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Posted On Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 8:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - The Research Project

Larionov has the keys now

TORONTO -- Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov was all smiles as he breezed through the hotel lobby here Tuesday, waiting somewhat impatiently for his prized teenage clients to arrive.
 
Larionov found out hours before we saw him that he has officially been certified by the NHLPA to be a player agent in the NHL. He already received his certification to be a player agent in the Kontinental Hockey League six months ago.
 
"It took me a while, but I got the e-mail today," Larionov told NHL.com. "It feels good. It's a new adventure for me. I started in this last year after I resigned from the KHL's Board of Directors. I want to see young players play and guide them through to the NHL."
 
With his certification official, Larionov can relax and watch his clients, Sarnia Sting forwards Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk, participate in this week's Research, Development and Orientation Camp.
 
A year from now, he will likely find himself working out entry-level contracts for each client after they become first-round draft picks.
 
Yakupov is considered to be the top player eligible for the 2012 Entry Draft. He was the Rookie of the Year in the Ontario Hockey League with 101 points (49 goals, 52 assists) in 65 games. While playing for Team Russia, Yakupov had a hat trick in the bronze medal game at this year's World Juniors.
 
Galchenyuk had 83 points on 31 goals and 52 assists in 68 games for Sarnia last season. He's a 6-foot-2 center who skated for Team USA at the recently completed Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia. Galchenyuk's father, also named Alex, grew up playing in the Soviet Union and later represented Belarus in international competition, including the 1998 Olympics.
 
Larionov said he gets to Sarnia often to see his clients play.
 
"Detroit to Sarnia is a real easy trip," Larionov said.
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Tuesday, 06.14.2011 / 8:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Turco Talk

Luongo mentally strong enough to rebound

Veteran NHL goalie Marty Turco is lending his expert opinion to NHL.com in the form of his own blog. Turco Talk will be updated daily with Marty's thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Marty can also be seen daily on the NHL Network giving analysis on NHL On the Fly at the Stanley Cup Final.

On the eve of Game 7, Marty writes about Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo:


VANCOUVER --
Roberto Luongo is in a better state of mind than people assume he is right now.

He knows of his capabilities. It's one thing to be fighting the puck, one thing to be moving the wrong way, one thing to have your body not respond the way you want it to -- but in his mind the changes necessary aren't huge. They're not even minute on a physical level. There aren't really any changes that he needs to make.

The only thing Roberto knows he needs to do is blank everything out like goaltenders do, like he has done a thousand times in his career, and go out there and give himself and his teammates the best chance of winning. He knows he has to do that and he knows how to do it.

Of course, only Roberto knows what is exactly going on in his head, if he's feeling any added pressure that has hurt his chances to focus, prepare and visualize. But, let's all remember that this is a goalie who has past experiences. Just look at the first round this year for example, and, of course, the gold-medal game back here in this exact city and arena. He has to summon those positive memories.

I think he will.

Is he going to let some goals in? I don't know. There's a good chance of it, but it isn't going to be Roberto Luongo isn't playing well, or he's lost his game or lost his mind.

His resiliency has been forthright and needed here in these playoffs, and it's going to be tested again. He knows he's going to give it all and hopefully he can make some saves to help feed the crowd some and feed his teammates some confidence to continue to win at home, where the Canucks have been so good.

This is Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, something you dream of since you first start learning about the sport and about the NHL. Roberto's age and tenure in the National Hockey League will allow him to see that light.

It'll allow him to put it into perspective.

It'll allow him to do the one thing that he and his teammates and everybody that's cheering for the Canucks want him to do -- that's letting go of all things outside, positive and negative, so he can just stop the puck. As a goalie that's what you have to do.

His confidence is there. His game is there.

Roberto is a goaltender who has been under a lot of pressure and scrutiny, and the weight of the world will be lifted off his shoulders if he wins the Stanley Cup.
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Posted On Thursday, 06.09.2011 / 8:51 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Bruins ready for world-class Luongo in Game 5

VANCOUVER -- Tim Thomas has allowed one goal in the last two games and all of Vancouver can't stop talking about him. He's red-hot and whether the Canucks want to admit it or keep trying to fool themselves, in all likelihood Thomas is in their heads, dominating the mental game in the Stanley Cup Final.

On the flip side, Roberto Luongo has allowed 12 goals in the last two games and all of Boston can't stop talking about him. He's ice cold, but the Bruins insist they are not in his head.

Can it go both ways like that? Even if the Bruins do think they've got Luongo on tilt, do you really think they'd admit it?

"I don't think we're in Luongo's head at all," Brad Marchand said Thursday afternoon once the Bruins arrived in Vancouver. "He's one of those goalies that can shake a game off and get a shutout the next game. We just have to pray we're fortunate enough to get even one (Friday) night."

C'mon, really? Marchand has to be playing some of his own head games with that quote

Fortunate to get even one? They scored 12 over two games against Luongo in Boston.

"A lot of the goals have been kind of the not-so-straight-shot goals, so I don't think it's going to hurt his confidence at all," Rich Peverley, Boston's offensive hero in Game 4, told NHL.com. "He's a top caliber goalie, one of the best in the League. You know he's going to bring his 'A' game (Friday)."

Shawn Thornton said the same thing when he was asked about the Bruins' potentially being in Luongo's head. Despite the fact that Luongo was sieve-like at TD Garden, the Bruins' expectation is that he returns to being world-class in Game 5.

Luongo has given up four or more goals in back-to-back games twice in these playoffs, but he's also given up two or fewer goals in 13 of his 21 starts. He allowed four or more goals eight times during the regular season, including three games in a row in October.

"The guy doesn't have a gold medal for no reason. He can play," Thornton said. "I don't think anybody assumes we're in his kitchen now. He's going to have an unbelievable game (Friday) night, I'm sure. I know we're going to have our hands full."

So will Luongo.

"We have to keep playing the same way and that's all we need to worry about," Patrice Bergeron said. "Just keep doing the same thing we've been doing."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Tuesday, 06.07.2011 / 3:41 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Nasty boy Canucks

BOSTON -- Alexandre Burrows' had his biting incident with Patrice Bergeron in Game 1. Maxim Lapierre waved his finger in Bergeron's face in Game 2, daring him to chomp down. And, in Game 3, Ryan Kesler cross checked Dennis Seidenberg in the back enough times to make the Bruins' defenseman want to fight and Raffi Torres just missed with a flying elbow.

With all of this out front and center, it was no surprise that Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin was asked not once, but twice about if his team is comfortable being labeled as the nasty boys of this Stanley Cup Final?

Henrik's first response was a brush off.

"We don't really care," he said. "If people from the outside want to say what they want, that's fine."

When he was asked the same question again, he laughed and asked, "Are we?" When the reporter said, "That's what people are saying," Henrik responded, "Yeah, in Boston maybe."

Well, that is true. But, that's also part of being the villain, a role the Canucks don't seem to bothered by right now.

"I know what kind of group we have," Henrik said. "We're a tight group, honest players. There are guys that are going to maybe cross the line a little bit, but again, we're talking about gray areas. I don't think we're the dirtiest team in the playoffs. I don't think that by far. A lot of attention gets put on our team because we are where we are right now. That's the way it's going to be."


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Posted On Sunday, 06.05.2011 / 1:36 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Sedins not happy with their performance despite win

VANCOUVER -- For taking up two-thirds of a line that scored two goals Saturday night, Henrik and Daniel Sedin were pretty upset with the way they played in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"We played a lot better last game than we did tonight," Henrik said following Vancouver's 3-2 overtime win. "Tonight was maybe our worst game of the playoffs and we were able to score two goals. That's how it is sometimes."

Daniel Sedin scored the game-tying goal with 10:37 to play in regulation and Alex Burrows scored the winner 11 seconds into overtime. Burrows had the primary assist on Daniel's goal and Daniel had the primary assist on Burrows' goal. Henrik was on the ice for both.

However, the Sedins and Burrows were bottled up for most of the first two periods and didn't truly spring to life until after Daniel scored his goal. They finally started to find some time and space in the offensive zone when the game was tied at 2-2, and that's probably due to the fact that they began to wear down Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara, who was their shadow all night long.

Daniel finished with the goal, assist and four shots. Henrik had no points for the second straight game and won only four of 13 faceoffs to drop his record to just 12-26 in the series. Burrows had a huge night with two goals, an assist and five hits, but he was also limited offensively in the 37-plus minutes between his first goal and Daniels' tying goal.

"I thought our line didn't play that good, but we probably got rewarded for all the chances we had last game," Daniel said.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Thursday, 06.02.2011 / 6:45 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Canucks 'relieved' not to lose Burrows

Canucks forward Alex Burrows has come under some fire for his biting incident with Patrice Bergeron at the end of the first period Wednesday night. However, his teammates don't believe any of the negative publicity will have an effect on the way he prepares and eventually plays in Game 2.

They say Burrows has matured too much to be bothered by such crazy things.

"I think he's starting to realize how good he is," Daniel Sedin said. "He doesn't need to do those kinds of things. He's too good of a player to do that. I haven't seen yesterday's incident, but that's not him anymore."

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault went as far as saying that Burrows was not undisciplined in Game 1 and that he played a solid game save for a holding penalty he took in the offensive zone 10:18 into the first period. Burrows was whistled for four minor penalties, including the double he got for roughing with Bergeron at the end of the first.

