Puck Headlines: Defense is legion of doomed in Philadelphia

Here are your Morning 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.

• The Philadelphia Flyers have never exactly had a bunch of Norris candidates on defense. But injuries have left the Flyers absolutely exposed on the blueline, with Derian Hatcher, Randy Jones and Ryan Parent not expected back until 2009. The team is winless, and as Wayne Fish writes: "Barring the trade of a big-name forward, there's no relief in sight because the Flyers are right up against the salary cap." He thinks a slow start could turn into a long season for Philly. [Bucks County Courier Times]

• As the "Palin Curse" prepares to shift over to St. Louis, USA Today would like to see Gov. Sarah Palin lace'em up, pot a goal and raise her arms in victory should she choose to visit another NHL rink. "We guarantee it will translate to votes." Huh-uh ... and John Kerry is a champion wind surfer. [USA Today]

• Scotty Hockey was in Newark to give a New York Rangers fan perspective on the New Jersey Devils vs. Sean Avery. "His best moment came during warmups. He acknowledged a few Ranger fans before attempting to get two provocatively dressed Jersey girls to lose their shirts." [Scotty Hockey]

• Speaking of the Rangers, someone has put out an Amber Alert on Chris Drury's offense. [NY Post]

• Checking out Marian Gaborik's misunderstood contract "demands." Our favorite: "Gaborik allowed to play against Pee Wee teams between periods; goals count toward Gaborik's NHL stats." [Puck Update]

• JP wonders if the "The Code" can actually keep players from dropping the gloves to jump someone after a clean hit, as we saw in the Washington Capitals/Calgary Flames game this week. [Japers Rink]

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins gets some stress relief by violently slapping a milk crate full of pucks at an empty net. You won't like him when he's angry. [Boston Globe]

• A fantastic breakdown of why Ron Wilson's goalie decision in the Toronto Maple Leafs' shootout this week was a rotten one, historically. [Population Statistic]

• Your 2008 Lester Patrick Award recipients: Bob Naegele Jr., Phil Housely, Ted Lindsay and Brian Burke, posing with some dude who says things like "bizonkers." Nice backdrop. Where are they, Sears circa 1984?

Ottawa Senators coach Craig Hartsburg yelled at his team, demoted Jason Spezza to the second line and a defenseman to the minors ... and the Sens still lost at home to the Florida Panthers. [Sun Media]

Pittsburgh Penguins fan nemesis Mark Madden, and the Web site that monitors him. [Pensblog]

• NHL suits will discuss better testing for heart conditions after the Alexei Cherepanov tragedy, new goalie equipment standards and the economic downturn at their meeting in Chicago. Good point from George James Malik on that last topic: "The salary cap will at least remain steady because the owners received the vast majority of their season-ticket money before the economic cluster...I mean downturn." [Snapshots]

• Peter Mahovlich -- son of Pete, nephew of Frank -- uses his famous hockey last name to help market dream homes to Canadians. [YourHome.ca]

• Finally, never give a French kid lines like "don't touch that remote." Even if it's Marc-Andre Fleury:

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