NHL Blog Beat – Monday, April 8, 2013.

Check out the latest commentaries on Alexander Ovechkin, the Southeast Division, the Blue Jackets, Capitals, Derek Stepan, potential changes at the HHOF, Absurd Goalie Monday, and much more.

JAMES MIRTLE: recounts his journey from hockey fan to hockey columnist.

BACKHAND SHELF: Justin Bourne recaps the NHL’s notable weekend highlights.

PUCK DADDY: Ryan Lambert explains why he considers the Southeast Division to be “really terrible”.

GRANTLAND: Sean McIndoe recently dipped into his weekly NHL grab bag for the weird and wacky happenings around the league.

PUCK DRUNK LOVE: David Rogers on how Alexander Ovechkin’s performance in recent weeks is silencing his critics, including NBC’s Mike Milbury.

THE HOCKEY WRITERS: Wes Herrmann believes the Carolina Hurricanes are facing a “make-or-break” week.

The Maple Leafs & Red Wings jersey for the 2014 Winter Classic.

The Maple Leafs & Red Wings jersey for the 2014 Winter Classic.

ICETHETICS: The emblem and the jerseys for the 2014 NHL Winter Classic between Toronto and Detroit are revealed.

ON FROZEN BLOG: The Capitals trade of Filip Forberg to Nashville for Martin Erat was a desperation move by a desperate GM George McPhee.

THE SPORTS BANK:  Ed Cmar on the statement made by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Joe Pelletier wonders what changes incoming HHOF chairman Pat Quinn could have in store for the Hall.

HOCKEY ANALYSIS: Tips for using fancy hockey stats.

DOBBER HOCKEY: Terry Campkin names Derek Stepan as the fantasy hockey “Geek of the Week”.

SILVER SEVEN: An NHL Ice Rink Broken Down: The Ottawa Senators Edition.

PUCKS, GUTS AND GLORY: NHL history girl Jen explains why Theo Fleury once wore number 76 with the Calgary Flames.

 THE STRANGEST ONE OF ALL: Scotty Wazz has the story of Rob Holland in this week’s edition of “Absurd Goalie Monday”.