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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 3:56 PM

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

Kane: 2010 Hawks would top 2011 Bruins

Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Kane was posed a hypothetical question after Saturday's morning skate: Who would win a Stanley Cup Final series between the 2010 champion Hawks and the 2011 champion Boston Bruins?

"I think we'd win," Kane said. "But it would be a good series. Tim Thomas was on fire, though, at the end of the series last year. It seems like every game they won they kind of blew out the Canucks. It would've been a good series."

The 2010 Cup Final certainly was a good one for Kane -- he scored the Cup-clinching goal in overtime of Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 3:54 PM

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

Seguin all grown up?

The way 19-year old Tyler Seguin has started this season -- he's tied with Brad Marchand for the team lead with 4 points -- begs the question of whether young stars like him have an advantage against the so-called "Stanley Cup Hangover" that's seemed to affect some of his older teammates.

Seguin said he doesn't really know the answer, since this past summer was his first official NHL offseason. So, he busted out a good one-liner instead.

"Well … I'm not 18 anymore, right?" he said.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 3:10 PM

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

Welcome to the Madhouse

Tyler Seguin is just 19, and in his second season, he hasn't visited all the buildings in the League.

Tonight will mark his first game in Chicago, and he's excited to see what the United Center -- aka the "Madhouse on Madison" -- is all about.

"There's only two or three buildings left I haven't played in and this is one of them," Seguin said. "I've heard amazing things about the atmosphere here. I'm definitely looking forward to that and I'm very excited."

Tempering that excitement, however, is the Bruins' difficult start. While Seguin is tied for the team scoring lead with 4 points and earned a promotion to center the team's first line tonight, he's more focused on getting the team straightened out from its 1-3-0 start.

"I feel very fortunate and lucky about what happened last year, but I don't think any of us wanted to start off with this record we have right now," said Seguin. "It's definitely time to turn it around."
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 3:06 PM

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

Seguin the man in the middle for Bruins

CHICAGO -- Those wondering if Tyler Seguin's recent move to center might stick for the long term might want to wait a bit.

The talented 19-year old will center the Boston Bruins' top line tonight, flanked by Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, when the defending Stanley Cup champions face the 2010 Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks here at the United Center (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

According to Bruins coach Claude Julien, this move is more like a sneak peek at what the future may hold for the second pick of the 2010 Entry Draft. Seguin has been playing right wing on the third line and is filling in for David Krejci -- who didn't make the trip because of a core injury -- on the top line.

"I think we all know right now that what we have at center, where he should fit, it's hard to move somebody out of that position," Julien said after Boston's morning skate. "He can be just as beneficial to us on the wing as he can be at center. I think down the road there's a better chance of seeing him there (center), but right now he's got a better chance at growing … and playing both positions, he'll understand it better."

Seguin played junior in his draft season with the Plymouth Whalers, and tied for the Ontario Hockey League in scoring with 106 points, so he knows how to play the position. However, the Bruins are stacked in the middle, with Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell.

Julien also wants Seguin to go through more battles on the outside in order to make himself into a complete player before moving to center full time.

"He's got to be a guy that's got to win battles for pucks -- not physically, but by determination," Julien said. "Putting him on the wing sometimes means that he's got to do those things. So we know where he's better at, but I think he's actually pretty good at both (positions). That versatility is only going to make him a better player."

Seguin says he's fine with either spot.

"It definitely can't hurt me (playing center)," said Seguin, who has a goal and 3 assists in four games. "These first few games I've gotten some good ice time, so I'm just trying to take advantage of that. It's impossible to replace Krejci, so I'm just doing whatever I can. I play the wing, too, so I don't know if I have a more preferred position. I'm just doing the right thing wherever I'm at."

Playing in the middle, however, does give Seguin more of a chance to create plays.

"There's a little bit more room to operate and be more creative," Bruins forward Rich Peverley, who also has flipped between center and the wing, said. "He's a guy who sees the ice very well, but he's got a great shot -- so he puts himself in great situations playing at center. He's played well so far."
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 2:54 PM

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

Projected lineups for Bruins, Blackhawks

Here is what the lineups could look like for tonight's battle between the defending Stanley Cup champions and the 2010 Cup champs, the Bruins and Blackhawks, at the United Center in Chicago (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

BRUINS
Milan Lucic - Tyler Seguin - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno CharaJohnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Matt Bartkowski
 
Tim Thomas will start in the goal, with Tuukka Rask as the backup.

BLACKHAWKS
Andrew Brunette - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Sharp
Daniel Carcillo - Patrick Kane - Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell - Dave Bolland - Michael Frolik
Rostislav Olesz - Marcus Kruger - Jamal Mayers
 
Duncan Keith - Nick Leddy
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Brent Seabrook
Steve Montador- Sami Lepisto

Corey Crawford will be back in goal, with Ray Emery the backup.

Viktor Stalberg could make his season debut tonight. He took shifts in Hossa's spot on right wing on the Kane line, and at left wing in place of Olesz on the Kruger line.

Defenseman John Scott, a scratch for two of the Hawks' first three games, also could play tonight. He took shifts alongside Montador.

For more on the game, Dave Lozo had a great look at how the teams have had completely different experiences defending their titles. You can also check out the game preview here.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 1:06 PM

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

Chicago's Hossa questionable against Cup champs

CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa did not participate in the morning skate Saturday for the Chicago Blackhawks and was classified as a "game-time decision" by coach Joel Quenneville against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

Hossa, 31, also missed practice Friday because of an upper-body injury that Quenneville expects to be "very short term."

Hossa, who's missed a total of 42 games since joining the Hawks in 2010, is off to another good start after tallying a goal and two assists in three games while playing right wing on the second line next to center Patrick Kane.

Kane, who was moved to center in training camp, hadn't spent much time on the ice at the same time as Hossa prior to the move. It's been working out great so far, though -- with the pair of slick playmakers setting their line up for good scoring chances on almost every shift of a 4-3 win Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets.

Forward Viktor Stalberg skated in Hossa's place Saturday morning and could play there if Hossa can't go. Stalberg's also been out since the preseason with a minor knee injury and could play on the fourth line if Hossa does play.

"I've been playing with (Hossa) for the past couple weeks now and developed a little bit of chemistry," Kane told NHL.com. "Right now, you'd like to see him in, because we played pretty well last game. So, it just seems like we're starting to hit our stride. I was talking to him this morning and hopefully it's one of those things where if he takes off a night it's better for him for the whole season."

Kane said Stalberg's speed could also mix well with his own playmaking skill.

"Viktor's obviously very fast, so it's kind of the same thing," Kane said. "I'll try to get him the puck in good areas and hopefully he can win some pucks back for us."

Boston's top center, David Krejci, is also out. He didn't make the trip after injuring a core muscle in practice earlier this week, while defenseman Adam McQuaid (upper body) was ruled out for this game on Friday by coach Claude Julien.

Matt Bartkowski will likely dress in place of McQuaid.
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Posted On Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 3:49 PM

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

Remembering the Jets

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews still remembers when the Winnipeg Jets left his hometown, back in 1996.

He was only 8.

"I remember it all," Toews said. "I remember having talks with my buddies ... a friend of mine who lived down the street was asking his dad why he didn't just buy the Winnipeg Jets. I don't remember what his dad said, but I went home and asked my dad the same thing."

What was the answer?

"I don't know," Toews said. "He probably just brushed it off and made up some story. But I remember going to games and all that stuff. You don't understand as a kid, really, what it means or how much you'll miss having a hockey team. Now, looking back, you realize what it meant to our city and what it means for them to get that second chance. Great memories. For me, that's where it all started. The NHL dream kind of came from that, going to Jets games and all that."
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Posted On Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 3:47 PM

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

Happy Birthday, gramps?

Sean O’Donnell doesn't look like he's 40, but for his 40th birthday today, the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman received a gag gift from his teammates that made him chuckle.

"There might have been a walker in my stall and a nice cake," said O'Donnell, who signed a one-year contract with the Hawks in the offseason. "Hockey guys, they'll never let you get too big (of an ego). If there's something to tease a guy on, they'll be pretty ruthless. I've heard a couple of good ones today, but that's part of the fun of a locker room."

As for culprits, he wasn't ready to single anybody out.
 
"It was one of those things where there were quite a few giggles," O'Donnell said. 'So, I think it was a team effort."
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Posted On Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 2:16 PM

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

Lineups for Blackhawks, Jets game

Here is what the lineups could look like when the Blackhawks and Jets face off in Chicago tonight.

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

Duncan Keith - Nick Leddy
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Brent Seabrook
Steve Montador - Sean O'Donnell

Ray Emery will make his season debut in goal tonight, with Corey Crawford serving as the backup.

JETS
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Kyle Wellwood - Mark Scheifele
Brett MacLean - Nik Antropov - Alexander Burmistrov
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Dustin Byfuglien - Tobias Enstrom
Zach Bogosian - Mark Stuart
Ron Hainsey - Johnny Oduya

Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal, with Chris Mason the backup
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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 6:41 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Wings to honor three victims of Lokomotiv crash

Detroit will do a number of things before Friday's opening game at Joe Louis Arena to honor the lives of former players Ruslan Salei, Stefan Liv and former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon.

The three were among those killed in the tragic September plane crash in Russia that killed 37 members of the KHL team Lokomotiv just outside of Yaroslavl. Salei played on the blue line for the Wings last season, Liv was once a Wings goalie prospect and McCrimmon was an assistant under Mike Babcock from 2008-11 - leaving after last season to become Lokomotiv's coach.

The Wings will wear a special patch in the Lokomotiv colors of blue and red on the left sleeve of their jerseys with the initials "BM, RS and SL."

Friday night's game-worn jerseys will also be used to raise funds for the three families, and wives of current Red Wings players will also sell honorary bracelets that say "Love for Lokomotiv" in the concourse - with the proceeds going to a fund for the families of players and staff killed in the crash.

Coaching staffs of both the Wings and Senators will also wear red and blue ribbons made by the wives of the Red Wings players. McCrimmon's family -- wife Maureen, daughter Carlin and son Liam -- still live in the Detroit area and will be honored on the ice prior to the game.
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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh