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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 2:07 AM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Jones knows Ramo well

CALGARY -- Goaltender Karri Ramo contacted former teammate Blair Jones a few days ago to congratulate him on Jones' trade to Calgary. As fate would have it, Jones will have to return the same email.

Six days after the Calgary Flames acquired Jones in a trade with Tampa Bay, Ramo -- a former Tampa Bay Lightning prospect now playing in Russia -- was packaged with a fifth-round pick alongside and forward Michael Cammalleri and sent to Montreal in exchange for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a second-rounder in 2013.

"He actually just congratulated me on the trade to Calgary on the computer," Jones said after scoring the overtime winner Thursday night in the Flames' 1-0 victory against Anaheim. "Funny enough, he's been traded here."

Once again, Jones and the Ramo find themselves a part of the same NHL organization. Both Ramo and Jones played together in the American Hockey League as members of the Springfield Falcons in 2006-07 and again in 2007-08 as members of the Norfolk Admirals.

After two seasons in the AHL, Ramo split time between Norfolk and the Lightning in 2008-09. It was his last season of North American hockey before returning to Europe to play with Omsk Avangard of the Kontinental Hockey League.

"I played with him my rookie season in the minors," Jones said, who scored his first goal with the Flames after coming from Tampa Bay last week. "He was a good goalie prospect and he just took a few years and played in Russia. We'll see what happens to him. He's a very good goalie."

The Tampa Bay connection doesn't end at Jones. Ramo was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round of the 2004 NHL Draft by current Flames general manager Jay Feaster, then the GM in Tampa Bay.

But Jones admitted he isn't sure if a Lightning reunion in Calgary is in the cards for the former Tampa Bay trio.

"I don't know the status of what he'll be doing but he's a good guy, good goalie," Jones said.

A good guy with a congratulatory email he'll be sure to read in the morning.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 11:39 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

ANA @ CGY - 9:32 of the Third Period

At 9:32 of the third period in the Ducks/Flames game, video review was initiated by the Situation Room to see if the puck had crossed the Calgary goal line. It was determined by the referee on the ice that the play was blown dead. 
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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 10:12 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

ANA @ CGY - 18:03 of the First Period

At 18:03 of the first period in the Ducks/Flames game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that George Parros cross ice pass was kicked into the net by Rod Pelley's left skate.  According to rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net.". No Goal Anaheim.
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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 8:16 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CAR @ TB - 16:18 of the First Period

At 16:18 of the first period in the Hurricanes/Lightning game, video review determined that Eric Staal's cross ice pass deflected off Jiri Tlusty and into net prior to the net becoming dislodged. Good Goal Carolina.
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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 6:50 PM

By Dave Lozo - Staff Writer / - At the Rink blog

Wolski takes injured Dubinsky's place for Rangers

NEW YORK -- Wojtek Wolski will play his first game since Nov. 3 as the Rangers host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

Wolski underwent sports-hernia surgery in early November and has been waiting for about two weeks to crack the lineup, but has been a healthy scratch as the red-hot Rangers have had little reason to shuffle their lineup.

But an injury to Brandon Dubinsky's right shoulder has given Wolski a chance. Dubinsky suffered the injury during Tuesday's 2-1 shootout win against the Coyotes. Coach John Tortorella said the move to scratch Dubinsky is an effort to keep the shoulder from being a long-term problem.

Wolski, who has 2 assists in 6 games this season, will take Dubinsky's spot on the Rangers' second line with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan, leaving their other three lines intact.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 5:52 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Cunneyworth: Cammalleri has to earn ice time

BOSTON -- In his first comments to the media since Michael Cammalleri made some critical comments about his ice time and the Montreal Canadiens' attitude, Habs coach Randy Cunneyworth said he expects the forward to earn more time on the ice.

"It's his opinion, and I think our bottom line is we need a lot of action from a lot of guys. I think we have to play at both ends," Cunneyworth said two hours before puck drop between the Canadiens and Boston Bruins at TD Garden. "Our top guys have to be our top guys, and that's the bottom line. I think they know who they are. And we have a lot of work ahead of us against a very good team tonight."

