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Posted On Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 2:36 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bolland works to return to Toronto lineup

TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland has been out of action since Nov. 7 when a tendon in his ankle was cut by the skate blade of Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian.

Bolland resumed skating in Toronto this week and spoke to the media Saturday for the first time since getting back on the ice.

Dave Bolland
CENTER - TOR
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 10
SOG: 27 | +/-: 4

"It's not like any other rehab when you break an ankle and you can just say six weeks and you're back and it's healed," Bolland said. "You cut a tendon and it's got to re-heal itself. You've got to do the rehab, do the movements with the trainers and in the gym. It's not fun. It's grueling.

"You're always in the gym, you're always doing the things. You want to get back on the ice and you want to play but these are the things you've got to do to get back on the ice. Now I'm at that step back on the ice. Now it's just trying to get back into the game."

Bolland had surgery on the tendon shortly after he sustained the injury. It's a good sign that he's returned to the ice to skate, but it doesn't come without pain.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 2:11 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Beaulieu, Nattinen added to Canadiens lineup

TORONTO -- The Montreal Canadiens will have a pair of new players in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC, RDS), with defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and forward Joonas Nattinen drawing in. For Nattinen, it will mark his NHL debut.

"A hat trick, a great night in Montreal. But this'll do, I can do a hat trick here," Nättinen said describing what he pictured happening in his first NHL game. "I'm just trying to enjoy all the minutes I'll get there and play as good as I can for this team."

To make room for Nattinen, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Rene Bourque will be a healthy scratch. Nattinen likely will play on a line with rugged forwards Travis Moen and George Parros.

Defenseman Raphael Diaz did not skate Friday or at the morning skate Saturday and appears to be the likely removed for Beaulieu. Carey Price will start in goal.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 5:53 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres return Myers, Stafford to lineup

TORONTO -- The Buffalo Sabres will get defenseman Tyler Myers and forward Drew Stafford back in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Myers has served his three-game suspension for delivering an illegal check to the head of New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus and will return to his spot on the Sabres' top defensive pairing.

"I'm not the type of guy that's reckless or looking to injure somebody and I think on that play I was trying to be aggressive," Myers said. "At my height and my size I think it's going to happen sometimes. I have to be aware of it for sure, but I don't think I want to change my game."

Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan says Stafford is ready to go after he missed the past four games with an upper-body injury. He has four goals and 13 points in 41 games this season. Forward John Scott will also suit up against the Maple Leafs. Linus Omark and Marcus Foligno will sit to make room.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 1:33 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Read back in Flyers lineup against Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Philadelphia Flyers will get Matt Read back in the lineup when they face the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN). Read missed the past six games after sustaining a concussion against the Calgary Flames on Dec. 31. He has 10 goals and 19 points this season.

"He's an every-situation player for us," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "Penalty kill, power play, 5-on-5. He's fast, has the ability to put the puck in the net, so he adds speed. Like I said, he's an all-around kind of player."

Berube said there wouldn't be any limitations and would use Read in all situations.

The Flyers arrived to Buffalo having lost their past two games by a combined score of 10-4.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 2:28 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Injured Leafs forward Bolland hopes to start skating

TORONTO – The recovery for injured Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland is going well and the hope is he'll return to skating with the team this week.

"Bolland will hopefully start skating with us after these two games. Thursday is the target date," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's had to travel to Montreal to have a new boot specifically designed to relieve pressure around where his injury, the incision, the repair, was done and that boot is supposed to be made available to us after this weekend. Hopefully he'll join our hockey club for practice on Thursday and then that's the road to recovery. The plan is for him to make the road trip with us and practice a week from Monday."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:24 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Brodeur backing up again for Devils, mulling future

TORONTO – New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will be playing the role of backup to Cory Schneider for the third consecutive game Sunday night, and it has him thinking about his future.

Brodeur, 41, has not been a backup goalie during his 20-season career spent entirely with the Devils and it has him considering what happens next.

"My heart is," Brodeur told reporters about playing one more season. "My body could be a different story. We'll see. I'll see what the best scenario is for me if it's back in New Jersey or somewhere else. But right now, my heart is here to try and finish strong and prove that I can still be a big impact in hockey games."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:02 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Leafs dealing with illness, winless streak

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs have more than a four-game winless streak and the New Jersey Devils to contend with Sunday at Air Canada Centre. They're also battling illness.

According to Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, forwards Tyler Bozak and Jerry D'Amigo, defensemen Mark Fraser and Tim Gleason, and goalie James Reimer all missed the morning skate with some kind of sickness.

"There's either a flu bug or food poisoning," Carlyle said. "There's just too many of them under the weather and having the same symptoms. We don't quite have a finger on exactly what it is. We think that there's people that weren't skating this morning that will be available to us tonight."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 3:55 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres to start Enroth, plug in Sulzer on defense

BUFFALO -- After having a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday postponed until Feb. 25 because of a blizzard, the Buffalo Sabres will face the Florida Panthers on Thursday without defenseman Tyler Myers.

Myers was suspended three games for his check to the head of New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus. The Sabres were already shorthanded on defense without Henrik Tallinder (upper body). Alexander Sulzer will take Myers' spot in the lineup.

"We probably won't see a guy with over 28 minutes or 30 minutes," coach Ted Nolan said of his defense. "You'll probably see a whole lot of them with 15 or 20 instead."

Originally scheduled to play Tuesday, Jhonas Enroth will start in goal. Enroth stopped 44 shots to lead the Sabres to a 3-1 win against the Panthers on Oct. 25.


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Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 2:04 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Hurricanes' Eric Staal, Semin don't make Olympic cut

BUFFALO -- The announcement of the Olympic rosters proved to be an unkind one for a pair of Carolina Hurricanes players. Team captain Eric Staal was not named to Canada's roster and forward Alexander Semin did not make the cut for Russia.

Staal was a member of Canada's 2010 gold-medal winning team at the Vancouver Olympics, but was hampered this season by a knee injury he suffered at the 2013 IIHF World Championship after a knee-on-knee collision with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler of Sweden. He's currently injured with a separate lower-body injury.

"It [stinks] with that tough injury and for Eric not having the summer he wanted, probably, to get his body right," said Jordan Staal, Eric's brother. "Obviously he was ready for the season, but it's unfortunate that is the way it is."

In the Vancouver Olympics, Staal had one goal and five assists in seven games for Canada.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 12:32 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Konopka eager for debut with Sabres

BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres will have a bit of a new look Saturday night when they play host to the New Jersey Devils at First Niagara Center.

Newly acquired forward Zenon Konopka will be in the lineup and forward Ville Leino will be out with a nagging lower-body injury. Konopka was picked up off waivers from the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

"I pride myself on other players not wanting to play against me," Konopka said. "Not just because of the fighting and hitting but just overall strength. I’m looking forward to that and also the penalty kill. I killed a lot early in Minnesota and kind of everywhere else I’ve been."

Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said Konopka will likely start on a line with John Scott and Matt Ellis. Rookie defenseman Brayden McNabb will also play against the Devils. Alexander Sulzer will be scratched.

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— Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk after a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday
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