We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
 
SHARE
Posted On Saturday, 11.12.2011 / 1:06 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Detroit's Mursak progressing well in ankle rehab

DETROIT – He’s still a couple weeks away from putting on skates and getting back on the ice, but Detroit Red Wings rookie forward Jan Mursak is progressing from a severely broken ankle that happened in the preseason.

Mursak, who had earned a spot on the Wings before the injury, is encouraged by how quickly he was able to shed both the initial cast and the walking cast that followed. He’s walking around with no cast right now, even though the ankle still feels stiff and isn’t strong enough to run or jump on it yet.

“It’s going pretty good,” Mursak said after working out in the Wings’ weight room Saturday morning at Joe Louis Arena. “Every day it’s a lot better and I can do more stuff. There’s still certain things that I can’t do, yet hopefully in the next couple weeks I can get better and get back on the ice and start skating.”
   
Mursak didn’t require surgery to fix the fracture, which happened in a preseason game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Mursak was bumped during a hard charge to the net and lost his edge. He was sent flying feet-first into the dasher boards behind the net and his foot bent at an awkward angle – snapping a bone in his ankle and damaging some ligaments.

“I was lucky,” said Mursak, who made his debut with the Wings last season and played 19 games with Detroit. “It was kind of … on the line between surgery or not. I had to ask a few more specialists for ankles to see if I’d need one, but in the end I didn’t need (surgery), and it’s good because my recovery … it’s a lot shorter than it would be with surgery.”

The speedy Mursak played in 54 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League last season and finished with 13 goals and 22 assists. He’s just the second Slovenian to play in the NHL after the Los Angeles KingsAnze Kopitar and was eagerly anticipating his first full season in the League before he got hurt.

His last cast came off two weeks early, but Mursak doesn’t want to jump the gun in setting a timetable for a return – which doctors initially said would be around Christmas time in December.

“It just takes time to stretch that ankle now because it’s so stiff,” Mursak said. “We’ll see in the next few weeks how it goes. It’s still healing. It doesn’t hurt as much anymore. It’s just stiff and we have to stretch that out.”
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 11.12.2011 / 12:48 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Stars look for options to help replace injured Goligoski

DETROIT – A bad night in Pittsburgh on Friday for the Dallas Stars got worse with the news that puck-moving defenseman Alex Goligoski has a fractured thumb that could keep him out of action for up to a month.

Goligoski was hit in the hand by a shot just six minutes into the game and left the game immediately. He didn’t return and flew back to Dallas after the game for X-rays – which showed the fracture.

“It’s non-displaced, so it’s probably going to be a four-week thing,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said, following Dallas’ optional morning skate Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. “It’s a bad blow for us, but he took a wrist shot off the thumb, so it’s just one of those things that teams go through. Other guys can step up now.”

In the immediate short term, that will include Adam Pardy – who will step into the lineup in place of Goligoski on Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings. He will be on the second defense pairing with Mark Fistric, who was hit in the throat with a puck against Pittsburgh on Friday night but is healthy enough to play.

“(Pardy) is a guy we went after in free agency and really wanted,” Gulutzan said. “He’s a big body that can move, so this can be a good chance for other guys to showcase themselves on a full-time basis.”

Another guy to watch in that regard is 21-year old puck-moving defenseman Philip Larsen, who was recalled from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on Saturday morning. Larsen, Dallas’ fifth pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (No. 149), could see a lot of ice time while Goligoski. He played for Gulutzan on the Texas Stars last season, so the coach is already familiar with him.

“I like the idea of having a right shot here,” Gulutzan said. “(Goligoski) can skate, (Larsen) can skate. Obviously he’s not at the offensive level that Goose is. Goose is a one or two (defenseman) and Philip, in my mind, is a five or six guy in the NHL. He had a great training camp. I don’t think there will be any huge learning curve for Philip. I think he’ll be ready to step in and help us when he gets an opportunity.”

Gulutzan said that won’t happen in Saturday night, but could after Larsen gets a few practices with the Stars under his belt.

Prior to his call-up, Larsen led all Texas Stars defensemen in scoring with one goal and nine assists in 10 games. He was also their top-scoring defenseman on the power play by racking up six assists with the man-advantage.

“I’ve got a lot of trust in Philip,” Gulutzan said. “He’s got a high compete level. When you get European-skating defensemen like him, you seem to think he’s a real catalyst offensively. He’s good offensively, but he competes real hard defensively and that’s what I think about him.”

Gulutzan said the only other lineup decision to make will be whether Krystofer Barch or Jake Dowell plays left wing on the fourth line for the Stars, which he said will be a gametime decision made after warm-ups.


Here are the projected lineups for tonight at Joe Louis Arena between the Dallas Stars (11-4-0) and Detroit Red Wings (8-5-1):

DALLAS

Loui Eriksson - Jamie Benn - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Adam Burish
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Jake Dowell or Krystofer Barch -Tom Wandell - Toby Petersen

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley - Nicklas Grossman
Mark Fistric - Adam Pardy

Andrew Raycroft will start in net for the Stars, while Kari Lehtonen will get a night off as the backup.

DETRIOT

Tomas Holmstrom - Pavel Datsyuk - Danny Cleary
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Johan Franzen
Jiri Hudler - Darren Helm - Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Patrick Eaves

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard will start in goal for the Red Wings and Ty Conklin will be his back-up.

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 12:40 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Blackhawks, Flames

CHICAGO -- After breaking a three-game losing skid Thursday night in Columbus, the Chicago Blackhawks opted not to hold a morning skate Friday at the United Center.

The Calgary Flames, Chicago's opponent Friday night, did have a morning skate after making a couple of roster moves Thursday. The Flames placed veteran center Brendan Morrison on injured reserve because of "inadequate rehabilitation of ACL knee surgery," and placed veteran defenseman Anton Babchuk on IR because of a broken bone in his hand that happened while blocking a shot Tuesday in Minnesota.

They called up defenseman T.J. Brodie to replace Babchuk and center Paul Byron to take Morrison's spot on the roster.

The Blackhawks could be without two-way center Dave Bolland for the second straight game, after he injured his foot while blocking a shot against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

If Bolland is unable to play, look for Chicago coach Joel Quenneville to go with a similar lineup to the one he used against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-3 win Thursday night -- save for sixth defenseman John Scott potentially being replaced by Sami Lepisto or Sean O'Donnell.

The Blackhawks finally found some success on their struggling power play against the Blue Jackets, going 2-for-3 after coming into the game having scored just once in their previous 30 man-advantage situations.

One of the biggest changes Quenneville has made to the power-play units is putting defenseman Steve Montador in front of the net as a forward -- which paid off against Columbus. Montador scored one of Chicago's power-play goals and was on the ice for the other one, as well -- scored by veteran forward Andrew Brunette.

"We had a real good first period and when you get the power play going all of a sudden you get some excitement in the team game,"Quenneville told reporters after the game. "It was nice to see a couple nice plays and a couple nice finishes around the net."

Here are the projected lineups for Friday night:

CALGARY

Jarome Iginla - Mikael Backlund - Alex Tanguay
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Rene Bourque
Paul Byron - Roman Horak - Lee Stempniak
Tom Kostopoulos - David Moss - Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester - Chris Butler
Scott Hannan - Mark Giordano
Derek Smith - T.J. Brodie

Miikka Kiprusoff will start in goal for the Flames, while Henrik Karlsson will be his back-up

CHICAGO

Viktor Stalberg - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Daniel Carcillo - Patrick Kane - Patrick Sharp
Bryan Bickell - Marcus Kruger or Dave Bolland - Michael Frolik
Andrew Brunette - Jamal Mayers or Marcus Kruger - Rostislav Olesz or Jamal Mayers

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Nick Leddy
Steve Montador - John Scott or Sami Lepisto or Sean O'Donnell

Quenneville didn't reveal Thursday night who would start for the Hawks, but the regular starter is Corey Crawford with veteran Ray Emery backing him up.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 11.10.2011 / 3:32 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bertuzzi sidelined by dizziness, sinus infection

DETROIT -- Todd Bertuzzi will likely miss the next two games this weekend for the Detroit Red Wings with lingering dizziness and a sinus infection that have kept him out of two games and away from Joe Louis Arena for almost a week.

Bertuzzi was back in the building for Thursday's practice, but only lasted for about half of it before coming off the ice early. He said the problem started after getting hit in the face with a stick on Oct. 29 at Minnesota.

He played the next two games, both Red Wings' losses against the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames, before leaving the lineup because of the illness.

"It just kept getting worse and worse and I felt light-headed and dizzy and just didn't feel like myself," said Bertuzzi, who has 1 goal and 2 assists in 11 games. "Then I got a sinus infection and went and got my ears checked and had a little swelling in there. Now, (I'm) just on some pills trying to get the swelling down."

Detroit plays host to the Western Conference's top two teams -- the red-hot Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars -- in a rare home back-to-back occurrence on the schedule. Asked if he might be able to play in either game, Bertuzzi pretty much ruled it out.

"No, not the way I felt today … no," he said. "I don't know. (It's) day by day. In three or four days, hopefully the medication should kick in and (I'll) hopefully get my balance and stuff back."

At least his sense of humor is still intact. Asked if he'd lost any weight during his bout with the sinus infection, Bertuzzi hunched his shoulders.

"I don't know … if I say, 'Yeah,' then it looks bad on my wife for not cooking right," he said, smiling.

Taking Bertuzzi's place on the roster the past two games has been 26-year old Fabian Brunnstrom, who's played right wing on the fourth line while Tomas Holmstrom moved back into the top six forward to replace Bertuzzi.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 3:16 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Zetterberg says winning early is crucial

DETROIT -- Despite ending a six-game winless streak last weekend, the Detroit Red Wings are well aware that it was just one win and they need to keep winning to make up the ground they lost in the Western Conference standings.

The way things are in the West -- and the way they were last season -- every standings point matters, but especially those early in the season, when teams usually are at their peak from a health standpoint.

"It's so tight on both sides, and when you're looking back at the end of the year, it's a win here and a win there and that's a playoff (season)," Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "That could determine whether you're going to make it or not. You have to get a good start."

That's why he understood the rationale behind the St. Louis Blues firing Davis Payne on Sunday and hiring highly-regarded veteran coach Ken Hitchcock to replace him.

"If you don't have a good start, it's real tough to get something going," Zetterberg said. "All of a sudden you have 55 or 60 games left and you know you're done. Teams don't want that to happen, so (sometimes) you have to make a tough decision early."
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 3:12 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Brunnstrom moves out, hopes to move up

DETROIT -- Fabian Brunnstrom no longer is staying with the Zetterbergs, so at least he's moved out on his own in the Motor City.

Now, the task is to move up in the Red Wings' hierarchy of forward lines. The 26-year old Swedish forward has played just two games since making the team out of training camp on a tryout offer -- but his last time out was much better than his first.

After not playing at all in Detroit's first five games, Brunnstrom made his debut in a 7-1 loss in Washington Capitals. Soon after, he was sent to the Red Wings' affiliate in the American Hockey League, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

After playing a game -- and notching a goal -- with the Griffins, Brunnstrom was recalled this past weekend to replace Todd Bertuzzi (illness) in the lineup. He played on the fourth line, but chipped in an assist in a 5-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks. He also buzzed around the net a lot.

Brunnstrom now will get another game at right wing on the fourth line tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. If he continues to play well, you might see his name start to creep up higher in the forward lines – since Detroit coach Mike Babcock has said before that Brunnstrom has the talent to be a top-six forward.

For now, he's content with playing on the fourth line and providing energy.

"It's a great team with a lot of good players, so when I get a chance, I have to take that chance and try to do something good," Brunnstrom said. "You have to take every day one day at a time and just do the best you can. It's professional hockey. You can't take a break and just have to keep pushing every day."

That includes driving to the net and doing some of the dirty work that he wasn't always used to handling back in Sweden.

"Those are the things I've been trying to do a little bit more since I came over here," Brunnstrom said. "It's hard to score goals, but if you go to the net you give yourself a better chance."

Babcock, pleased to hear him say that, hopes that becomes as contagious in the Wings' locker room as whatever flu bug appears to be going around.

"Let's hope he spreads the word," Babcock said.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 3:06 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Oh captain … no captain?

DETROIT -- One of the first things that stands out about the Colorado Avalanche roster is the lack of a "C" next to any of the names.

Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny both have an "A" next to their names, as alternate captains, but there's no "C," and might not be a captain for some time.

"It's still a process that will play itself out here at some point," Avs coach Joe Sacco said. "When? I don't know, but it's a process that's playing itself out. We have a number of good leaders in this dressing room and that's why we're doing that right now. It will play itself out when it's the right time."

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 3:02 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Colorado's Wilson making presence felt with physicality

DETROIT -- Word is starting to get around the League that you'd better keep your head up on the ice whenever hard-checking Avalanche defenseman Ryan Wilson is out there.

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Wilson has been paired with hard-hitting 6-5, 234-pound Ryan O'Byrne and the pair is making life difficult for opponents trying to get past them. They're also adding some offense for the Avs as the team's third defense pair -- O'Byrne chipping in a goal and 2 assists to go with a goal and 7 assists for Wilson.

Their hits, however, is where they really make their mark -- especially Wilson, whom teammate Matt Duchene said is "one of best open-ice hitters I've ever seen."

"What he brings is pretty simple," Avs coach Joe Sacco said. "He brings an edge to the game and keeps the opponents on their toes when they're on the ice. He's one of those guys who, when you look at his name on the (scouting report), you'd better have your head up when he's on the ice. That's the type of players he is."

More often than not, that physicality to his game helps keep the puck out of the Colorado net, as Wilson leads the Avs with a plus-7 rating.

"He seems to always be a guy who's a plus player," Sacco said. "Last year, before we hit a bit of a tailspin, he was by far our plus/minus leader. He's dependable and he's also chipping in with some points, which is a bonus for us."
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 2:56 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Avs pleased with Duchene’s play at left wing

DETROIT -- Searching for a way to unlock some of Matt Duchene's untapped offensive potential, Colorado Avalanche coach Joe Sacco recently moved the talented center to left wing on the team's top line.

The results have been good, at least initially, so don't expect Duchene to go back to the middle anytime soon if the production of the new lines keeps up. Duchene, playing on the left side of star center Paul Stastny and right wing Milan Hejduk, has 3 goals and 5 points since the switch -- including a hat trick against the Dallas Stars last Friday.

The trio will try to keep it going tonight night at Joe Louis Arena against the Detroit Red Wings.

"I'm not thinking about it too much," Duchene said. "If I get put back at center, I know what to do with my own end at center. I know how to play it. I've played it my whole life. It's natural.  Wing … I'm getting used to, but I think it makes you a more versatile player. If I can be a good winger, I get to play with (Stastny), you know? He and I can play on the same line. If I'm not very good on the wing, I'm not able to do that. It just adds a different element to our team."

That’s the exciting part for Duchene, who had just 2 goals and 5 points in 12 games before the switch. He looks around the League like anyone else and sees how superstars on other teams often are paired because of that versatility.

"It's just like (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg here (in Detroit)," he said. "They're versatile and able to play on each other's wings when they need them to. Same with (Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews) in Chicago. Those types of great players, in terms of positionally, you want to model your game after."

While those pairs have been split recently -- Kane centers the second line in Chicago, while Datsyuk and Zetterberg mostly play on separate lines -- Duchene on the wing is working for the Avs and Sacco is happy to see it.

"I don't know if it created some excitement for him, I'm not sure, but there's definitely been some positive results individually for him," Sacco said of Duchene. "I'm looking at the big picture, though. I'm looking at what's best for the team here and right now that's what's best for the team, as well. That's a line that we can go to offensively."

As for the move coming as a message about his play, Duchene said it's nothing new to him, if that's the case.

"That's always happened to me," he said. "Since I've been there that's always been the case. It's been the case with almost everybody, just sending a message. Sometimes I'm not as careful with the puck as I should be. I'm a creative guy and sometimes that takes over a little too much. I try stuff that maybe I shouldn't. I'm always going to be creative, but I've just got to know how to manage it."
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 1:22 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Babcock praises Brunnstrom's contributions

DETROIT -- There won't be many changes to either of the lineups for the Red Wings and Avalanche, other than a shift of Tomas Holmstrom to the left wing on the top line for Detroit with Jiri Hudler moving down to the left side of the third line.

Forward Todd Bertuzzi (sick) is still out of action and didn't skate after not practicing on Monday and missing the game against Anaheim last Saturday. Patrick Eaves (back) skated but also remains out of the lineup after missing the previous two games with the injury.

Jakub Kindl re-enters the defense lineup for the Red Wings in place of veteran Mike Commodore, who got his first two games in last week against Minnesota and Anaheim. Fabian Brunnstrom, who picked up an assist in a 5-0 win against the Ducks last weekend, will remain in the lineup on the right wing of the fourth line -- at least until Bertuzzi or Eaves returns.

"Brunnstrom played great last game," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "He competed, he skated, he was on the puck ... he was good. He earned the right to play again and ideally he'll play well and keep earning confidence and be a player for us."

Meanwhile, Avs coach Joe Sacco said Matt Duchene will remain on the left wing of the top line with Paul Statsny and Milan Hejduk. Sacco likes what he's seen from Duchene on the left side, which he's only done for a few games so far.

"I've definitely seen improvement (from Duchene) the last two games that we put him on the left side with Statsny and Hejduk," Sacco said after Colorado's Tuesday skate at Joe Louis Arena. "The game against Dallas, he scores a hat trick ... but two of those goals are on the power play and he wasn't even on the ice with those two guys. But he just had more jump. He was skating and working."

AVALANCHE


Matt Duchene - Paul Statsny - Milan Hejduk
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Daniel Winnik
Joakim Lindstrom - TJ Galiardi - Chuck Kobasew
David Jones - Jay McClement - Kevin Porter

Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Shane O'Brien - Kyle Quincey
Ryan Wilson - Ryan O'Byrne

Semyon Varlamov will start in net for the Avalanche, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere will back him up.

RED WINGS


Tomas Holmstrom - Pavel Datsyuk - Danny Cleary
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Johan Franzen
Jiri Hudler - Darren Helm - Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Fabian Brunnstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard will start in net for the Red Wings, while Ty Conklin will back him up.




Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
First | Prev | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52-57 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres