–Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist wrote an awesome letter to his younger self for The Players’ Tribune. “Nobody told you and your brother to love hockey. It doesn’t make any practical sense. You’re from a tiny skiing town of 1,200 people. Your dad is a ski instructor. You don’t live close to a rink. Nobody goes pro from Åre.” (The Players’ Tribune)
–TSN’s Travis Yost breaks down whether or not the Senators are a better team with Guy Boucher behind the bench. “At the end of the day, I think you have to ask at the midway point whether or not this team is any better under Boucher. They certainly appear like a different team. But, when you start adding everything up, it’s as if Ottawa has just sacrificed offence at the altar of better defense.” (TSN)
–The Dallas Stars were forced to make an emergency landing in St. Louis on Sunday because of a mechanical problem with their plane. As you’d imagine, it was a pretty frightening experience for some of their players. “It put a shock to the system, but we’re thankful we’re got out OK and the people running the plane did a heck of a job,” said forward Patrick Sharp. (NHL.com)
–The Boston Bruins made David Backes‘ return to St. Louis a pleasant one by beating the Blues. Backes didn’t score, but he did drop the gloves. You can watch the highlights from the game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–In his “30 Thoughts” blog, Elliotte Friedman writes about the Avalanche and Coyotes’ trade demands, Mike Sullivan’s raise, how the Bruins refused to ship Brandon Carlo to Colorado and much more. (Sportsnet)
—Benoit Pouliot is having an ugly season in Edmonton and the Edmonton Journal’s David Staples wonders if it’s time for them to send him to the AHL. “Essentially, Pouliot is now carrying himself like a scoring, finesse winger, yet he has just seven points in 37 games,” explains Staples. “His underlying scoring chance numbers are OK-ish, but when you add in his lack of hitting and scoring, he’s not doing nearly enough to justify his $4 million per year salary, which is why he’s deep in the doghouse.” (Edmonton Journal)
–A fun read from Puck Junk, who takes a look at the top 10 hockey collectible stories from 2016. We saw Upper Deck come out with E-Packs, Topps came up with a digital hockey card app and Jim Craig even sold some of his “Miracle on Ice” equipment. (Puck Junk)