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Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 6:01 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Scheifele seeks full-time job, starting in Hockeyville

BELLEVILLE, OntarioWinnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele has experienced brief tastes of life in the NHL over the past two seasons. But the first-round pick (No. 7, 2011) said he believes he's ready to make the jump full-time.

Scheifele, 20, made it extremely difficult for Jets brass to send him back to the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League in the fall of 2011, when he scored his first NHL goal during a seven-game audition at the start of the 2011-12 season. But he was ultimately sent back to Barrie, where he scored 23 goals and 40 assists in 47 games.

He was held without a point in four NHL games last season and was sent back to Barrie after the Jets opted not to use a year on Scheifele's entry-level contract on the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Schiefele finished with 39 goals and 40 assists in 45 games for the Colts.

Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 4:29 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Capitals aim to put on a show for Stirling-Rawdon

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – When Alex Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals teammates arrived at Yardmen Arena for the morning skate Saturday in preparation for the evening's Kraft Hockeyville game against the Winnipeg Jets (7 p.m. ET, CBC, NHL Network-U.S.), they had a large crowd waiting to greet them.

Plenty of autographs were signed and handshakes exchanged as one of the biggest stars in the world was center stage in a town that normally doesn't host NHL games. The Capitals' captain said he's ready to put on a show for the people of Stirling-Rawdon and its surrounding communities as the puck drops on the NHL preseason.

"It's good for people, it's good for fans," Ovechkin said. "People are excited right now, so we're just going to give them a good time to spend tonight."

Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 4:01 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Belleville alumni happy to be back in town

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – When the Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals were announced as the teams that would compete in the 2013 Kraft Hockeyville game at Yardmen Arena, a few players were overjoyed.

Eric Tangradi and the Jets arrived in town Friday night, and the 24-year-old forward quickly met up for dinner with Rob and Ilene Cook, his billets during his time with the Belleville Bulls from 2006-09. The memories immediately began to flow back.

Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 10:09 AM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Cheveldayoff, Jets return to Kraft Hockeyville

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – For the second time in three years, the Winnipeg Jets will be participating in the Kraft Hockeyville preseason game as they face the Washington Capitals on Saturday night at Yardmen Arena.

They're thrilled to be back.

"I think the whole concept around Hockeyville is just an exciting time," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff told NHL.com in an exclusive interview Saturday morning. "It really brings everything back to the grass-roots level from all perspectives, especially from the guys' perspective. It's a little bit different than just a normal exhibition game. I think from that standpoint, it's exciting for them."

Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 2:22 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Ovechkin to join Capitals at Kraft Hockeyville

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – Good news for those who will be in town for the 2013 Kraft Hockeyville festivities: Alex Ovechkin will be in town.

NHL.com has learned that the Washington Capitals superstar will be among those in Stirling-Rawdon and Belleville when the team arrives here Saturday morning. The Capitals will face the Winnipeg Jets at Yardmen Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (CBC, NHLN-U.S.).

It is not known yet if Ovechkin will play in the game, but he will definitely be in town. The 27-year-old right wing won the Hart Trophy last season as the NHL's Most Valuable Player. He had 32 goals and 24 assists in 48 games, leading the Capitals to the Southeast Division title.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 12:42 AM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Lack of power plays doesn't deter Bruins

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers power play certainly needs more work. Their penalty kill, however, hasn't had any of late at Madison Square Garden.

The Boston Bruins did not receive a power play in their 2-1 victory against the Rangers in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series Tuesday night. New York went 0-for-2 and has received the past 11 man-advantages awarded in its building.

That might be a frustrating statistic for most teams, but the Bruins managed to keep their focus in Game 3 and came away with a victory that has the Rangers on the brink of elimination heading into Thursday's Game 4.

Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 2:42 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Essensa gets to turn back the clock at morning skate

NEW YORK -- More than a decade has passed since Bob Essensa played in an NHL game. But on Tuesday morning, the 48-year-old was facing shots again.

The Boston Bruins goaltending coach took Tuukka Rask's spot on the ice at Madison Square Garden for the team's optional skate prior to Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the New York Rangers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

One of the lighter moments came when Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk ripped a slap shot Essensa didn't even try to stop. He wasn't about to make any quick movements that weren't going to agree with his body.

"Anything I had to reach for … yeah," he said to reporters. "Just like the good old days."

Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 12:48 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Bruins' Seidenberg unlikely to play in Game 3

NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien said he would be surprised if defenseman Dennis Seidenberg would be available to play Tuesday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Seidenberg did take part in the team's optional morning skate but apparently is not ready to return to action. He has been out since sustaining a lower-body injury on the first shift of Game 7 of the Bruins' first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Seidenberg is one of three injured veteran defensemen doubtful or out of the lineup. Wade Redden and Andrew Ference have been out since Game 6 of the first round. In their places, rookies Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug have helped the Bruins take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"Probably not Seidenberg; Redden, we'll see," Julien told reporters Tuesday morning when asked if either would participate in Tuesday's pregame warm-ups. "They're skating this morning, but I don't think [Seidenberg] will be in. If he is, it'll be a surprise to me as much as you guys."

Here is the Bruins' projected lineup for Game 3:

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 8:52 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Sharks trying to solve Kings goalie Quick

The San Jose Sharks were feeling the same frustration Tuesday night experienced by the St. Louis Blues during the latter's final four games of the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

No matter what the Sharks did in Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinal against the Los Angeles Kings, they could not solve 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick. The Kings goaltender stopped all 35 shots he faced, including 16 in the third period, to lead Los Angeles to a 2-0 win at Staples Center.

After dropping the first two games of the postseason, the Kings have won five in a row. Much of that is due to the play of their goaltender, who lowered his goals-against average to 1.36 while raising his save percentage to .953.

"He's in a zone right now. He's playing great," Sharks forward Logan Couture said Wednesday. "He's seeing everything, he's compact with the puck. It's hitting him and it's not coming off him. We've got to find a way. The St. Louis series, they were saying the same things that I'm saying right now. We've got to find a way to score."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 8:07 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Tavares, Islanders ready to face Vokoun in Game 5

It didn't come as much of a surprise Wednesday afternoon when Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma informed reporters that Tomas Vokoun would replace Marc-Andre Fleury in goal for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders.

Fleury allowed six goals on 24 shots in Tuesday's 6-4 loss in Game 4 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. With the best-of-7 series shifting back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday tied 2-2, Bylsma is going with Vokoun, who went 3-0-0 with a shutout against the Islanders during the regular season.

Not long before Bylsma made the announcement, Islanders center John Tavares discussed the possible switch with Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York.

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The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
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