Photo: USA Today

Without a trace. The NHL tried and failed, the Hockey Hall of Fame guys scoured the arena until the wee hours of the morning and came up empty, even the FBI were finally called in months after the confetti was cleaned up from Michigan Avenue. No dice.

The whereabouts of the puck that Patrick Kane put between the legs of Michael Leighton in overtime of Game 6 of to bring Lord Stanley’s Cup back to Chicago may never be officially known. But I think we all suspect it’s in Chris Pronger’s rec room. And now that hamster-fucking rectal wart is out for the season with a concussion.

Karma is a bitch, isn’t it, Chrissy?

But no matter, Kaner got his name on the Cup after that game, and Pronger got his name in the paper as one of the LLLOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSSSSSS. He can have his puck. And his dizzy spells. And his blurred vision. And his pre-menopausal symptoms.

Last year was a rebound season for Philadelphia, as they cruised easily into the playoffs but were swept by the Bruins during Boston’s Cup-winning campaign. But Philly came out of the gate charging in 2011-12, winning 4 of their first 5 and dominating the Atlantic Division in the early going. But with the team’s participation in the NHL Winter Classic came the every-nook-and-cranny scrutiny of cable television.

Despite Philly’s fame floating inside the fish-bowl of HBO’s “NHL 24/7″ program, the Flyers began having trouble about halfway through. They began the series on a hot streak, winning 6 in a row. But starting with their 6-0 loss to Boston on December 17th, the Flyers have lost 5 of their last 7. Maybe Ilya “Universe” Bryzgalov revealing his deepest thoughts on camera gave his opponents the extra help they needed. Philadelphia has now fallen behind the Rangers in the Atlantic Division standings, and has rival Pittsburgh nipping at their heels.

Flyers notes: call Scott Hartnell every name in the book, as most have, but he is second on the team in both goals and points, and leads the team in plus/minus. Claude Giroux may have been out with a concussion recently, but it hasn’t slowed him down — in the last 10 games he played, 5 on either side of his concussion, he has notched a combined 5 goals and 12 assists. And the Flyers have 7 players with 10 goals or more, all forwards — with winger James van Riemsdyk sitting on 9.

In the Blackhawks’ camp, to say it has been a busy 24 hours is like saying Liberace was a little flashy.

Following Daniel Carcillo’s best tilt-a-whirl backbreaker move on Edmonton’s Tom Gilbert Monday night, Brendan Shanaratbastardidiot threw a 7-game suspension at him, which didn’t matter in the slightest. Carcillo suffered a knee injury on the play, and won’t be playing for a while anyhow. Additionally, Steve Montador, who missed the Edmonton game anyhow, was placed on IR to join concussed center Marcus Kruger. So to fill the rapidly-depleting ranks the Blackhawks recalled long-ignored Rockford defenseman Dylan Olsen, and 2011 5th-round draft pick Andrew Shaw, the ink still wet on his 3-year, entry-level contract.

Olsen is a big stay-at-home defenseman, and has two years under his belt at the AHL level in Rockford. He was practicing with Sean O’Donnell on Wednesday, and may be part of that 5-6 pairing. Shaw is more of an unknown commodity, playing in Rockford without a contract until earlier this week, when Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman came a-calling, pen in hand. Shaw is a scrappy, fast player with a mean streak and a nose for the net. He was third on the team in both goals and points when he got the call, having racked up 80 penalty minutes over 33 games. Opinions vary on what line he will be skating with tonight, though I personally think he’ll wind up on the fourth line with Jamal Mayers and Jimmy Hayes.

Administrative nonsense: Philadelphia has even more players sitting this one out that Chicago does, with Blair Betts, Ian LaPerriere and Chris Pronger all officially on IR, and Jaromir Jagr on the sidelines due to a groin injury. On the Blackhawks, as mentioned, Steve Montador and Marcus Kruger are both on injured reserve, and Daniel Carcillo is out with a knee injury. Bryzgalov will be manning the crease for Philly, and in his return to the City of Brotherly Love, Ray Emery will get the start for Chicago.

East coast start time, 6:00pm for the puck drop. Comcast SportsNet has the television coverage; WGN AM-720 will cover the game on broadcast radio; XM has the game on channel 214; Sirius Premiere subscribers can find the game on channel 213.

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