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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:14 PM

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

Quenneville saw 'good things' in Carcillo's short stint

CHICAGO -- Daniel Carcillo's season is over, but despite it being cut short by a knee injury his coach felt like he gave the Chicago Blackhawks what they were looking for when they signed him to a one-year contract last summer.

"I thought he had a good year for us," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Saturday morning at Joe Louis Arena. "I thought he did a lot of good things. I thought he gave us a presence and fulfilled a need and a niche for us. He provided some toughness, some emotion."

Carcillo, who earned a seven-game suspension for his hit on Edmonton's Tom Gilbert on Jan. 2, finished his season after just 28 games by scoring 2 goals and adding 9 assists with a plus-10 rating and 82 penalty minutes.

Carcillo came to Chicago with a reputation for toeing the line between acceptable and punishable conduct on and off the ice -- and even started the season with a two-game suspension for an incident between periods of a playoff game last spring.

Carcillo also got slapped with a two-game suspension in late October for a hit on the Carolina Hurricanes' Joni Pitkanen, which wasn't penalized in the game but was deemed an illegal hit after a review by the League.

Carcillo injured his left knee when he hit Gilbert, who was also hurt on the play. Gilbert's body slammed off the end boards and bounced back toward Carcillo's leg.

Carcillo immediately went down and grabbed his knee. He needed help getting off the ice and couldn't put weight on the leg. The Hawks weighed their options on what to do about the knee before announcing on Friday that he needed surgery to repair it and would be out at least six months.

Carcillo came into the season vowing to turn over a new leaf in regard to the questionable tactics and even adapted his game enough to play up on the first two lines with stars like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp.

His role on those lines was to help open up the ice for the fast, skilled forwards and provide some protection against teams trying to take liberties with the Hawks’ top players. He played the role well, with maybe his most memorable moment on Dec. 3 in St. Louis – when he came to the defense of Kane and Toews during a post-whistle scrum.

"We liked how he played," Quenneville said. "He complemented some nice players and did what he had to do."

Quenneville thinks the gritty veteran forward also learned a lesson this season.

"I think he knows his leash is extremely short and (about) being smart about situations," Quenneville said. "But he had a couple (hits) right there on that line and I think he's got to know when to push."

As for getting a season-ending injury after delivering a hit, Quenneville said it was both odd to see and highly disappointing for Carcillo.

"It was a strange hit, no question about it," Quenneville said. "You can only imagine (how upset he is)."
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:04 PM

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

Projected lineups for Blackhawks, Red Wings

DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks rookie Marcus Kruger (concussion) will get back into the lineup for Saturday afternoon's game against the Detroit Red Wings (12:20 p.m., NBC). Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he won’t likely start him off in the same role he held before getting hurt on Dec. 26 -- when he was centering the second line between Sharp and Hossa.

"He's ready to play," Quenneville said. "We're very happy the way he played with us. We'll see how he's progressing and maybe he'll work his way up (the lineup)."

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Hawks, while Jimmy Howard will start for Detroit -- which trails Chicago by two points in the Central Division, but could leap to the top spot with a win because of a better points percentage with one less game played.

Here's how the lineups might look like for the Blackhawks and Red Wings:

BLACKHAWKS
Viktor Stalberg - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Jimmy Hayes - Dave Bolland - Marian Hossa
Andrew Shaw - Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik
Bryan Bickell - Jamal Mayers - Andrew Brunette

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

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

RED WINGS

Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Danny Cleary or Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Jan Mursak
Cory Emmerton - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Holmstrom

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

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

Bertuzzi is a game-time decision (back/groin). If he plays, Mursak likely will sit and Cleary will go back to RW on the third line.
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:54 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy spin: Selanne continues to excel

Age is just a number, right?

If you ask Teemu Selanne, he'd likely answer in the affirmative.

The 41-year-old winger of the Anaheim Ducks marvels night in, night out, proving that if you've got game, the date of birth that follows you is rendered useless.

Teemu Selanne
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 43
SOG: 124 | +/-: 5
Just dig into the stats. Through 43 games, The Finnish Flash has collected 43 points, an unthinkable pace for an NHL elder statesman. Those points haven't been of the fluke variety, either, where Selanne has been the beneficiary merely of secondary assists. He's been a goal-scoring force too, evidenced by his goal-per-every-three game pace (15 total).

To complement his point production, Selanne brings 124 shots, 7 power play goals and 40 PIMs to his fantasy resume, too.

What's as impressive as his ability to be a factor, generally, has been his play on the ice of late, specifically. In his past five games, the right wing has seven points, including four goals and three multi-point nights.

As the Ducks and their core of offensive powerhouses continue to contribute, Selanne figures to be the man leading the charge.
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 9:46 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

TBL @ WSH- 16:34 of the Third Period

At 16:34 of the third period in the Lightning / Capitals game, video review concluded that Steven Stamkos' shot cross the goal line in a legal fashion. Good goal Tampa Bay.

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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 8:26 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

PHX @ CBJ - 8:48 of the Second Period

At 8:48 of the second period in the Coyotes / Blue Jackets, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck went off Lauri Korpikoski's skate and into the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Phoenix.

According to rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."

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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 7:15 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

DiPietro to have sports hernia surgery

New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is headed for another operation that could once again cut his season short.

The Islanders on Friday confirmed a report in Newsday that the injury-plagued goalie will have surgery Tuesday to repair a sports hernia and may not play again this season. DiPietro hasn't played since leaving the Islanders' game in Dallas on Dec. 3 with a groin injury. The paper says the injury nagged him long enough that the more serious sports hernia was discovered by the team's medical staff.

"This is something I thought would just heal up and go away, and instead it got more and more debilitating," DiPietro told Newsday on Thursday from Boston, where he will have the surgery. "I'm almost bionic at this point."

GM Garth Snow told the paper the best-case scenario for DiPietro's return would be the beginning of April. The regular season ends April 9.

It's the latest in a series of health problems for the 30-year-old goaltender, who was the first player taken in the 2000 NHL Draft and signed a 15-year contract in the summer of 2006.

DiPietro had the best season of his career in the first year after signing the contract, going 31-29-9 with a 2.58 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and five shutouts in 2006-07 despite missing a month after suffering a concussion in March. He was superb again in the first half of the 2007-08 season, earning the start for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game.

But DiPietro injured his hip during the skills competition the night before the game in Atlanta and struggled in the second half before being shut down for the season in March and undergoing hip surgery.

Since then, he has played only 47 games -- just eight this season -- while undergoing a myriad of surgeries. He had another on his hip and one on his left knee in the summer of 2008, a second knee operation in January 2009 and surgery to repair facial fractures after a fight with Penguins goaltender Brent Johnson last February. He has also battled numerous groin and knee problems that have kept him off the ice for lengthy stretches of time.

DiPietro still has nine years left on his contract and told Newsday he has no plans to retire. "Nothing like that has even crossed my mind," he said. "Knock on wood, the doctors have said this is something you can come back from, lots of athletes have. I know I still want to play."

Snow told the paper neither he nor owner Charles Wang has broached the issue of retirement with DiPietro.

"I have confidence he can get through this," Snow said. "He'll have the surgery and in a few weeks, hopefully, he'll be back on the ice."

DiPietro is 3-2-3 this season with a 3.73 goals-against average and a save percentage of just .876. In 315 regular-season games, he is 130-133-8-31 with a 2.86 goals-against average, a .903 save percentage and 16 shutouts.

"This isn't something I ever thought would happen again," he said of the latest surgery. "I'm going to do whatever it takes to come back healthy, as fast as possible."
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 5:34 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Knee surgery to end Carcillo's season

Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo, who received a seven-game suspension earlier this month for an illegal hit on Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert in which he was also injured, will miss the rest of the season after it was announced Friday he will need reconstructive knee surgery.

The following statement was issued by Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry:

"Daniel Carcillo will undergo anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery on his left knee on Tuesday, Jan. 17. This decision was made today after much evaluation and consideration of various options. We anticipate a full return in six months."

Carcillo, 26, finished his first season with the Blackhawks with 2 goals, 11 points, 82 penalty minutes and a plus-10  rating in 28 games.

Over parts of five NHL seasons with Phoenix (2006-09), Philadelphia (2009-11) and Chicago, the King City, Ontario, native has registered 38 goals, 84 points and 1,068 penalty minutes in 310 regular-season games, as well as 5 goals and 11 points and a plus-6 rating in 33 Stanley Cup Playoff contests.
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 4:51 PM

NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Barry meets the GEICO Gecko

Barry and the GEICO Gecko

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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 3:07 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineups for Blue Jackets, Coyotes

Columbus' Todd Richards will coach his first home game tonight when the Phoenix Coyotes invade Nationwide Arena.

"It's exciting to be at home and play a home game in front of your family and friends," Richards told the Columbus Dispatch. "But honestly…when the game gets going, you lose where you're at. You're focused on the game. When the game starts, you're just looking at the ice. You kind of block everything else out -- the crowd, the noise. You really zero in."

One of the things the crowd could make noise for is the return of defenseman Rostislav Klesla, who was the first draft pick in Blue Jackets history. The fourth pick of the 2000 Entry Draft, Klesla played parts of 10 seasons in Columbus before being traded to Phoenix last season. The Blue Jackets have announced they will play a video tribute to Klesla during the game.

Here are the likely lineups for the teams. The Coyotes, who lost in Detroit last night, opted against skating this morning:

BLUE JACKETS

Vinny Prospal - Derick Brassard - Rick Nash
Ryan Johansen - Antoine Vermette - Tomas Kubalik
Ryan Russell - Samuel Pahlsson - Derek Dorsett
Dane Byers - Derek MacKenzie - Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin - Nikita Nikitin
Marc Methot - John Moore
Aaron Johnson - David Savard

Curtis Sanford will start in goal, with Steve Mason the backup.

COYOTES
Mikkel Boedker - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Ray Whitney - Kyle Chipchura - Radim Vrbata
Taylor Pyatt - Gilbert Brule - Lauri Korpikoski
Raffi Torres - Boyd Gordon - Paul Bissonnette

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin
Rostislav Klesla - Michal Rozsival

Jason LaBarbera will start in goal, with Mike Smith the backup.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 3:00 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Day after big hit, Kopitar says he's feeling OK

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar said he is OK after he was knocked out of Thursday night's game by Dallas captain Brenden Morrow.

Kopitar spoke briefly to a few reporters after the team's off-ice workout on Friday morning and said he felt good.

Would he have skated if the Kings practiced?

"I feel good so I don't see a reason why not," Kopitar said. "The bottom line is I feel good. I don't have any issues."

Kopitar was sent crashing into the end boards in a spectacular shoulder hit by Morrow with about eight minutes remaining in the third period. He was prone on the ice before he left on his own power although he appeared to favor a shoulder.

The Kings later announced it as an upper-body injury. Kopitar indicated that he was put in a quiet room but that it was all precautionary.

Asked if he thought Kopitar would play on Saturday in Calgary, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said, "Assuming we had practice today, he would practice. That's the way I look at it."

Kopitar, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury last March, was thankful to come out of it unharmed.

"It could have been worse, for sure," Kopitar said. "It's something I have to put behind me."
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