While Cammalleri alluded to a possible "loser's attitude" among the Habs, Cunneyworth sounded more concerned about how his team's playing rather than its attitude.

"You know what? If you don't battle, if you don't play hard, if you don't play desperate, it doesn't matter what you do out there," he said. "I think you have to go out there and play that way in order to play the way we want to. Our team game is based around that, and you can't take a shift off. And I think if we can perform to our expectations, then certainly we're a good team and we can compete with anyone in the league."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 4:35 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Iginla honored to have another All-Star opportunity

CALGARY – Less than a week after accomplishing the feat of 500 career goals, Jarome Iginla received yet another honor Thursday.

Iginla was announced as Calgary’s lone representative for the 2012 Tim Horton’s NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa on Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

It’s another achievement in the storied career of the Flames captain, who was excited to learn about his nomination.

“It feels good to be selected,” Iginla said, who has made five previous trips to the event. “I plan to be there. I look forward to it. I’ve been very fortunate and it’s been a fun year in some ways.”

With a team-leading 36 points and 501 career goals on his resume, Iginla may have seemed like a lock to represent the Flames at the event.

But Iginla noted he might not have been the only choice to represent Calgary, identifying teammates Curtis Glencross, Olli Jokinen and Miikka Kiprusoff as worthy nominees for the event as well.

Glencross has a team-leading 18 goals, while Jokinen’s 35 points are just one fewer than Iginla’s team lead. In net, Kiprusoff has put together 19 wins, a 2.49 goals against average and .915 save percentage.

“There definitely were other options,” Iginla said, who got the news minutes before meeting with the media Thursday. “[Glencross] is having a great year. Kipper is having another outstanding year for us. Olli’s been really good for us. I definitely wouldn’t have been offended at all. They could’ve easily have been there.”

The vote might have been swayed a little after Iginla scored his 500th goal on Jan. 7, becoming the 42nd player in league history to accomplish the feat and only one of three active players alongside Teemu Selanne and Jaromir Jagr to hit the milestone.

“It’s probably the highlight so far (this season), reaching 500 and being able to do it at home and I’m really appreciative of the fans and support,” Iginla said. “It was something that was pretty cool and I’ll remember.”

Iginla could receive the same support when he travels to Ottawa to skate alongside the NHL’s elite. Flames coach Brent Sutter was quick to point out that Iginla – the captain of a Canadian franchise – is set to travel to the nation’s capital for the spectacle.

“It’s obviously a tremendous honor for him,” Sutter said. “Just the fact having the opportunity to play and being hosted in Canada and Jarome playing on a Canadian team, it’s all a great fit.”

The thought of passing on the event never entered the mind of the 34-year-old.

Despite a hectic schedule, Iginla wasn’t about to skip on the opportunity of becoming an All-Star again. In fact, the face of the Flames franchise is planning on making it a family affair.

“At times, you say ‘oh if you could take a break’ but looking back, one day I’m going to be done, I’ll have lots of time to travel,” Iginla said. “They’re neat experiences and I’ll be able to take my family. The kids are getting bigger and know a little more what’s going on and we’ll have some fun. I’ve never taken them before.”
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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 4:24 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Predators, Avalanche

Here's how the lineups could look tonight when the Nashville Predators host the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena:


Colin Wilson - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist
Sergei Kostitsyn - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat
Jordin Tootoo - Nick Spaling - Gabriel Bourque
Matt Halischuk - Craig Smith - Brian McGrattan
Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Roman Josi - Kevin Klein
Francis Bouillon - Ryan Ellis
Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback
Out: D Jack Hillen, C Jerred Smithson


Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Milan Hejduk
TJ Galiardi - Paul Stastny - Peter Mueller
Daniel Winnik - Jay McClement - Chuck Kobasew
Cody McLeod - Brandon Yip - David Van Der Gulik
Kyle Quincey - Erik Johnson
Jan Hejda - Ryan O'Byrne
Ryan Wilson/Matt Hunwick - Stefan Elliott
Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Semyon Varlamov
Out: C Kevin Porter, RW David Jones
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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 4:18 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Landeskog excited for All-Star opportunity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nineteen-year-old Gabriel Landeskog was hoping to meet fellow Swede Nicklas Lidstrom, the six-time Norris Trophy winner from the Detroit Red Wings, at the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game. Alas, the second pick in the 2011 Entry Draft will have to wait, as Lidstrom will not be present.

