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Posted On Thursday, 09.25.2014 / 2:48 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Olczyk awed by All-American Prospects Game talent

BUFFALO -- If there's one person involved in the CCM/USA All-American Prospects Game who gets what it's like to be an American player, it's Ed Olczyk.

Olczyk will be behind the bench at First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network) for the annual showdown between two sides of the best prospects in the United States, and as a former member of the United States Olympic team, seeing the number of top young stars is encouraging.

"It speaks to where USA Hockey has come, really in a short period of time when you look at the big picture. The size aspect of it is amazing," Olczyk said. "Just being out on the ice with them for 30 minutes kind of puts it all in perspective, because when you watch them through the glass or watch them from the press box or in the stands as a hockey parent -- you understand, because, I mean, I lived it -- but once you're out there with them up close in a practice or like looking forward to tonight, you get a true appreciation for the talent level and the want to, and that's something that really separates a lot of these kids."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 1:16 PM

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

Sabres get Stewart, Foligno back vs. Red Wings

BUFFALO -- The Detroit Red Wings won't make any lineup changes when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, but the same can't be said of the Sabres.

Buffalo will have forwards Chris Stewart, Marcus Foligno and Torrey Mitchell back after each missed time with injury.

Stewart has been out since March 6, his second game with the Sabres, when he sustained an ankle injury in a collision with Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback and was believed to be out for the season.

"A couple weeks ago I really turned the corner," Stewart said. "I made up my mind I was going to try and push it here and get back for a couple games."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 7:14 PM

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

Lupul returns for Maple Leafs; Kane sits for Jets

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets will have notable lineup changes when they play at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.

Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul took line rushes during warmups and will return to the lineup. Lupul missed the game Thursday against the Boston Bruins with a lower-body injury; Jerry D'Amigo will be scratched to make room for him.


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Posted On Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 1:20 PM

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

Maple Leafs sense tide finally turning in their favor

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs head into their final home game of the regular season hoping this won't be the last time they take the ice at Air Canada Centre this season.

The Maple Leafs have won two games in a row and head into their game against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Eastern Conference's second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Toronto got a bit of help when the Chicago Blackhawks defeated Columbus 4-3 Friday.

"I was watching it," Kadri said of the Blue Jackets loss to the Blackhawks. "It was a pretty spectacular finish. I did fist pump one or two times. That's just the bounce. We haven't seen any of those. Some of the goals, even, we're scoring, now I think it's catching up with us a little bit and it's starting to favor us a little more."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 7:36 PM

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

Soderberg out for Bruins; Iginla back

TORONTO -- Forward Carl Soderberg is not in the Boston Bruins lineup Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Soderberg returned to Boston due to personal reasons, as was expected with his wife expecting their child.

Forward Jarome Iginla returned to the lineup after he did not play Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 1:23 PM

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

Maple Leafs face postseason-type battle with Bruins

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs head into their game Thursday against the Boston Bruins looking to stay in the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Maple Leafs broke an eight-game losing streak with a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday and sit one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Obviously we like to know what spot we're in and what position we're in," Toronto forward Nazem Kadri said. "That's something we've been looking over the past few weeks, or even the whole course of the season, not just today. We understand where we're at and where we need to go, so tonight's an important building step in that direction, so we've got to make sure we come out ready to go."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.01.2014 / 1:56 PM

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

Maple Leafs' Kessel proclaims himself fit to play

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs head into their game Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames on an eight-game losing streak. One question they had was the health of their leading scorer, right wing Phil Kessel.

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said Kessel, who bruised his foot against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, is available to play against the Flames.

"He says he's available to play," Carlyle said. "So basically it's been two days of treatment and he's telling us he's ready."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.29.2014 / 2:26 PM

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

Maple Leafs set for four-point game vs. Red Wings

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs take a seven-game losing streak into Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings in what amounts to a must-win game.

The Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, and Columbus Blue Jackets all start the day with 80 points in the standings as they chase the two Eastern Conference wild-card spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Maple Leafs are at a disadvantage because the three teams they're competing with have more games remaining.

"I think it's one of those four-point games," Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson said. "Any time you play a team that you're in direct competition with, they're bigger than the others; especially at this time of year with the position that both teams are in. I think it's definitely one of those four-point games."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 2:02 PM

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

Maple Leafs could get Bernier back in goal

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs may have goalie Jonathan Bernier back against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Bernier has been out since March 13 when he left the game against the Los Angeles Kings with a strained groin. The Maple Leafs have lost five in a row in regulation without him. He joined goalies James Reimer and Drew MacIntyre at the morning skate and was the first one off, indicating he may get the start against the Blues.

"It would be huge," Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul said about Bernier. "He's been great for us all year and he's one of the better goalies in the League this year. He's pretty much given us a chance to win every game he's played in this year. It'd be big for us."

When asked if Bernier was ready to play, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said they were waiting to hear from the medical staff if he was ready to go.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 7:16 PM

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

Maple Leafs' Bolland returns against Canadiens

TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland made his return to the lineup Saturday night.

Bolland, in against the Montreal Canadiens, had been out of action since Nov. 2 when a tendon in his ankle was cut by a skate against the Vancouver Canucks.

"He's progressed along over the last three weeks to a point where the doctors feel, medically, that he's close to 100 percent ready and we just have to make a decision on the last assessment here," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said prior to the game.

Bolland missed 56 games with the injury and was slated to play on a line with Mason Raymond and David Clarkson.

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One player does not make your team. One player can help your team, but one player does not make your team. We're not a bare-bones organization.

— Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson
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