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Posted On Friday, 12.30.2011 / 1:58 AM

By Ryan Murray -  Special to / - Ryan Murray draft blog

Canadian defenseman Ryan Murray talks WJC

Defenseman Ryan Murray is captain of the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot, 182-pound native of Saskatchewan is currently starring on defense alongside Scott Harrington for Team Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. Despite the busy schedule, Murray continues to provide a monthly blog for that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Hi everyone. I'm checking in from the media room at Rexall Place in Edmonton at the World Junior Championship. This has been an unbelievable experience so far. The fans here are crazy. I've really never seen anything like it. I've never been to a World Junior game before and, just to play out there, it's a huge honor to wear the jersey and it's been a great experience so far.

At the start of the tournament, it was a little bit overwhelming with all the TV coverage. Everybody in the country pretty much watches this, so it was a little bit intimidating at the start but now that things have settled down a bit, you kind of get used to all the media attention and you know everything going on so it's just great and I feel comfortable now.

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Posted On Friday, 12.30.2011 / 1:46 AM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Grigorenko injured in Russian rout

Though Russia handed Latvia a lopsided 14-0 defeat Thursday night, the reigning world champions may have suffered a big loss.

Early in the second period, forward Mikhail Grigorenko collided with Latvian defender Arturs Salija at the Russian blue line, sending the 2012 draft-eligible prospect to the ice in pain. Grigorenko did not return to the game and his status for the tournament is in doubt.

"There was an injury around the ankle," Russia coach Valeri Bragin said through a translator after the game. "We don't know about it right now. We'll see tomorrow morning."

When asked if Grigorenko could be lost for the duration of the World Juniors, Bragin confirmed.

"It's possible."

Grigorenko has two goals and four points in three games for the undefeated Russians.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 11:29 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

VAN @ ANA - 15:21 of the Second Period

At 15:21 of the second period in the Canucks/Ducks game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Bobby Ryan's shot didn't completely cross the goal line. No Goal Anaheim.
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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 9:42 PM

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

Canada extends lead to 7-0 over Danes

EDMONTON - Mark Stone, Scott Harrington and Freddie Hamilton scored goals in the second period to help the Canadian National Junior Team extend its sizeable lead to 7-0 over Denmark in preliminary round action of the 2011 World Junior Championship.
Harrington's blast from the point gave Canada a 5-0 advantage just 25 seconds into the second. Stone's second of the game and team-leading sixth of the tournament came off a tip from in front. Hamilton's goal also came off a well-placed redirect off a shot by Harrington.
Harrington, a second-round pick (No. 54) of the Pittsburgh Penguins last June, has a goal and three assists through two periods. Canada has outshot the Danes, 37-15.   
Quinton Howden, Brett Connolly, Stone and Ryan Strome each connected in the first when the Canadians outshot Denmark, 19-3, and built a 4-0 lead.

The line of Jonathan Huberdeau-Mark Stone-Ryan Strome clicked for four points in the first, including 2 goals and 2 assists.
Denmark goalie Sebastian Feuk, who entered the game having made 57 saves on 71 shots, has made 30 saves through 40 minutes.
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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 9:39 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

MTL @ TB - 2:32 of the Third Period

At 2:32 of the third period in the Canadiens/Lightning game, video review was inconclusive in determining if Marc-Andre Bergeron's shot was deflected by a high stick into the net, as such the call on the ice stands, Good Goal Tampa.
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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 9:08 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

MTL @ TB - 17:38 of the Second Period

At 17:38 of the second period in the Canadiens/Lightning game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Lightning forward JT Wyman's shot completely crossed the goal line. Good Goal Tampa.
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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 8:55 PM

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

Canada off to fast start vs. Denmark

EDMONTON -- Team Canada has no intention of taking its foot off the gas in preliminary-round action at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Quinton Howden, Brett Connolly, Mark Stone and Ryan Strome scored goals and the unbeaten Canadians outshot Denmark 19-3 in the first period on the way to opening a 4-0 lead on Thursday at Rexall Place.

Stone's goal 16:05 was his team-leading fifth goal of the tournament. The line of Jonathan Huberdeau-Stone-Strome clicked for four points in the first -- two goals and two assists.

Canadian starter goalie Mark Visentin needed to make just three saves. Denmark goalie Sebastian Feuk stopped 15 shots.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 6:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Classic Preparations

Alumni game to be a Clarke family affair

VOORHEES, N.J. -- At the Philadelphia Flyers' practice rink, there's a balcony off the general manager's office that allows him to observe his players in action.

For years as GM of the Flyers, Bob Clarke occupied that spot. Yesterday, it was his daughter, Jodi -- who works for the team as a receptionist -- watching from that same spot.

When asked what it was like to watch her father -- a Hockey Hall of Famer, three-time Hart Trophy winner and two-time Stanley Cup champion -- back in action, she had a unique reply.

"Funny," she told, then started laughing. "When he started skating a month ago, it was slow and very methodical. But now that they're all back together, you see a little more jump in their step and they seem to be reliving their youth and having a ball."

Clarke was joined by a few former teammates, including Bill Barber, Reggie Leach and Bernie Parent, for a skate this morning here at Virtua Flyers Skate Zone.

Also on the ice was Peter, Bob's 12-year-old grandson. For mom Jodi, that was really what she wanted to see.

"Him and my dad in the last year do pretty much everything together," said Jodi. "When he was littler it was harder, but now they're buddies. My dad is taking him to the family skate, he's taking him to the Alumni Game. Peter will probably be on the bench. He just wants to experience everything with my little guy and I love that. My daughter, she likes it but she's more interested in shopping with Grandma than she is watching Grandpa do anything. I'm very excited for my son."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 5:36 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Wings place Holmstrom on IR, recall Nyquist

DETROIT -- An injury to third-line center Darren Helm that occurred during Thursday's practice forced the Detroit Red Wings to make a couple of roster moves a day before playing the rival Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.

Detroit placed injured forward Tomas Holmstrom (groin) on the injured reserve list on Thursday afternoon and recalled Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League to take Helm's spot in the lineup.

Helm is expected to miss at least two games recovering from a groin injury that happened on Thursday, while Holmstrom said he won't be back for Friday's game in the Windy City or Saturday night's game at Joe Louis Arena against the St. Louis Blues.

"It's getting better," Holmstrom told reporters in Detroit on Thursday. "Hopefully I can play in Dallas (on Jan. 3). That's my goal. Still, when I do certain motions it's sharp pain, kind of. I've just got to find the right level to do workouts and see when I can step on the ice. Hopefully I can step on the ice on New Year's and feel it out, and then we'll know more where it is."

Holmstrom was hurt late in the second period on Dec. 26 in a game at Nashville.

"I got run into the boards," he said. "My body went one way and my foot the other way. Something popped, kind of."

Nyquist made his NHL debut with Detroit on Nov. 1 against the Minnesota Wild and didn't record a goal or assist in 11:07 on the ice. Nyquist, 22, was Detroit's fourth round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft before going to play collegiately at the University of Maine -- where he was twice nominated for the prestigious Hobey Baker award.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Nyquist -- who hails from Halmsted, Sweden -- is the leading scorer for Grand Rapids with 9 goals and 21 assists in his first full AHL season.
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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 4:46 PM

By Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Varlamov starts, Quincey, Kobasew back for Colorado

DENVER -- Defenseman Kyle Quincey, left wing Chuck Kobasew and goalie Semyon Varlamov will be back in the Colorado Avalanche lineup for tonight's game against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Pepsi Center.

Quincey, the Avalanche's top-scoring defenseman with 3 goals and 14 assists in 32 games, was a healthy scratch for the previous four games after missing two with a groin injury. Kobasew has missed eight games with a head injury and Varlamov's only appearance in the previous six games came in Monday’s 4-2 win in Minnesota.

Quincey was replaced by Matt Hunwick after getting hurt Dec. 15 in San Jose and remained out of the lineup because coach Joe Sacco didn't want to make changes during a five-game winning streak that ended Tuesday with a 4-1 loss to Winnipeg.

Quincey will replace Hunwick as rookie Stefan Elliott's partner, and Kobasew will replace rookie Brad Malone on the third line with Jay McClement and TJ Galiardi.

"It was extremely frustrating (not to play), but I tried to look at the positives," Quincey said after this morning's skate. "It was a good time to get your legs back and fresh. It's almost at the halfway point (of the season) and I feel like I'm starting over again. It was like a little mini-training camp for me. I got back in the gym and had 10 great workouts. I'm fresh. I feel like it's my first game of the year again. It's a long season, a grind, and I guess I was fortunate to have a little vacation there."

Quincey didn't feel quite the same as last season when he missed the final 55 games to recover from a shoulder injury that required surgery. The Avalanche only won six of the last 36 games and finished 29th in the NHL standings.

"I can go back to last year and how (bad) the feeling was," he said. "The biggest thing was not being able to help the team when they needed it the most. I don't want to say it seemed like they didn't need me (this time), but we were winning and everything was good around here. The boys were happy and it wasn't anything like last year, when it was pretty depressing."

The Avalanche won eight home games in a row before Tuesday's loss and have won five of their past six games overall and six of eight to climb back into the Western Conference playoff race.

Tonight's game is especially important because the Avalanche open a four-game road trip on New Year's Eve in Anaheim and will play nine of 12 games in January on the road.

"We need to regroup," Sacco said. "We talked about a month ago about our team improving our home record, and certainly that's something that we did. This is a big game against a conference opponent. A team that plays a style that Phoenix does, you want to make sure you start the game on time and it's always nice to get a lead and give yourself a better chance to win. They play a very structured game and we have to be diligent with the puck and when we get our opportunities to make sure we get second and third efforts on the net."

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Quote of the Day

I had one really not-good game. I came back to the hotel and he [his father] was on Skype. My mother called first and said, 'Your father wants to talk to you.' So he moved my mother away, and he yelled at me for like 30 seconds. I understood him, and then he said, 'I'm done.' And he was gone. The next game I got my first shutout.

— Anton Khudobin recalls a fond memory, explains why he was so sharp in the Hurricanes' 3-0 win against the Capitals on Friday
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