Burrows, who said Bergeron's finger went into his mouth but he did not bite down, was not given the opportunity to stick up for himself on Thursday as he wasn't made available to the media at the University of British Columbia. It was up to his teammates to do the talking, and, to a certain extent, defend him.

Their comments leaned heavily in favor of what Burrows brings to the team, and specifically to the top line. None of them seemed to understand why there was so much fuss over the alleged bite, and most said they didn't even see it.

"He'd be good on any line, but with us he's a great forechecker, reads the play really well and he's a smart player," Daniel Sedin said. "He doesn't do anything extremely well, but he does a lot of things well."

Daniel added that the Canucks were relieved to learn that NHL Senior V.P. of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy chose not to suspend Burrows over the biting incident.

"We need him out there," he said. "He plays in every situation. Big part of this team. Obviously we're happy to have him inside the rink."

Even Bergeron, the alleged victim, was ready to move on from the incident.

"I'm over it," Bergeron said. "I'm looking forward to the next game. I don't want to whine about that stuff. I don't care."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.24.2011 / 8:47 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Western Conf. Final: Canucks-Sharks Blog

Sharks jumble top three lines for Game 5

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Of all the potential changes that were possible for both teams heading into Game 5 of the Western Conference, the Canucks are the only team making a lineup change and it's a small one at that with Victor Oreskovich going in to play right wing on the fourth line for Alex Bolduc.

However, the Sharks showed three new forward lines in warm-ups for the first time in the series. Only their fourth line with Jamie McGinn, Andrew Desjardins and Jamal Mayers remained in tact.

It appears Logan Couture will move up to play Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton on the top line. Joe Pavelski will center the second line between Ryane Clowe and Devin Setoguchi. Dany Heatley, who hasn't produced in the series, is now on the third line with Kyle Wellwood and Torrey Mitchell.

These were the same lines that the Sharks used in the third period of Game 4, when they ripped 17 shots at Roberto Luongo and scored two goals.

Vancouver defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome are both still out with injuries, so the Canucks' third pairing will again be Keith Ballard on the left side and Chris Tanev on the right.

San Jose defenseman Jason Demers is also not in the lineup despite saying Tuesday morning that he is 100 percent ready to go after overcoming some bumps and bruises in his upper body that kept him out of the first four games of the series.

Here are the lines and defensive pairings that each team showed in pre-game warmups:

SAN JOSE

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Logan Couture
Ryane Clowe - Joe Pavelski - Devin Setoguchi
Torrey Mitchell - Kyle Wellwood - Dany Heatley
Jamie McGinn - Andrew Desjardins - Jamal Mayers

Dan Boyle - Douglas Murray
Ian White - Niclas Wallin
Kent Huskins - Marc-Edouard Vlasic

Antti Niemi
Antero Niittymaki

VANCOUVER

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alex Burrows
Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - Mason Raymond
Raffi Torres - Maxim Lapierre - Jannik Hansen
Tanner Glass - Cody Hodgson - Victor Oreskovich

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Alex Edler - Sami Salo
Keith Ballard - Chris Tanev

Roberto Luongo
Cory Schneider

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Sunday, 05.22.2011 / 10:09 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Western Conf. Final: Canucks-Sharks Blog

Record setting day for Canucks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- It was a record-setting day for the Vancouver Canucks. Here is some of what they were able to accomplish in their 4-2 win over San Jose in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals:

* Vancouver set an NHL postseason record for most 5-on-3 goals scored in a single playoff game (3).

* The Canucks' three power play goals were scored in a span of one minute and 55 seconds, which is a new team record for fastest three goals in playoff history. It's also a record for the fastest three power play goals scored in NHL playoff history since the current power play rule came into play in 1957.

Prior to 1957, the penalized player was not allowed to leave the box after a goal was scored. The Red Wings and Canadiens scored three power play goals in a span of 56 seconds in 1954, but that was under the old rule.

* Sami Salo's pair of goals 16 seconds apart is a Canucks' playoff record for fastest two goals. Since they were both on the power play, Salo also tied Larry Murphy's NHL record for fastest two power play goals in the playoffs since 1957.

Bernie Geoffrion scored two power play goals 12 seconds apart under the old rule in 1955.

* Henrik Sedin's four assists gives him the team's single-game record for most assists in a playoff game. His three assists in the second period is also a new team record for most assists in a period.

* While this record isn't listed in Vancouver's playoff media guide, you have to assume that their 75 percent shooting in the second period (3 goals on four shots) has got to be one.

* The Canucks also set a record for fewest shots in a playoff game with 13, but that didn't matter.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


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Posted On Sunday, 05.22.2011 / 3:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Western Conf. Final: Canucks-Sharks Blog

Lineups for Game 4

Vancouver defensemen Keith Ballard and rookie Chris Tanev are going to get their chance Sunday afternoon to prove to coach Alain Vigneault he need not worry if the injuries to Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome are indeed of the serious variety.

Ballard and Tanev will make up the Canucks' third defensive pair in Game 4 against San Jose at HP Pavilion. Ehrhoff and Rome were both injured in Game 3 and their statuses have not been updated by the team, but it's believed Rome is more banged up than Ehrhoff, who is likely out with a shoulder injury.

Ballard, who is making $4.2 million this season, has been a healthy scratch for seven straight games while Tanev will be making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut. Ballard has suited up in seven playoff games this spring and has no points and four penalty minutes. Tanev, who played 29 games in the regular season, was recently called up after the Manitoba Moose were eliminated from the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Vigneault said Saturday that he has complete faith in Ballard despite knocking him down the depth chart as the season progressed. Ballard said he would understand if Vigneault doesn't have confidence in him because he's been inconsistent in his first year with the Canucks.

Ballard said he wasn't looking at Sunday's game as his opportunity to erase the bitter taste of a rough first season in Vancouver, but if he plays well a lot of what has happened to him would be forgotten for the time being. He just wants to play well to help the team win.

Since Tanev is a righty, Ballard can play on the left side, where he is more comfortable. Vigneault chose to play Tanev over Alberts likely because he is a righty. Alberts is a lefty and if he were in, Ballard would have to move to the right side.

Vancouver also has a change in its forward lines with Cody Hodgson drawing back in for Victor Oreskovich. Hodgson was scratched for Game 3 in favor of Alex Bolduc, but now he will be back on the fourth line with Bolduc and Tanner Glass.

The Sharks will be using the same lineup that was good enough to win Game 3, meaning Ben Eager, Scott Nichol and Ben Ferriero remain as scratches while Jamie McGinn, Andrew Desjardins and Jamal Mayers retain their spots on the fourth line. Jason Demers will miss his fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury.

Here are the rest of the lines, defensive pairings and goaltenders for Game 4:

VANCOUVER

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alex Burrows

Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - Mason Raymond

Raffi Torres - Maxim Lapierre - Jannik Hansen

Tanner Glass - Cody Hodgson - Alex Bolduc

 
Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa

Sami Salo - Alex Edler

Keith Ballard - Chris Tanev

 
Roberto Luongo

Cory Schneider

 
SAN JOSE

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Devin Setoguchi

Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Dany Heatley

Torrey Mitchell - Joe Pavelski - Kyle Wellwood

Jamie McGinn - Andrew Desjardins - Jamal Mayers


Dan Boyle - Douglas Murray

Niclas Wallin - Ian White

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Kent Huskins

 
Antti Niemi

Antero Niittymaki

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Saturday, 05.21.2011 / 7:23 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Western Conf. Final: Canucks-Sharks Blog

Q&A with Joe Pavelski

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- I caught up with Sharks center Joe Pavelski today after San Jose's workout at Sharks Ice. We chatted for a few minutes and here is a transcript of our discussion.

Do you believe that momentum can carry over from one game to the next in the playoffs?

"There definitely are swings throughout games. One game to the next? I would say there has got to be a little bit, but you can squash it pretty quick as soon as the puck drops. I don't think there is all that much from puck drop to puck drop. I think you can re-establish and you have to re-establish yourself from game to game."

So, who carries that little bit of momentum into Game 4? Your team won, but they scored two late goals to make it interesting.

"Well, see, that's the thing. You have to re-establish it because it's a new game, guys are going to make different plays and certain players are going to have the puck a little bit more than others."

When Patrick Marleau gets on a streak like he is on right now with 5 goals in four games, do you notice things that he does in his game that are different from what he does when he's not going well?

"No, not really, not a whole lot. I mean, he seems to play the same way. He might be a little more engaged at times, but when he is scoring goals he is definitely moving good."

Their 'D' got beat up yesterday and two guys might not play. Does that affect you guys in any way?

"I'm sure they're going to have players that step in and are going to be ready to fill a challenge as we will too if someone gets hurt. From that case we can't let our game slip at all. It has to get better."

What do you think about the leads in the playoffs? Boston had a 3-0 lead against Tampa today and they lost 5-3. You guys had a 4-1 lead going into the final 10 minutes in the third period last night and had to hang on to win 4-3. Is nothing safe?

"Yeah, it happens fast, especially when you have power plays and you have to kill off five minutes. The score can change in a hurry. We've seen it all throughout playoffs so we have to keep pushing, keep guys down and find a way to get that next goal."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Quote of the Day

Because of the way they play and their skill set I don't think they're fourth-line players, so in my mind I'm looking at one of those guys I'll have to move over to the wing.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on his four-player battle for second-line center