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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:35 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Alfredsson addresses media for first time since hit

KANATA, Ont. -- Daniel Alfredsson spoke to the media for the first time since receiving a hit to the head from the Rangers' Wojtek Wolski last Saturday.

The Ottawa captain appeared woozy after the hit, and has not played since. Although he is not experiencing headaches, Alfredsson confirmed on Thursday that he is still suffering from concussion symptoms. There is no timetable set for his return.

"I'm OK, not great,” Alfredsson said. "If I'm at home with the kids and I do too much, I get light-headed and a little dizzy and I have to sit down for a bit. Until that's gone, I'm not going to do anything physical."

He may lack a solid date for return, but the winger remains positive that he will rejoin his teammates in the near future.

"It's a different feeling. I'm hoping that in a few more days, it's going to be a lot better."
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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:30 PM

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

Selanne spent summer doubting whether he'd play

NEW YORK -- Teemu Selanne is the boy who cried retirement, professing every year since 2007 that it was his final season in the NHL.

But in the summer leading up to the 2011-12 season, Selanne said it's as close as he's come to hanging up the skates.

"It was more in my mind," Selanne said Thursday morning at Madison Square Garden, as the Ducks prepare to take on the Rangers. "I didn't want to come back and take a chance that I can't play anymore."

The doubts were most prevalent after Selanne had surgery on his left knee just days before his 41st birthday in July.

"I think the whole month of July, there was a lot of question marks. I wasn't sure if it was going to work out," Selanne said. "The good thing was I had plenty of time, so I didn't have to focus for about two months on that. I knew August would be very important. It took almost up to the end, before training camp. I felt I could get back and play this year. I'm very happy about that, because I was thinking throughout the summer that I want to play if I can."

Clearly, things have worked out just fine for Selanne and the Ducks.

The Finnish superstar leads the Ducks with 14 points on 5 goals and 9 assists in 12 games. His point total is good for sixth in the League, one year after Selanne defied expectations with 31 goals and 49 assists in 73 games.

As the calendar turns to November, those doubts that lingered during the summer are gone.

"I feel great," Selanne said. "I knew the first couple weeks might be a little tougher than normal, but right now I feel good. Being healthy gives you a chance to succeed, and you can't sacrifice in that area."

The Ducks have lost 5 of 6 and are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday that saw the Ducks give up a tying goal in the final minute and another in overtime, both to Nicklas Backstrom.

As they look to right the ship, here is what the Ducks' lines looked  like in practice Thursday morning:

Corey Perry - Ryan Getzlaf - Bobby Ryan
Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
George Parros - Maxime Macenauer - Devante Smith-Pelly
Matt Beleskey - Brandon McMillan - Andrew Gordon

Cam Fowler - Francois Beauchemin
Lubomir Visnovsky - Toni Lydman
Luca Sbisa - Sheldon Brookbank

Jonas Hiller
Dan Ellis

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:26 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Jets dealing with injuries to their blue line

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Winnipeg Jets will have a different look on their blue line Thursday night against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Winnipeg will be without world-class defenseman Tobias Enstrom after he was injured during Monday's 4-3 shootout victory at Florida. Enstrom suffered an upper-body injury after being hit by Panthers forward Jack Skille and was sent back to Winnipeg for further evaluation.

The Jets are also likely to be without defenseman Mark Stuart, who is day-to-day after suffering an upper-body injury Monday.

Winnipeg is already without defensemen Derek Meech (lower body) and Ron Hainsey (upper body) and recalled Mark Flood and Brett Festerling from AHL St. John's on Thursday morning.

"Guys are going to have to pick up the slack," said Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian, who could conceivably play close to 30 minutes against the Isles. "For right now, I've just got to keep it simple and kind of read of who you're playing with."

Here are Winnipeg's projected lines for Thursday night:

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Kyle Wellwood
Evander Kane - Nik Antropov - Alexander Burmistrov
Kenndal McArdle - Tim Stapleton - Blake Wheeler
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Randy Jones - Dustin Byfuglien
Brett Festerling - Zach Bogosian
Johnny Oduya - Mark Flood

Ondrej Pavelec will get the start in goal for the Jets. Pavelec is 3-4-1 with a 3.62 goals-against average and .885 save percentage in nine appearances. Former Isles goalie Peter Mannino will be the backup as Chris Mason (groin) was placed on injured reserve Thursday morning.

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL
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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:19 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets

Here are the projected lineups for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets for their contest Thursday night at Nationwide Arena:

TORONTO

Joffrey Lupul - Tim Connolly - Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Matthew Lombardi - Tyler Bozak - Joey Crabb
Philippe Dupuis - David Steckel - Mike Brown

Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf
John-Michael Liles - Mike Komisarek
Jake Gardiner - Luke Schenn

Jonas Gustavsson

NOTE: James Reimer is close to returning, but there is no official word on who the goaltender will be tonight.

