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Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 12:14 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Chara to play for Bruins against Islanders

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The news about Dennis Seidenberg's season-ending injury has had several days to sink in for the Boston Bruins.

Now they can get back to work with a little positive news because Zdeno Chara is expected back in the lineup Tuesday night at TD Garden against the New York Islanders. The Bruins defenseman missed a loss against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday because of an undisclosed injury. That game was also the first the Bruins played without Seidenberg, who sustained an ACL/MCL injury Friday.

Chara said he's feeling good, even if he's not in perfect condition.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 11:44 AM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Ice crew handles fresh snow, prepares for even more

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After a couple of days with balmy temperatures and then one a little cooler, it was definitely colder and windier Tuesday morning at Michigan Stadium as NHL Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig's crew continued to put the final touches on the ice for the Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic.

There was also a fresh coat of snow through the night leading into Tuesday morning, but Craig said that wasn't an issue.

"No, we've dealt with snow before," Craig said. "It just took like a four-degree drop between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. That's what threw us a little. We had the heaters set on a certain stage and we needed a little more juice the first thing this morning. Other than that, we're pretty good right now."

The weather forecast for the game Wednesday between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs has changed in the past 24 hours or so. It's possible more snow will fall than originally expected. It is not expected to be as windy Wednesday as it was Tuesday morning.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 11:36 AM

By Staff -  / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Practices, alumni games take center stage

Hockey arrives at center stage at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Tuesday.

Both the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs are in town and the rink at the University of Michigan Stadium will get its first real workout as both teams hold practice sessions and family skates here Tuesday afternoon. To add to the hockey mix, legions of alumni from both teams will take to the ice at Comerica Park for a pair of alumni games on Tuesday afternoon.

The weather appears to be perfect for hockey Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to hover in the mid-teens throughout the afternoon and snow could fall throughout the day adding to the light snowfall that blanketed this part of Michigan during the overnight hours.

The Red Wings, who flew in early Tuesday morning after a Monday night loss at the Nashville Predators, will take the ice first, scheduled to skate at noon. After what is expected to be a quick but intense practice, the Red Wings players will gather up family and friends for a family skate on the rink, always a highlight to the day-before festivities. The Maple Leafs, who last played Sunday night in Carolina, are scheduled to take the ice at 3 p.m. and follow the same practice/family skate schedule.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 9:10 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. readies for Canada with Group A top seed on line

The United States and Canada are prepared to renew acquaintances in preliminary-round action of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at the Malmo Isstadion in Sweden on Tuesday (11:30 a.m. ET, NHLN-US,

The top seed in Group A is on the line, meaning a quarterfinal-round match Thursday with the fourth-place team in Group B is at stake.

The United States enters atop Group A with three victories and nine points, outscoring its opposition 19-4. Canada needs to defeat the U.S. in regulation to gain the necessary three points to grab the top seed. Canada has two regulation wins and one shootout loss for seven points.

"I think right now the guys know we're playing for the top seed and it doesn't matter if we're playing Canada or the Czechs or Sweden … that's our No. 1 focus," U.S. coach Don Lucia told "I think it'll be good that we play a good, quality team like Canada because it will help us get ready for that quarterfinal game when it's single elimination.

"Playing a good opponent with high-end talent and full of first-round draft picks (11) means there's little margin for error. Every player must be on top of his game."

Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 10:31 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

LA @ CHI - 9:59 of the Third Period

At 9:59 of the third period in the Kings/Blackhawks game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Andrew Shaw's stick was above the height of the crossbar when he deflected the puck into the Los Angeles net. According to Rule 60.5 "An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick." No goal Chicago.

Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 7:26 PM - NHL Live blog

McCarty excited about playing in Alumni Showdown

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty sat down with Dave Strader on NHL Live to discuss his anticipation of playing in the 2013 Maple Leafs-Red Wings Alumni Showdown.

"I remember the first night coming down here when the lights were all on," McCarty said, "and you're standing in the middle of Detroit in Comerica Park and you're looking out … just to see the atmosphere and imagine what it's like when it's filled for one of those World Series baseball games, it's going to be amazing just to see the people and the energy in there. They've done a great job with this."

Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 7:23 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Outdoor game brings fond memories for Berenson

Red Berenson, the legendary coach of the Michigan men's hockey team, sat down with Billy Jaffe on NHL Live. Berenson coached the Wolverines team that played Michigan State at "The Big Chill at the Big House" in 2010 and recalled the thrill of coming out to Michigan Stadium to play a hockey game.

"It was amazing," Berenson said. "We practiced here all week, so we knew what it was like, but when we came out and we saw every seat filled, and you just heard the murmur in the crowd, it was amazing. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think they would have a hockey game here at the Big House."

Berenson expressed similar sentiments about the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day that will be played at "The Big House."

"I feel like kind of a hockey host," Berenson said. "It's our facility, we take a lot of pride in it. I'm as excited as if I were coaching in it or playing in it."

Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 5:46 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Paul Maurice eager to get back behind the bench

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Paul Maurice is excited to cover his first Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic game as an NHL Network analyst, but the former coach of the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs could think of a better way to experience the League's marquee regular-season event.

"What would be even better is if I got paid to coach in one of these games," Maurice told

The 46-year-old Maurice is interested in potentially getting that chance next season. He is working as a part-time television analyst mostly for TSN this season, but his desire is to get back into coaching after taking a year away following his one season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

Maurice has coached 1,084 NHL games and has 460 wins. In his first stint in Carolina, he led the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final. He brought them to the 2009 Eastern Conference Final during his second stint.

Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 5:20 PM

By Russell Levine -, V.P. Digital Production / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Media game makes cherished memories for some

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Not all days are created equal. Some days are a little more special than others.

If you're a University of Michigan graduate, a Wolverines die-hard, or a hockey nut, it really can't get much better than stepping onto the ice at Michigan Stadium. I am all three, and having the chance to skate on the rink that has been created for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in the middle of the Big House was more than a dream come true. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will cherish for a lifetime.

The schedule of events Monday afternoon included both a free skate and a pickup game for the media. Approximately 25 members of the media took part in the game, which was played in the middle of the afternoon, right after the free skate.

I would not be exaggerating to say that I have looked forward to this day since Michigan Stadium was first announced as the host of this game nearly two years earlier.

Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Jon Lane - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Location, location, location: Classic finds latest home

One of the many great features of the Winter Classic is the location. The first one in 2008 was played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, and through the years the NHL has played the game in parks venerable (Wrigley Field, Fenway Park) and modernized (Heinz Field, Citizens Bank Park).

Michigan Stadium, used mainly for football but also the venue for the "Big Chill at the Big House" college hockey game in 2012 between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, will host the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Each year presents different planning agendas for schemes that work best in football and baseball stadiums in terms of getting the rink to fit dimensions and go with the shape of each facility.

The League will get plenty of practice as the regular season progresses. Following the 2014 Winter Classic are Coors Light Stadium Series games at Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles), Yankee Stadium (New York) and Soldier Field (Chicago), and the Tim Hortons Heritage Classic at BC Place in Vancouver.

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