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Posted On Monday, 12.26.2011 / 12:27 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Visentin gets the nod in Canada's WJC opener

Canadian National Junior Team coach Don Hay on Monday declared goalie Mark Visentin his starter against Finland in the country's 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship opener at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

The Canadians, winner of the silver medal the previous two years, will open their Group B preliminary-round schedule against the Finns Monday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

In addition to having the most experience of the two goalies on the team, the start could give Visentin an opportunity to put to bed the final 20 minutes of last year's gold-medal loss to the Russians. Visentin is constantly reminded of his team's gold medal game collapse on Jan. 5, 2011. To some, it was considered the worst defeat in the illustrious international history of Team Canada.

And Visentin had a front row seat.
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Posted On Monday, 12.26.2011 / 12:12 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Tortorella expects strong start from Rangers

NEW YORK -- The holiday break couldn't have come at a worse time for the Rangers, who won their fourth straight game Friday. The 4-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers moved the Rangers into first place in the Atlantic Division and second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers will get back at it Monday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Islanders, who the Rangers beat 4-2 on Thursday.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said it doesn't matter if his team is playing on two days rest, five days rest or against a division rival. The short layoff can't be an excuse for having a slow start Monday night.

"Doesn't matter," Tortorella said. "Everybody has a break for two days. You can't take a period to get ready. If it takes a period to get ready, then we're up against it. I believe both teams will be ready to play. It doesn't matter who we're playing or who they're playing, everybody went through the same thing. It's about getting back to playing the game."

In the Rangers' win against the Flyers, Tortorella used four defensemen across his two power-play units. There have been times when forwards Brad Richards or Derek Stepan manned the point, but Tortorella said he'd prefer to keep his top forward lines (Brandon Dubinsky-Richards-Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov-Stepan-Marian Gaborik) together with the man-advantage.

The Islanders had their morning skate on Long Island. The Rangers had theirs at MSG. Henrik Lundqvist will start, and this is how the lines will likely look later in the day:

Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Brandon Dubinsky - Brian Boyle - John Mitchell
Ruslan Fedotenko - Michael Rupp - Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Tim Erixon - Stu Bickel

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron
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Posted On Monday, 12.26.2011 / 6:45 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

U.S. members celebrate holiday in Western Canada

For the first time in its history of competition at the World Junior Championship, the U.S. National Junior Team will face Denmark. The game is slated for 8 p.m ET (NHLN-US) at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

The U.S. has won its last four WJC openers. Last year, Nick Bjugsted scored in overtime as the United States scored a 3-2 victory over Finland. Finland will open the tournament against Canada in what is sure to be an intriguing tussle on Monday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The U.S. received a special gift from team doctor Phil Johnson's daughter, Paloma, upon their arrival at Rexall Place on Christmas Day. All the players found tiny stockings filled with cookies baked by the 10-year-old. In addition, the U.S. locker room was decorated with drawings by members of Paloma's elementary school class.

In addition, the players held a gift exchange on Christmas night. According to USA Hockey's public relations department, the most popular item "was what can best be described as a Christmas sweater," which Bjugsted apparently stole Jon Merrill at the end of the exchange. Looks like the Grinch is alive and well in Western Canada.

While most members of Team USA celebrated Christmas, team captain Jason Zucker has been celebrating Hanukkah. Zucker is the only Jewish member on the team.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.24.2011 / 1:20 PM

By Jacob Trouba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jacob Trouba draft blog

Trouba excited to represent U.S. at 2012 WJC

Hello everyone and happy holidays!

I don’t know where to begin as I’ve had a busy couple of weeks and months. We at the U.S. National Under-18 Team have taken a short break from the collegiate competition we’ve been facing to take on a slew of games in the United States Hockey League. We had some ground to make up in the standings and went 4-1-1 in our most recent stretch. The U.S. National Under-17 Team went 3-1-1 and it seems as if both teams are coming together quite nicely.

Away from the rink, National Team Development Program staff and players all participated in the Salvation Army bell ringing campaign throughout Ann Arbor, Mich. in early December. This is a great time for us to give back to the community and bond off the ice. Each location has a friendly competition to see who raises the most money and we do our best to fundraise by singing carols (we are not the best of singers…but we get an “A” for effort), doing cartwheels and such and helping people with their groceries. We always have a good time and it’s for a good cause.
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 9:38 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

PHI @ NYR - 17:50 of the Third Period

At 17:50 of the third period in the Flyers / Rangers game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck entered the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Philadelphia.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 9:12 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

NSH @ DAL- 12:30 of the First Period

At 12:30 of the first period in the Nashville / Dallas game , video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck was deflected into the net below the height of the cross bar. Good goal Dallas.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 8:25 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

PHI @ NYR- 10:18 of the Second Period

At 10:18 of the second period in the  Flyers / Rangers game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck entered the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Rangers.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 7:48 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

FLA @ BOS- 17:28 of the First Period

At 17:28 of the first period in the Florida / Boston game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck did not cross the goal line.  No goal Boston.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 6:25 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Weiss likely to sit Tuesday as well

BOSTON -- Florida coach Kevin Dineen said Friday night that No. 1 center Stephen Weiss would probably miss the team's next game Dec. 27 at home vs. Toronto in addition to tonight's game at Boston.

Weiss suffered an upper-body injury Thursday night in the first period in Ottawa and did not return.

The Panthers had hoped to recall center Mark Cullen from the AHL San Antonio Rampage for Friday's game, but travel issues prohibited that transaction. Instead, Dineen expected to dress seven defensemen with his team now short seven forwards due to injury.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 5:20 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Rangers, Flyers

NEW YORK -- The Rangers won't mess with success. They also have little choice with all the injuries they're facing of late.

John Tortorella said he will ice the same team he used in the Rangers' 4-2 win against the Islanders on Thursday for Friday night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. The only change will be in net, as Henrik Lundqvist will make the start after Biron picked up the win Thursday.

Personnel won't change, but there might be some shuffling of the lines. Tortorella was asked about the performance of the Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan line against the Islanders on Thursday and wasn't pulling punches.

"Not too much," Tortorella said when asked what the thought of the line. "They didn't accomplish a whole hell of a lot."

That could be a sign that Brandon Dubinsky, who scored his second goal of the season, will be elevated to that line in place of Hagelin. Defenseman Jeff Woywitka (foot) is out, but Tortorella wouldn't say if the injury was long-term or short-term.

There's some guesswork, but this is likely the lineup the Rangers will send out against the Flyers:

Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin - Brian Boyle - John Mitchell
Michael Rupp - Ruslan Fedotenko - Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Tim Erixon - Stu Bickell

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

The Flyers, meanwhile, will be without Danny Briere against the Rangers. Again, the Flyers didn't reveal their lines at Friday morning's practice, but they could look this way:

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
James van Riemsdyk - Matt Read - Wayne Simmonds
Tom Sestito - Maxime Talbot - Jakub Voracek
Jody Shelley - Harry Zolnierczyk - Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle - Luc Bourdon
Andrej Meszaros - Andreas Lilja

Ilya Bryzgalov
Sergei Bobrovsky
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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players