"Lidstrom, those Swedish guys," Landeskog said of who he looked forward to meeting the most right after coming off the ice, where he learned the news that he was one of 12 rookies picked to participate I All-Star Weekend. "(New York Rangers goalie) Henrik Lundqvist. I haven't played against him yet."

Landeskog has 8 goals and 21 assists in 44 games, but perhaps most significantly he owns a plus-9 rating -- best on a team that has a minus-16 goal differential. At 6-foot-1 and 204 pounds, he plays a physical two-way game.

The Avs are finish a home-and-home set with Nashville tonight coming off a 4-1 Predators win Tuesday in which Landeskog threw his body around. Predators coach Barry Trotz joked after his team's morning skate that in the old days Landeskog would have been met with a "Koho sandwich" for his physical play.

"He plays a complete, 200-foot game," Avs coach Joe Sacco said. "He's a really good two-way player for us. He's physical. That's what you probably notice about him more than anything. He's on the body. He finishes his checks. He's difficult to play against for a young player, but he's been doing that pretty much all year long, that physical side of his game. Doesn't really waver that much. He does a lot of dirty work out there. Goes to the hard areas of the ice, competes, battles and he never gives up regardless of the outcome of the game or the score or wherever we're at. He's always competing and that's what I like most about him."

This year's All-Star Game will be only the second time the Avs have not had a player selected to play in the main game since the franchise re-located from Quebec.
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Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 3:47 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - At the Rink blog

Wideman surprised by ASG selection

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Dennis Wideman picked up his phone Thursday afternoon, heard the voice on the other end, and figured he was wrong.

"I didn't know what was going on, but in my experience when the GM calls you it's usually not good news," Wideman said smiling.

This time it wasn't. This time, it was Washington general manager George McPhee calling Wideman to tell him he had been selected to play in his first career NHL All-Star Game.

Wideman was among 10 defensemen picked on Thursday to join fan vote favorites Erik Karlsson and Dion Phaneuf in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game, which will be played Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

To say Wideman was surprised at McPhee's news is an understatement.

"I got the call from George, and you guys all know, you've talked to George, he's pretty even keeled and when he called me I was like, 'Oh man, where am I going now?' " Wideman said. "It was good. I was pretty excited -- a little caught off guard, but excited about it."

Wideman earned his spot in the All-Star Game with strong offensive numbers in the first half. He has eight goals and 21 assists for 29 points in 41 games, including 16 points in his last 17 games.

He'll join five-time All-Star Alex Ovechkin as the Capitals representatives in Ottawa.

"I think it's going to be an experience," Wideman said. "Obviously guys that have been there eight, nine, 10 times they might want a break, but for me and guys that are getting picked for their first time it's really exciting to get a chance to go and see what it's all about. I've been watching it on TV for years, so it should be exciting."

Wideman isn't quite sure what he'll be asked to do in the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 28, but he has his own ideas of what he'll be good at.

"I'm hoping that we don't all have to do skills and I'm one of the ones that doesn't have to do it," he said. "I'm not even sure what all of them are, but hopefully I can just hold a camera and take some pictures."

Wideman said he will have to cancel a planned trip home in order to go to Ottawa, but he's happy to do it. He also said he will have some family there, but who remains to be seen.

"I'm not even sure how it all works, how many tickets you get," he said.

He's looking forward to figuring it out soon.

"It's something that at some point in your career you hope you get a chance to do," Wideman said of playing in an All-Star Game, "and I was lucky enough this year to get the opportunity."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic