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Daily Cupcakes - Links from around the unlocked out NHL - February 6th, 2013

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

First up: 30 Thoughts.

4. Milan Hejduk played his 1,000th NHL game Monday night in Colorado. You forget how great his resume is: Stanley Cup; Olympic gold medal; Rocket Richard Trophy; 372 career goals. When he came over in 1998, the Avalanche had no other Czech players and Hejduk barely spoke English. It was Mark Miller, now the team's head equipment manager, who helped him learn the language. Big night for both of them.

5. The referees are taking a beating after a rough weekend, but it's important to remember none of them worked during the lockout -- the second time in seven years that they refused to take anyone's job during a stoppage. The one thing they must start doing more of, though, is asking each other, "What did you see?" For example, take the Ottawa Senators' erased score in Montreal last Sunday. There was no conference -- and in a situation where the four officials are allowed to discuss it.

A preview of the game.

The Anaheim Ducks are poised to continue their best start in six years going into their longest road stretch of the season.

The Ducks look for a fourth consecutive victory as they head outside California for the first time in two weeks, opening a six-game trip against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Behind third-period goals from Saku Koivu and Sheldon Souray along with 25 saves from rookie Viktor Fasth, Anaheim handed San Jose its first regulation loss, 2-1 on Monday. The Ducks (6-1-1) are off to their best start since opening 12-0-4 during their Stanley Cup-winning season of 2006-07.

An interesting piece on fights in the NHL, it links to numerous other articles too.

Two summers ago in 2011, the hockey world was stunned after the deaths of NHL enforcers Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak in a few short and painful months.

There were numerous stories of the personal struggles NHL enforcers have suffered. Tales of depression, suicidal thoughts, drug addiction both legal and illegal, were all a part of the hockey landscape.

It seemed last season that the tide had turned and many voices heralded a new mind-set that moved away from employing a one note enforcer, who couldn’t do much more than fight. The Detroit Red Wings have been successful the past few season and do not suit up such a player.

A recent documentary, The Last Gladiators, chronicles the life of formers Canadiens tough guy Chris Nilan. It exposed the dark side of being an NHL tough guy, especially after they retire. Nilan even turned to heroin to ease his mental and physical pain.