COLUMBUS

Vinny Prospal - Derek MacKenzie - Rick Nash
Matt Calvert - Antoine Vermette - Ryan Johansen
R.J. Umberger - Samuel Pahlsson - Cody Bass
Alexandre Giroux - Derick Brassard - Derek Dorsett

Fedor Tyutin - James Wisniewski
Grant Clitsome - John Moore
Kris Russell - Aaron Johnson

Steve Mason
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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:08 PM

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

Commodore set to make season debut for Red Wings

DETROIT -- Mike Commodore has patiently waited his turn, and now he'll get to pull on the winged wheel sweater of the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in a regular-season game.

Commodore, who sprained his knee in the preseason and lost a potential starting spot in the process, will play his first game for the Wings on Thursday night against the Calgary Flames. He'll enter the lineup on Detroit's third defense pairing with Jonathan Ericsson and replace Jakub Kindl.

After rehabbing his knee, Commodore has practiced hard and watched games as healthy scratch. Now he'll get a chance to show what he can bring to this team with a 6-foot-4, 227-pound frame and the penchant for hard-hitting defense on the blue line.

"For me, it starts tonight and I just want to have a good effort tonight," Commodore said. "I haven't played in a while. Being physical is part of my game, but I just have to make sure I don't get caught out of position trying to run around. I just want to keep it simple and be physical when I need to be, when the opportunity is there."

The Wings' defensive system is also new to Commodore this season, but he feels like he has a good grasp of what they do after logging a lot of practice time in training camp and returning to the ice after the knee injury.

"I've got a lot on my plate tonight, to be honest with you," Commodore said. "Without those practices I'd have been lost. I think with the time I've had … I wasn't panicking either with my situation of not playing and being scratched for a few games. Obviously I'd like to play, but at the same time the practices were good for me and I didn't mind that."

Detroit coach Mike Babcock is looking forward to seeing what Commodore can add to his team. He also understands Commodore's excitement at getting his first game with the Wings.

"He should be eager, he's been skating enough," Babcock said. "It's like with any pro sport. Everybody wants to play more, everybody wants to score more, everybody wants to win more. You've got to earn the right to do all those things, so here's an opportunity for him today and what he does with it we're going to watch. We're about winning games, so the best guys are playing."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:04 PM

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

Projected lines for Flames, Red Wings

Here's how the lineups could look when the Detroit Red Wings try to halt their 0-4-1 slide tonight against the Calgary Flames at Joe Louis Arena:

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

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Mike Commodore

Jimmy Howard will start in goal tonight and be backed up by Ty Conklin


FLAMES

Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Jarome Iginla
Alex Tanguay - Brendan Morrison - Lee Stempniak
Rene Bourque - Roman Horak - David Moss
Tom Kostopoulos - Matt Stajan - Tim Jackman

Chris Butler - Jay Bouwmeester
Scott Hannan - Anton Babchuk
Mark Giordano - Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff will start in goal tonight and he will be backed up by Henrik Karlsson

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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 10:20 AM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

DiPietro to get second straight start for Isles

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders, who are in search of their first victory in 19 days, will boast the same lineup for Thursday's game against the Winnipeg Jets at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Rick DiPietro will make his second straight start after stopping 27 of 30 shots in last Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Here are the Isles' projected lines for Thursday night:

Matt Moulson - John Tavares - PA Parenteau
Michael Grabner - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
Blake Comeau - Josh Bailey - Brian Rolston
Matt Martin - Marty Reasoner - Jay Pandolfo

Mark Streit - Steve Staios
Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic
Mark Eaton - Milan Jurcina

Mike Mottau will be the Isles' lone healthy scratch.

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 4:36 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineup for Rangers on Thursday

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Rangers lineup should remain the same for Thursday's game against Anaheim as it was for Monday's win over San Jose. The only difference is that Henrik Lundqvist will likely replace Martin Biron in net.
 
Here is what the Rangers lines and D-pairings looked like in practice Wednesday:
 
Brandon Dubinsky - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Wojtek Wolski - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Andre Deveaux - Artem Anisimov - Erik Christensen
 
Sean Avery will be the extra forward Thursday night. It'll be his first visit to Madison Square Garden this season.
 
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Michael Sauer
Steve Eminger - Jeff Woywitka
 
The Rangers have only six defensemen on the roster.
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 2:31 PM

By Jeremy Roenick -  NHL Network Contributor /NHL.com - World According to JR

Avery where he should be, Red Wings not so much

NHL analyst and former All-Star Jeremy Roenick will be penning a weekly blog for NHL.com this season. Look for new entries from the "World According to JR," every Wednesday. Roenick will offer sharp, can't-miss opinions on What's Clicking and What's Missing in the National Hockey League.

The Rangers recalled a guy who could and should help them, and the dynastic team in Hockeytown is going down an unfamiliar path. Read on to see what I think about Sean Avery and the Detroit Red Wings.
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 1:50 PM

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

No Eaves for Wings; Nyquist sent down

DETROIT -- Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves didn't practice today while taking a "maintenance day" for an undisclosed ailment. Also, rookie forward Gustav Nyquist was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League after getting called up Monday and playing just one game.

Nyquist, who had 4 goals and 9 points for the Griffins before getting brought up, played 11:07 against the Wild and didn't record a point, a shot on goal or a hit in 13 shifts.
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Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday