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Posted On Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 7:42 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers' Matt Read out with concussion

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read will be out at least through the weekend due to a concussion sustained Dec. 31 against the Calgary Flames.

Read was not in the lineup for the Flyers' game Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens, marking the fourth straight game he's missed. He'll also be out for their games Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Sunday at the New York Rangers.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 6:55 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers after 10th straight win on home ice

PHILADELPHIA -- The last time the Montreal Canadiens were in Philadelphia was Dec. 12. The Flyers were in their first game at home after a six-game road trip and it was the back end of a back-to-back.

When the teams play Wednesday it's the same situation for the Flyers, who are in their first game back after a six-game road trip that concluded with a win Tuesday at the New Jersey Devils.

“The last time we played Montreal was the exact same situation,” Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said. “We kept our game simple, we got pucks deep, we grinded their [defense] down and we played a strong 60 minutes. I think we’re going to try to the exact same thing [Wednesday].”

Doing the exact same thing would give the Flyers 10 straight wins at home. Helping that effort would be another strong game from forward Scott Hartnell, who is riding a career-best eight-game point-scoring streak.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 6:11 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Briere, Giroux celebrated as league champions

German Champs

(Click to view full-size image)

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux and the Montreal Canadiens' Daniel Briere were celebrated as league champions on Wednesday. Well, the German league.

Giroux and Briere played for Eisbaren Berlin during the lockout last season and the team went on to win the championship of the DEL, Germany's top-tier league.

The players were honored by members of the team's fan club. About 20 fans arrived in Philadelphia wearing custom jerseys that had Briere's name and number on one sleeve and Giroux's name and on number on the other sleeve. They also wore scarves with the players' faces on them.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 1:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens will try to replace Galchenyuk internally

PHILADELPHIA -- Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he expects there to be lots of internal competition to replace the production supplied by forward Alex Galchenyuk.

Galchenyuk, fourth on the team with 10 goals and 23 points, will miss six weeks with a broken hand sustained during a game Jan. 6 against the Florida Panthers.

Bergevin, speaking during the Canadiens' optional morning skate Wednesday prior to their game at Wells Fargo Center against the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN), said he will look at the current roster for someone to step into Galchenyuk's role before investigating any trades.

"We always look within first," Bergevin said. "A player like Alex you don't, unless you want to give up the house, the farm, to replace him, it's impossible. You look at Tampa Bay when they lost [Steven] Stamkos … he's not Stamkos but I'm just saying. [Phoenix Coyotes captain] Shane Doan went out for a while. You don't replace these players. You just give more guys ice time and they have to come through for you."

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 12:57 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

Canadiens' draft class represented at Sochi Games

PHILADELPHIA -- The Montreal Canadiens had eight players named to their respective countries' rosters for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the second-most of any team in the Eastern Conference and tied for the fourth-most of any NHL team.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin sees that as a point of pride, but he won't take a lot of credit for it. Instead, he points to Trevor Timmins, the team's director of amateur scouting.

Timmins and his staff were responsible for drafting four of the eight players picked -- forward Max Pacioretty (United States); defensemen Alexei Emelin (Russia) and P.K. Subban (Canada); and goaltender Carey Price (Canada). Forward Tomas Plekanec (Czech Republic) and defenseman Andrei Markov (Russia) were picked by the Canadiens prior to Timmins joining the organization in 2002. The only players not drafted by the Canadiens to make an Olympic team were backup goalie Peter Budaj (Slovakia), signed as a free agent in 2011, and defenseman Raphael Diaz (Switzerland), a free-agent signee who never was drafted and made his NHL debut with the Canadiens in the 2011-12 season.

"[Six] of those guys were Montreal draft picks and most of them were drafted by Trevor's staff," Bergevin said. "Our drafting, from Day 1 when I got here, was the way to build a team. This shows we are on the right track."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 5:04 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

Reality of Olympics in homeland sinks in for Ovechkin

With the long-awaited unveiling of the Russian team that will look to defend home soil at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin said the reality of what will come next month is starting to set in.

