordan Staal’s match penalty punch on Prust; embellishment? The majority opinion is that Prust should have at least been given an Emmy nomination for his performance.



Video of this physical exchange between rookie and superstar in Montreal last night: Subban Gets His Due from Ovechkin | Phila.Bright There goes the happy family that was Team Staal.

Have you heard about the poll of 318 NHL players CBC released over the weekend that ruffled a lot of feathers? Here's the initial release | Should fighting be banished from the NHL? and here's what Greg Wyshynski had to add: Instigator stays, Capitals 'overrated' in divisive NHL players' poll - Puck Daddy 




Standings - - Three Stars links you to the overall ranking of stars this season with Eric Staal and Cam Ward occupying spots higher  than you might expect.

And if you (somehow) missed it earlier today, Jeff Skinner Named NHL Rookie of the Month for January - Canes Country The rookie has been a very busy man for the past few weeks and the accolades just keep coming. He's not sneaking up on anyone now.


All Star weekend wrap-up and reaction from the puck community


From Cassie McClellan, SBN's Bolt blogger at Raw Charge: 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend: And one more thing.... 

Jeff Skinner is the anti-Crosby. Sidney Crosby, when he came into the league at 18 years old, was so controlled in how he acted and what he said that it concerned people. Depending on who you talked to, either he was a dreadful bore, he was going to go postal, or he would eventually crack and go herd goats in Mongolia. He's loosened up quite a bit since, but at first it was rather worrying.

Skinner, on the other hand, is a relatively normal 18-year-old with no personal filter. Which means that he doesn't always say the right thing, and can be repetitive with his "golly-gee-whiz" answers, but you always know what he says he genuinely means. And that's very endearing.


KuklasKorner : Goal Line Report : The All-Star Weekend Experience with Joe Thistel of NHL Home Ice 

PH: How was the All-Star Weekend experience as a whole?

JT: Meeting the fans in Carolina was one of the most positive experiences of my tenure at XM. They were polite, knowledgeable, forthcoming and very appreciative of our channel and how much we put into it. 10 out of 10 for the people of Raleigh.


NHL alive and well in Carolina | Toronto Sun Raleigh -- home of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes -- did wonders for the credibility of its NHL franchise over the last few days when North Carolina's capital city proved to be passionate hosts for the 2011 All-Star festivities.

With Successful All-Star Weekend, Raleigh Proves That NHL Hockey Can Work In The South -  Hockey in the South is a constant punch line for fans in the colder climates of the Northeast and Canada -- you know, where hockey "belongs." Raleigh, the Triangle and the Carolina Hurricanes proved to us this weekend that hockey can work there.

Hockey striking a chord in the South: John Manasso, Fox Sports The success of NHL All-Star weekend in the South of all places shows that hockey isn't just the sport of our neighbors from the North anymore.

Nine points: The mellow mood and high-offense charms of NHL All-Star weekend | Independent Weekly The All-Star Game is a little strange, because while it's an event that draws people from all over the planet, it doesn't actually count for much.

Ottawa Citizen: Pressure’s on Ottawa to keep the Raleigh going When the city of Ottawa plays host to the 2012 NHL all-star game, it will have its work cut out. The bar has been raised high by the friendly folks in North Carolina.


And what about poor Phil Kessel?


Offering some support after a tough weekend for Kessel " Maple Leafs Hot Stove But what enraged me was the manner in which opposition fans and pundits hurled rocks at an easy target like Phil Kessel because they still after all these years can’t accept that the Leafs, no matter how bad, are ALWAYS relevant. 

Phil Kessel and the Toronto All-Star Draft persecution complex - Puck Daddy But there's resentment lingering in Leafs Nation. Or maybe embarrassment. Or maybe empathy for Kessel. Whatever it is, it's manifested itself as some kind of delusion that a sweater Kessel wasn't even wearing that night prompted his being selected last in the draft.

Down Goes Brown: Phil Kessel's all-star draft text messages - Toronto Maple Leafs Blog

8:45 p.m. Watching the draft. I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am by all the poise you've shown tonight. Even in an event like this, you carry yourself like a winner at all times and I can not tell you how excited I am to have you be the franchise player that we build a championship roster around. - Brian Burke



Big numbers posted on the bottom line of Raleigh's 2011 NHL A$G


NHL All-Star sees significant increases in North American TV viewership, sponsorship revenue, merchandise sales and sets all-time single day video starts mark on 

"By all measures, this was one of the NHL's most successful All-Star weekends ever with fans and our corporate partners embracing the event in a big way," said NHL COO John Collins. "Our hosts in Raleigh did a tremendous job and it was gratifying to see the entire community energized around hockey"


According to the ratings, the NHL All-Star revamp worked - Puck Daddy If the goal was to create renewed buzz for the NHL All-Star Weekend in the U.S., VERSUS' numbers for the game would indicate it's been accomplished.

Economy gets an all-star boost - NHL All-Star Weekend - The large crowds that flocked to downtown Raleigh and the RBC Center for All-Star game events meant busy cash registers for many restaurants and hotels.

Raleigh reaps rave reviews from All-Star events - Hockey fans may have already forgotten the score of the NHL All-Star Game, but those who were here will always remember that Raleigh knows how to throw a party.



Jeff Skinner


At one point, back maybe three months ago, I said that there was no such thing as too much Jeff Skinner. I would like to officially retract that statement. Furthermore, I am delighted the organization will be limiting his media access for the balance of the season.


Canes Now - Skinner ready to 'get back to business'

The morning skate over, Jeff Skinner came into the Canes' locker room today to find a cutout of Justin Bieber's face on the hockey photo above his locker. Skinner quickly scrambled up and ripped it down, balled it up and gave it a hurl into the trash can.

Call it symbolic, but Skinner as much as anyone is ready to put such frivolity aside and get back to the real hockey business.


Here's just a few more Skinner-tales that came out since Monday, just so you can know you've missed nothing.

An All-Star Sensation, John Manasso, FSCarolinas A teen idol with wavy hair and a boyish smile has taken the Carolina Hurricanes and the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend by storm.

Skinner’s baby face has star appeal: Vancouver Sun  While he didn’t score in the game itself, Jeff Skinner was the MVP of all-star weekend, by anyone’s vote. Moms want to adopt the 18-year-old Hurricanes forward, teenage girls want to bring him home. Carolina captain Eric Staal compares him to Justin Bieber, with his boyish looks and sudden fame. 


From Upper Deck: YouTube - Jeff Skinner Answers Your Questions



Also this accompanying video from the same Upper Deck autograph session Friday might also interest you, mostly for the strobe effect of the flash cubes. 


Cleansing the palate

Finally, from Media Saturation to the Unsung Heroes of the NHL, Puck Daddy's salute to Andrew Brunette, of the Minnesota Wild playing his 1000th game last night. As Wild's 'Bruno' hits 1,000, celebrating the underrated - Puck Daddy