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Posted On Thursday, 12.26.2013 / 11:50 AM

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

Mantha hat trick gives Canada win in WJC opener

Anthony Mantha had a hat trick as Canada opened play at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 7-2 defeat of Germany at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist and Jonathan Drouin had three assists. Bo HorvatJosh Anderson and Nicolas Petan also had goals and Jake Paterson stopped 22 shots.

"You always want to win the first game of the tournament," Anderson said on TSN. "Now we're just looking forward to the next game."

Dorian Saeftel and Janik Moser scored for Germany. Goalie Marvin Cupper, who plays for the Shawinigan Cataractes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, made 23 saves.

Germany scored the game's first goal 95 seconds into the game and tied the game 2-2 with 4:01 left in the first period, but Canada scored twice in a 53-second span to take a lead it would not relinquish.

"The first seven or eight minutes were [slow]," Canada coach Brent Sutter said on TSN. "Then we started playing the game, doing things the way we talked about the way we wanted to do it. We started making plays, making passes stick to stick, having speed through the neutral zone, being a better puck-possession team, creating opportunities offensively."

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Posted On Monday, 12.23.2013 / 7:17 PM

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

Wild's Parise out with lower-body injury

PHILADELPHIA -- Zach Parise, the Minnesota Wild's second-leading goal-scorer, will not play against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night due to a lower-body injury.

With 15 goals, Parise trails only Jason Pominville for the team lead. Parise is tied with linemate Mikko Koivu for the team lead with 27 points.

Parise was held scoreless and had a minus-2 rating in the Wild's 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday night.

The 29-year-old left wing has played in all but one of the Wild's 38 games this season.

In Parise's absence, Matt Cooke moves up to left wing on the top line, alongside center Mikko Koivu and right wing Charlie Coyle.

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Posted On Monday, 12.23.2013 / 1:28 PM

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

Yeo promising changes to Wild's personnel

PHILADELPHIA -- One day after his team lost its second straight game and fifth in its past eight, Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo wasn't very revealing about what his lineup would look like Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

"There will be some changes," Yeo said. "It's going to be a surprise. I love surprises."

There wasn’t much of a surprise in their results Sunday against the New York Rangers, a 4-1 loss. It marked the seventh time in the past 14 games the Wild had scored one goal or fewer.

Though Yeo wasn't talking much about his lineup, one thing he seemed against doing was splitting his top two forward pairings, Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville.

"Mikko is a skilled player and he needs skilled players with him," Yeo said. "You look around the League, we're not the only team to do that. First-line centermen generally are going to play with first-line wingers. Skilled players need to play with skilled players, that's what it comes down to."

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Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 6:24 PM

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

Canada cuts two from WJC roster

Canada cut two players from its roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Friday.

Sent home were forward Hunter Shinkaruk, a Vancouver Canucks prospect, and defenseman Damon Severson, a New Jersey Devils draft pick. Neither player skated in Canada's 4-2 victory against Finland on Friday in a pre-tournament game in Angelholm, Sweden.

The moves leave Canada's roster at 23 players; one more player must be cut prior to the start of the tournament, which runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014 in Malmo, Sweden.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 2:14 PM

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

Emotional night for Flyers' Mason against former team

PHILADELPHIA -- It will be an emotional game Thursday night for Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason, who will face his former team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, for the first time.

Mason was a third-round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft (No. 69) of the Blue Jackets and spent his first five NHL seasons in Columbus. As a rookie in 2008-09 he backstopped the Blue Jackets to the franchise's only berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and won the Calder Trophy as the League's best rookie.

He never reached that level of play again, however. While his physical skills didn't diminish much, RJ Umberger, Mason's teammate and roommate for five years with the Blue Jackets, said the raised expectations began to affect the goaltender mentally.

"He almost hurt himself by having such a great rookie year," Umberger said. "He brought us into the playoffs [then] he struggled with trying to find his game in his own head. He had a lot of different tweaks, a lot of different people working with him. It became too much for him."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 6:00 PM

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

Flyers eager for quick shot at redemption

PHILADELPHIA -- Just 48 hours earlier, Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube watched his team blow a 4-1 lead in the final 8:40 of the third period against the Washington Capitals en route to a 5-4 shootout loss.

Rather than sit and stew too long on that game Sunday at Verizon Center, Berube said he was happy to be back at it against the Capitals again Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

“It’s always good to get back right away and play,” Berube said. “I know the guys are hungry to get back and play.”

Upon a second viewing of the game, Berube said the problems in the third period was more of what his team didn’t do rather than what the Capitals did to them.

“I didn’t think there was a whole lot wrong [with the third period],” Berube said. “We weren’t under siege or under pressure. I thought that we stopped making some plays and plays were there to be made that would have put us down in their end and put some more pressure on them but we didn’t do that.”

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Posted On Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 5:32 PM

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

Short of healthy bodies, Flyers turn to VandeVelde

PHILADELPHIA -- An injury or an illness to one player is an opportunity to another. That’s the situation facing Chris VandeVelde on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Flyers signed VandeVelde to a one-year, two-way contract Thursday and will have him available when they face the Montreal Canadiens.

The Flyers had recalled forward Tye McGinn from their American Hockey League team when Vincent Lecavalier was placed on injured reserve with a back injury. However, McGinn brought some bad germs with him and hasn't been able to play, so with the team in need of an extra healthy body, they went for VandeVelde.

VandeVelde was one of the Flyers' final cuts from training camp. He had seven goals and six assists in 23 games with the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers' AHL affiliate.

"Just from training camp and when I saw him in a couple exhibition games," Flyers coach Craig Berube said, "he was a good-sized centerman, penalty killer. Seems like he's a smart player."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 2:34 PM

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

Canadiens' Galchenyuk remains on USA Hockey radar

PHILADELPHIA -- About this time a year ago, Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk was preparing for a big international tournament in Russia.

Back then he was a forward with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League getting ready for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

A lot has changed for Galchenyuk in the past year, but one thing remains the same -- he's still thinking about a big international tournament in Russia. Only this time, it's the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"You think about it because it's coming up," Galchenyuk told "But you have no ideas. It's in the air."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 1:30 PM

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

Flyers, Canadiens seeking bounce-back efforts

PHILADELPHIA -- The Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers will have something in common when they meet Thursday at Wells Fargo Center. Both teams will be looking to move past dismal previous performances.

The Flyers gave up five second-period goals en route to a 7-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Canadiens lost 6-0 to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

"You'll see two teams that want to bounce back from their last performance," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "That should be a good hockey game."

Therrien said knowing the character of his team, he's confident the players will return with a better effort Thursday.

"Games like that one we played last game, it happens to every team," Therrien said. "It's a matter of how you bounce back, how's your attitude. I like the team attitude we got and I expect we're going to bounce back from that performance. We got a lot of character and we want to bounce back. They can't wait for the opportunity to play again to make sure that's behind us."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 3:06 PM

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

Past U.S. stars know no miracles necessary in 2014

As young hockey players, Bill Guerin and Doug Weight were drawn to hockey in part to the success of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" United States Olympic hockey team.

Today, though, both know that no miracle would be needed for the U.S. to win the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"I think where we are now with USA Hockey, I don't think it would be a miracle anymore and I don't think it would shock the world," Guerin said Monday, prior to his induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. "That's the position USA Hockey has put itself in. We go not only to compete but to win. We expect to win."

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic