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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 6:58 PM

NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

'Miracle' captain Eruzione sees Sochi success for US

NEW YORK -- Mike Eruzione, in New York City to discuss the upcoming rivalry game at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 30 between Cornell University and his alma mater, Boston University, couldn't help but talk about the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics.

After all, Eruzione was the captain of the last United States team to win Olympic gold, at the 1980 Lake Placid Games. Almost 34 years later, he's impressed by the depth and variety of hockey talent that has developed in the U.S. He believes that deep talent pool could help the U.S. capture gold in Sochi.

"I wouldn't want to have to pick the team because there are so many good players," Eruzione told NHL.com. "It's been incredible growth in hockey. When I was playing, it was Minnesota, Massachusetts and Michigan. Now it's Florida, Texas, Arizona, California. Nowhere would we have thought some of these picks are coming out of the places they're coming from. The growth is good, and we're a country now that goes into these tournaments as a favorite."


Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 6:11 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canucks' Booth not in lineup against Panthers

VANCOUVER -- David Booth was looking forward to playing against his former team, the Florida Panthers, on Tuesday night. He won't get the chance.

Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella is making Booth a healthy scratch for the second time this season. The benching comes two games after Booth was recalled from a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League.

Booth, who has this season and next remaining on a contract with a $4.25 million salary-cap hit, comes out of the lineup because fourth-line wing Dale Weise is ready to return from a sprained left knee.


Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 4:48 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Jones, Galchenyuk still under Olympic consideration

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile, who holds the same role for the United States for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, said he and his staff have trimmed their targeted group of defensemen to 12, and that Predators' 2013 first-round pick Seth Jones is among that group.

"He absolutely does," Poile said in an interview Tuesday with Sportsnet's Fan 590 radio when asked if Jones had a chance of making the team. "We're going to take eight defensemen and we're down to approximately 12 and [Jones] is one of them."

Jones, the fourth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, has two goals and six assists in 20 games and leads all rookie defenseman with an average ice time of 24:04 per game. He has spent most of the season on the Predators' top pair with Shea Weber, although he recently was pushed back to second pair with Kevin Klein.

Jones also was one of 18 defensemen invited to USA Hockey's National Team Orientation Camp in August.


Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 4:38 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Lightning's St. Louis reflective as he hits 1,000 games

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Fifteen years ago Martin St. Louis was in Japan for his first NHL game, and he felt just as unfamiliar on the ice as he did off it.

Then with the Calgary Flames for season-opening overseas games against the San Jose Sharks, St. Louis took the ice at small Yoyogi Arena on Oct. 9, 1998. His teammates included Theo Fleury, Phil Housley and Jarome Iginla.

"I remember walking away from my first game thinking I could have done more," St. Louis said. "I was still a fan. I was impressed by the players I was playing with and against. Once I stopped being a fan, it helped my game."

Fast forward to Tuesday night, when many will be in awe at St. Louis, 38, who will play his 1,000th game when his Tampa Bay Lightning plays the Los Angeles Kings. It has been a remarkable run for St. Louis, who has missed only seven games in the past 10 years. Fewer than 300 players have reached the milestone.


Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:43 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Star forwards sitting as Avalanche host Blackhawks

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks will each be without a star forward when they play Tuesday at Pepsi Center.

Avalanche center Matt Duchene will miss his first game because of an oblique injury and Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa will miss his third straight game because of a lower-body injury.

The encouraging news for the Avalanche is coach Patrick Roy said Tuesday morning that Duchene might be able to play Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings, which would be sooner than expected. He was injured this past Saturday against the Florida Panthers.

Roy said Duchene probably would make the two-game road trip that starts Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:40 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers' Yakupov, Blue Jackets' Murray in initial meeting

EDMONTON -- The top two picks of the 2012 NHL Draft face each other for the first time Tuesday when Nail Yakupov (No. 1) and the Edmonton Oilers host Ryan Murray (No. 2) and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"I guess you can look at it like that," Murray said. "But I think it's more Columbus Blue Jackets versus the Edmonton Oilers, to tell you the truth."

Murray, 20, is in his rookie season, having missed the abbreviated 2012-13 NHL season due to a shoulder injury suffered in junior hockey with the Everett Silvertips. The smooth-skating defenseman has two goals and two assists in 20 games.

Yakupov, 20, is in his second season with the Oilers. He has three goals and three assists in 20 games.


Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:35 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Wings to dress seven defensemen against Predators

With forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss still sidelined by groin injuries, the Detroit Red Wings are expected to go with seven defensemen Tuesday when they host the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena.

Brendan Smith, who had been out with a shoulder injury and last played Nov. 2, will return to the lineup.

Alfredsson will miss his third straight game, while Weiss will miss his fifth in a row. MLive.com reported Weiss probably also will miss the game Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I got through practice and I felt pretty good,'' Weiss said. "It's just a matter of getting a couple more in to get the conditioning back and hopefully I'll be ready to go. … Hopefully sometime this weekend, maybe Saturday or Sunday. I would like to play [Tuesday], but it's not my call.''

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:11 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres send three to AHL, Zadorov to junior team

BUFFALO -- Not only did the Buffalo Sabres go through a culture change off the ice last week, they're now experiencing it on the ice as well.

The Sabres announced prior to facing the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday that they had assigned defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and left wing Johan Larsson to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Center Mikhail Grigorenko was sent to the AHL, on a 14-day conditioning assignment. The team also sent defenseman Nikita Zadorov to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

Only 19-year-old center Zemgus Girgensons, the 14th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, survived the youth purge.

The oldest of the four players is Larsson, who is 21. The others are teenagers [Ristolainen and Grigorenko are 19 and Zadorov is 18]. The message from interim coach Ted Nolan was simple: The Sabres are too young to compete at the highest level in the NHL and they need more of a seasoned, veteran group.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:03 PM

By James Murphy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens hope getting back to basics helps offense

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens aren't having a lot of trouble keeping the puck out of their net this season, as Carey Price has been stellar between the pipes and the team defense has helped hold opponents at bay.

The problem for the Canadiens lately has been they can't seem to find a way to get the puck in their opponent's net. Montreal is allowing 2.05 goals-against per game, which is third-best in the NHL entering games Tuesday. But it ranks 21st in goals-for with 2.43 per game, and has just three goals in its past three games.

Despite Price stopping 77 of the past 79 shots he's faced in his previous two starts, he lost both games and coach Michel Therrien decided it's time to switch up the forward lines in an attempt to spark his offense and hopefully ease the pressure on Price. The Canadiens welcome one of the hottest teams in the NHL to the Bell Centre on Tuesday in the Minnesota Wild, who are riding a four-game win streak and are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:45 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders' Grabner to sit out against Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders will have some lineup changes when they meet Tuesday at Air Canada Centre.

Thomas Vanek skated with the team during the morning skate but will remain out of action with an upper-body injury. Joining him in the press box will be Michael Grabner, who took line rushes with Vanek and defenseman Radek Martinek but will be a healthy scratch. Grabner has gone 18 games without a goal and without a point in 12 games.

"I had a good talk with him," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "Sometimes when you're squeezing your stick and things just don't seem to go your way, sometimes it's good to take a step back. I normally don't talk about conversations with players that I have with [the media], but [Grabner] is going to be fine for us."

The Islanders enter the game having won just two of their past seven games.

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