"Every day it's getting closer," Ovechkin said during a conference call Tuesday. "All my friends are calling and asking what's happening, who's going to be on the team. I'm very excited. I'm very happy to be on the roster, very excited to represent my country in my country at the Olympic Games."

Ovechkin will be a central figure not just on the Russian hockey team, but the entire Russian Olympic delegation. He was the first Russian to carry the Olympic torch when it left Greece in August.

Russia will be expected to contend for the gold medal and the pressure on the team will be extreme. However, Ovechkin said he's trying to ignore that pressure as best he can.

"I don't think about it," he said. "I don't want to take the pressure right now on me. Soon I'm going to feel all kinds of pressure on myself, on the team and on the coaching staff. Right now I don't think about it. But it's hard to do because every time I get the news on the Internet it's all about the Olympic Games and all that kind of stuff. The fans and media, everybody wants more information, wants more news about the team and about the rosters."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 8:37 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Germany wins relegation series

Germany’s Frederik Tiffels had a goal and an assist and Marvin Cupper made 34 saves as Germany beat Norway 3-1 Sunday to survive the relegation round at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Top 2014 NHL Draft prospect Leon Draisaitl had two assists and Dominik Kahun and Patrick Klopper each had a goal as Germany won the final game of the best-of-three relegation series and will take part in the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto.

It will be the third straight year Germany remains at the top level of elite under-20 international hockey, the longest such streak since a run from 1992-98.

“It’s awesome," Draisaitl told the IIHF website. "It’s our goal to be a top-10 nation and that’s what we did [Sunday]. It’s going to be probably the greatest experience you’ll ever have next year, playing in Toronto and Montreal. Those are huge cities. They’re crazy about hockey. We’re just really happy about what we did today."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 8:19 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sweden's Pettersson suspended for gold-medal game

Sweden forward Jesper Pettersson has been suspended by the IIHF Disciplinary Panel for the gold-medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday against Finland (1 p.m ET, NHLN-US).

Pettersson was suspended for leaving the penalty box to engage in an altercation with a Russian player during Sweden’s 2-1 win against Russia in the semifinals on Saturday.

Pettersson had been in the penalty box after being whistled for slashing with 19 seconds left in the game. When the final buzzer sounded, Pettersson left the penalty box and entered a scrum along the wall. Pettersson grabbed Russia’s Andrei Mironov and the pair began exchanging punches.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 1:15 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Russia takes WJC bronze with 2-1 win against Canada

Russia scored twice in the first period and Andrey Vasilevskiy shut down the Canadian offense as Russia won the bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 2-1 win Sunday at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

Mikhail Grigorenko and Eduard Gimatov each had a goal and Vasilevskiy made 30 saves as Russia ended Canada's medal hopes in the third-place game for the second straight tournament. At the 2013 WJC, Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime in the bronze-medal game.

It also marked the fourth straight tournament in which Canada lost to Russia in the medal round, following a 5-3 loss in the 2011 gold-medal game and a 6-5 loss in the semifinals in 2012.

The win gave Russia a medal in nine of the past 10 World Juniors. They've also medaled in four straight tournaments, with gold in 2011, silver in 2012 and now back-to-back bronze medals.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 5:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Rivals Finland, Sweden set for WJC title showdown

When it comes to European-based international hockey, the best rivalry could be the one between Sweden and Finland.

"It's a dream final for us, Finland and Sweden," Finland forward Henri Ikonen told reporters following his team’s 5-1 win against Canada on Saturday in the semifinals. "It's a great rivalry. Young players like ourselves can't imagine a better situation than that. Hopefully I can sleep well [Saturday]."

That acrimony will be at its highest level Sunday when the two countries play at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden, in the gold-medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship (1 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). It will be preceded by the bronze-medal game between Canada and Russia (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US).

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Quote of the Day

I've got a lot of experience and there's a lot of young guys. It's even making me excited a little more. It's kind of a new life. At my age, I feel like I know a lot of things what to do, but I just cannot do it anymore. It's a lot easier to tell them what to do because they've still got the legs and hands to do it. I just know things, but I cannot do them anymore.

— Jaromir Jagr after making his Panthers debut in a win against the Sabres on Saturday
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