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Posted On Friday, 05.09.2014 / 2:44 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Quenneville shakes up Blackhawks lines again

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has never been shy about shaking up how he deploys his players. The bright lights of the Stanley Cup Playoffs aren't going to change his ways, it seems.

Judging from the morning skate, the Blackhawks will have a new look up front in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round series Friday against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN). Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Friday, Chicago's morning skate featured forward lines completely different from those that started Game 3, a 4-0 victory by the Wild.

"All we can really do is prepare the way we had [the lines on Friday morning] and we'll see what happens," said center Ben Smith, who is playing the wing on a line centered by Jonathan Toews. "I think I have played with everyone this season, so it makes it a little easier. We're always prepared for that because that is the way it is. It keeps us guessing, keeps us in the game and keeps us involved."

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Posted On Friday, 02.21.2014 / 7:10 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

Finland scratches Rask from Olympic semifinal

SOCHI -- Finland goaltender Tuukka Rask has been scratched from the semifinal game against Sweden on Friday at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to the lineup posted by the IIHF.

Rask, of the Boston Bruins, is suffering from the flu, according to Finnish officials.

Backup Kari Lehtonen will replace Rask.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.16.2014 / 4:34 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

Slovenia's Kopitar leaves with stomach issue

SOCHI -- Slovenia forward Anze Kopitar did not finish his team's Group A loss to the United States on Sunday night due to a stomach ailment.

Kopitar, a star with the Los Angeles Kings, left in the second period and did not play in the third. He played 16 shifts totaling 11:31 in ice time.

After the game Slovenia coach Matjaz Kopitar, also Anze's father, said that Anze was suffering from a stomach issue and "had no power."

He also said that he removed Anze from the game as a precaution.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 3:34 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Sochi Travel blog

Bus ride shows it's a small world

SOCHI -- It really is a small world!

Woke up for Day 3 of my Olympic adventure feeling a bit out of sorts and disoriented. The adrenaline of coming to a foreign country and finding my way had turned into a routine. In my travels, the 72-hour mark has been the usual demarcation line for me when the novelty gives way to the tasks at hand, so I wasn't too surprised that Wednesday dawned with me a bit off-kilter.

But on the morning bus ride to the Bolshoy Ice Dome for another full day of hockey, a random encounter set me right.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 1:18 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

Daly: Decision on 2018 Olympics could come soon

SOCHI -- NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly likes what he has seen so far from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

And he says he is receiving favorable reviews from NHL players, who have now been on the ground here for two days.

"Everything is in one place and the arenas are brand-new facilities," Daly said Tuesday during an informal press conference at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, the main site of the ice hockey competition. "They are gorgeous facilities and they are close to the Athletes' Village, which makes it convenient for the players. They have only been here for 24 hours, but the reports I am hearing are very positive."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 6:22 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Sochi Travel blog

Russia team draws great interest in warm Sochi

SOCHI -- Welcome to Day 2 of the Sochi Olympics!

A little sleep was had by all after a day that stretched past 24 hours for the crew here, and things look much brighter after a little shut-eye.

It's really warm here in Sochi with temperatures hitting 54 Fahrenheit by 2 p.m. In fact, it is so warm that Sochi organizers have tapped into the emergency snow supply that has been hoarded for the past year to groom some of the mountain courses.

You are not supposed to sweat at a Winter Olympics, but there is a lot of that going on. Not that I'm complaining. In fact, the weather in the Coastal Cluster is very similar to the weather four years ago in Vancouver.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 3:21 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

Datsyuk practices, will play for Russia in opener

SOCHI -- Russia captain Pavel Datsyuk practiced Tuesday morning at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and declared himself ready for action in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"Everything is fine," Datsyuk said at Pushkin Hall in the Main Press Center. "My injury doesn’t bother me at all. I'm fully [acclimated]. We are all in the same condition."

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Posted On Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:20 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Sochi Travel blog

Exhausting but fun Day 1 in Sochi

SOCHI -- Well, Day 1 is in the books -- almost.

It's midnight here as Monday bleeds into Tuesday. We arrived almost 14 hours ago and took off from the United States almost 24 hours ago. We are all running on fumes at this point.

All that is left is to find the right bus back to our Ruskiy Dom hotel (the T3 is the hope) and we can grab some much-needed shut-eye. We are all a little punch-drunk now. Sleep never looked so promising.

Despite the demands Monday placed on us, it was a great day. We conquered so many challenges, met so many old friends and made even more new ones.

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Posted On Monday, 02.10.2014 / 2:24 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Road to Sochi blog

U.S. GM Poile not going to Sochi

SOCHI -- David Poile, the general manager for the United States men's team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, will not be joining the team in Russia because of injuries he sustained last week when an errant puck struck him in the face during a practice in St. Paul, Minn.

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero will serve as the acting GM for the United States in Sochi. Both announcements were made by USA Hockey after the team concluded its first Olympic practice at the Bolshoy Ice Dome late Monday night.

"He [Poile] is back in Nashville with great care," said Jim Johansson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "It's just not advisable for him to come to Sochi with everything he has to deal with. Saying that, he is still our general manager."

Poile, also the general manager of the Nashville Predators, had surgeries to his eye and nose areas Feb. 7 at a St. Paul-area hospital after being in hit in the face during the Predators' morning skate Feb. 6 at Xcel Energy Center. After spending most of the weekend in the hospital for observation, Poile flew back to Nashville on Sunday.

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Posted On Monday, 02.10.2014 / 8:07 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Sochi Travel blog

Welcome to Russia

SOCHI -- Welcome to Russia, readers!

The staff (myself, Corey Masisak, Dan Rosen and Arpon Basu) made it here this morning and will be here for the next two weeks, bringing you all the news from the biggest international hockey tournament of them all.

We will be sending these digital postcards each day. In them we hope to give you some insight into the Olympic experience away from the ice rinks.

Despite some trepidation, getting to Sochi was a snap. Our plane left at 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday out of Newark, N.J. It arrived at 9:30 a.m. ET Monday. I caught a few hours of sleep and woke up just in time to see the sun rise as we cut across the Black Sea before landing.

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I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
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