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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 1:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 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 -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 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 -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 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 -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 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 -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 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 -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 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 -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 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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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 4:59 PM

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

Finland defeats Canada, will play Sweden for gold

Finland scored three times in the second period en route to a 5-1 victory against Canada on Saturday at Malmo Arena in the semifinals of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Finland will face Sweden in the gold-medal game Sunday (1 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). It's the first time Finland will play for the gold since losing to the Czech Republic in the 2001 championship game.

Finland last won WJC gold in 1998.

"It's a dream final for us, Finland and Sweden," Finland forward Henri Ikonen told the IIHF website. "It's a great rivalry. Young players like ourselves can't imagine a better situation than that. Hopefully I can sleep well [Saturday]."

It's a big comeback for Finland, which finished seventh at the 2013 WJC and hasn't won a medal since taking the bronze in 2006.

Captain Teuvo Teravainen had two goals and an assist, Joni NikkoArtturi Lehkonen and Rasmus Ristolainen each scored, and Juuse Saros made 22 saves.

Jonathan Drouin scored for Canada and goaltender Zachary Fucale stopped 18 of 22 shots.

Canada will play Sunday (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US) in the bronze-medal game against Russia for the second straight year. Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime in the third-place game at the 2013 World Juniors in Ufa, Russia, snapping Canada's 15-year streak of winning a medal at the WJC.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 4:51 PM

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

Reinhart leads Canada into WJC semifinals

Griffin Reinhart showed again why he was worth the wait for Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The defenseman had a goal and an assist to lead Canada to a 4-1 win against Switzerland on Thursday in a quarterfinal game played at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden, and a spot in the semifinals.

Reinhart sat out the first three games of the tournament while serving the carryover of a four-game suspension for a high-sticking incident during the semifinals of the 2013 World Juniors.

After a solid defensive performance in the 3-2 win against the United States on New Year's Eve to finish preliminary-round play, Reinhart, taken by the New York Islanders with the fourth pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, showcased more of his skills Thursday.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 10:37 PM

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

Sutter puts Canada through rough practice

Since Brent Sutter was named coach of Canada's team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, he has preached getting better every day.

That included Wednesday, when he put his team through a rough practice in preparation for its quarterfinal game against Switzerland on Thursday (11 a.m. ET, NHLN-US) at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

"When you get to this point, every game is like a Game 7," Sutter told Canadian Press. "We have to make sure our emotions are in control and our details are good. It doesn't matter who your opponent is, you have to be at the top of your game. We've got to practice like it's for keeps. You can't just turn a switch on."

Canada rallied for a 3-2 win against the United States on Tuesday to earn the top spot in Group A and a medal-round opener against Switzerland, which finished fourth in Group B.

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I was in there icing my face as she was trying to push a baby out.

— Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf on going to the hospital with a facial laceration while his wife was in labor following Game 1 on Wednesday