Changing lines with ... Colby Armstrong of the Maple Leafs.
Q: Youíre sitting down to the perfect dinner. Whatís on the table?
A: Oh, steak. I bought a Big Green Egg the other day and I am learning how to use it. I like to barbecue. Side dish has to be some kind of pasta. A perfect dinner would be steak with some pasta, whether it is KD or whatever. Glass of red wine. Meat has to be medium rare ó gotta have some red in there. I have been mostly a barbecue sauce guy, my dad always did it like that, painted on. But lately I have been into the rubs and salts and stuff since I got the Green Egg. It has been turning out pretty good.
Q: TV show you canít go without seeing once a week?
A:: I just got finished catching up on Sons of Anarchy. Some of the guys told me about it. I clipped away at it and I am up to Season 3 on that. Iím a big Dexter fan, pound the Dexter pretty good, so I am caught up on that. Walking Dead. Some shows I download on the computer and watch them during road trips.
Q: What websites do you have to visit every day?
A: Iím not really much of a surf-the-net kind of guy, but I am really into Angry Birds right now. Itís a game on my iPad and I have been dominating that lately. My wife hates me. I am pretty much married to Angry Birds. Itís pretty bad.
Q: You have a day off. How do you spend it?
A: I kind of got bugged about this before when I listed a hobby as laying on the couch. I really like to lay on the couch. I enjoy watching some football, when it was on. Both CFL and NFL. Thatís it. Pretty boring guy.
The average ice time, a game, of New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk. That represents the most ice time of any NHL forward, but the $100-million US man, overall, has not been making the most of it. While he has been playing a little more inspired recently, Kovalchuk carries the weight of a minus-22 rating, tied with John Tavares for worst among all NHL forwards.
Minor penalties taken by Pittsburgh Penguins pest Matt Cooke, the most in the NHL through Thursdayís games. So as he serves his four-game suspension, chances are good his team will not be as shorthanded as it would be had he been in the lineup. Cooke is eligible to return on Feb. 20 in a game versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
Shootout goals provided this season by Calgary Flames teammates Alex Tanguay, who has seven on 12 opportunities, and Rene Bourque, who has five on eight chances. Thatís easily the most of any duo in the NHL, with Jarret Stoll and Michal Handzus of the Los Angeles Kings, Mats Zuccarello and Erik Christensen of the New York Rangers and Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro of the Dallas Stars scoring seven a pair.
The number of players coached in either the Ontario Hockey League or Western Hockey League by Stan Butler who went on to play at least one game in the NHL. Butler, the Brampton Battalion head coach and director of hockey operations, coached his 1,000th game in the OHL on Thursday night, and among those he has helped send to the NHL include Zdeno Chara, Jason Spezza and Matt Duchene.
Games of the week
Toronto at Montreal, Saturday
Few atmospheres are as electric as that in Montreal when the Leafs visit, no matter what the NHL standings say.
Calgary at Vancouver, Saturday
The red-hot Flames will get a solid test against the NHLís best. Canucks are 2-0-1 versus Calgary this season.
Boston at Detroit, Sunday
Original Six match involving two of the top clubs in their respective conferences.
Washington at San Jose, Thursday
Capitals out for revenge after being blanked by Sharks at home this past week.
Three to watch
The Predators donít get as much coverage as most NHL teams, but you have to wonder how many entertainment writers will be looking for scoops involving Carrie Underwoodís husband. Letís not forget the Preds just got a strong two-way player.
The former captain of the Vancouver Canucks has 296 NHL victories, and is on pace to soon become just the 25th netminder in NHL history to reach 300 wins. In 653 games with the Canucks, Panthers and Islanders, Luongo is 296-262-33-42 with 54 shutouts.
Itís going to be interesting to watch how the highly talented rookie responds after he was a healthy scratch against Montreal. With Marc Savardís season over, the young Boston Bruin has no choice but start playing with more consistency.