* Two guys you may have heard of, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, both had a goal and an assist in the Penguins win over the Sabres. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 of 25 to bring his save percentage up to an impressive .918 with a 2.22 goals against. 31 wins ain’t bad either (best in the league, actually), though it is just the product of playing a lot on a good team.
* Marian Hossa was in on both Blackhawks goals (one and one), which is all Chicago would need thanks to Corey Crawford’s 29 save shutout.
* Marty Havlat got his ninth and 10th points of the season (one and one) in San Jose’s overtime victory over Dallas.
More Malkin genius
Man, the way this guy scores some of his goals is Mario Lemieux-esque with his long, smooth strides and NBA-player reach.
Crosby’s goal was okay too:
Alex Stalock of the Sharks was named the game’s second star, thanks in no small part to saves like this one on Jamie Benn:
The “Sam Gagner to the Kings” rumor is kind of a fun one. I think Gagner has real potential to be a player – the jaw injury this year was just terrible luck and terrible timing for a young guy who seemed poised to have a great season.
Here’s the thing, Edmonton: the Kings would be looking to acquire Gagner at the deadline so they could make another Cup run, meaning they’d want to keep all their players that are currently, actually good. Meaning you’d be trading him for hope down the road. You’ve been living in perpetual “hope down the road” mode now for years. If you need to make a trade, make it for an actual NHLer, please. Package guys to get multiple Actual NHLers, I don’t care. I just can’t stand to see you sow more seeds in a field that’s clearly infertile. Just buy the damn crops someone else has harvested.
* Team Canada will name a replacement for Steven Stamkos, who has officially been ruled out for the Olympics, within the next 48 hours. My money is on Claude Giroux. Be real surprised if it were anyone else, including Martin St. Louis.
(I just feel terrible for Steven Stamkos. He almost made Canada in 2010…but didn’t. He made it this year, got injured and almost made it back in time…but didn’t. And in 2018 in Pyongyang…who knows if NHLers will even go. I feel like this is going to play out in a terribly cruel way. It’s already started to.)
* Crosby’s unfazed by the accommodations in Sochi, because Crosby is a soulless automaton built for the sole purpose of playing hockey who powers down manually at night and “sleeps” upright.
* The Sabres are talking to several teams about Ryan Miller. If I’m Miller, I’m hoping they get it done with that one. Yeah, sure, that one. Yea-look, Mr. Murray, buddy, it doesn’t matter what the next words out of your mouth are, yes, I’d rather play there. That’ll do. It’s fine. Make it happen.
* Weather could cause massive problems for players trying to get to Sochi. Awesome. Sounds like a super-swell vacation all around.
* More than a dozen teams have called the Sabres about Matt Moulson, because teams who aspire to win the Cup like guys who score goals.
* Don Cherry turned 80 yesterday! *THUMBS UP*
* Some big names are battling injuries heading into the Olympics.
* Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson’s Olympic masks are, I dunno, masks. They’re fine.
* Antti Raanta’s Stadium Series pads are about the most badass pads anyone could ever design.
— Tendy Gear® (@tendy_gear) February 5, 2014
* From a couple days ago (and Reddit Hockey), Kessel vs. smelling salts: