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Posted On Monday, 10.07.2013 / 1:22 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst / - Melrose Minute

Melrose Minute: Maple Leafs, Fleury impressing

The 2013-14 NHL season is underway and after the first week we're already starting to see who is playing great, which teams are real contenders and which teams might be in for a long 82 games. Here are some of my thoughts on the first week of the new season.

Toronto takes charge

After finally snapping their postseason drought last season the Toronto Maple Leafs exited the Stanley Cup Playoffs in about as brutal a way as any team can. There's the threat that a loss like that can carry over to the next season, but so far the Leafs look great. One of the things I like about them is in their second game, a 3-1 win at Philadelphia, I thought they were outplayed by the Flyers, but they ended up getting the victory. It's a good sign when you're able to win a game when you're not at your best. I don't know if that could have happened last season and certainly over the past number of years. If Toronto didn't outplay the opposition it had no chance of winning.

On any night the goaltending, whether it's Jonathan Bernier or James Reimer, has been very, very solid, the Leafs aren't giving up very many offensive chances against and they just look rock solid all around. The right names are showing up on the scoreboard, they've got some grit, they hit, they're tough to play against and they're finding ways to win. Toronto is showing last year's return to the playoffs wasn't a fluke. And don't forget, Toronto is 3-0 without David Clarkson. He's a guy who was brought over to change the team and they haven't lost a game with him out of the lineup.

Posted On Sunday, 10.06.2013 / 10:52 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

VAN @ CGY - 19:41 of the Third Period

At 19:41 of the third period in the Canucks/Flames game, video review was inconclusive in determining if the puck entered the net in an illegal fashion. Therefore, the referee's call on the ice stands. Good goal Calgary.

Posted On Sunday, 10.06.2013 / 6:20 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

PHI @ CAR - 3:01 of the Second Period

At 3:01 of the second period in the Flyers/Hurricanes game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Luke Schenn's shot entered the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Philadelphia.

Posted On Sunday, 10.06.2013 / 2:54 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Saddledome ready for Flames' home opener

CALGARY -- The 'Dome wasn't rebuilt in a day.

But less than three months after the Elbow River destroyed everything below the eighth row of seats at Scotiabank Saddledome, the Calgary Flames are ready for their home opener Sunday.

"It's special," coach Bob Hartley said Saturday. "I came in shortly after the flood. I had to wear that astronaut suit to get downstairs. I came back around August 20th and I saw all those workers, I saw the pride. I was not even asking a question, they were saying 'Coach, we're going to get this ready for you'."

They did. Crews spent nearly three months removing 30 million gallons of water that left the event level of Scotiabank Saddledome a total loss.

The June flood, dubbed one of the worst natural disasters in Canadian history, was the first time in nine decades that the city of Calgary has had to declare a state of emergency. The province of Alberta estimates over $5 billion will be required to rebuild infrastructure after the flood forced the evacuation of over 100,000 Calgarians and 14,500 homes were damaged.

The home of the Flames was one of them.

Posted On Sunday, 10.06.2013 / 2:32 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Jets welcome Selanne, shoot for franchise's first 3-0 start

WINNIPEG – Teemu Selanne's mere early-morning arrival created a buzz, but the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets have a game to play Sunday night at MTS Centre.

The Jets have taken their first two games this season, and a win against the Ducks would give the franchise its first-ever 3-0-0 start. Anaheim took a 4-3 overtime win Saturday night on the road against the Minnesota Wild and will wrap up its three-game season-opening trip against the Jets before returning to the West Coast.

Selanne did not dress against Minnesota as part of an offseason plan designed to ease his workload this season. The Ducks play 14 back-to-back set this season, and Selanne will play one game per set.

Selanne spent parts of four seasons with the original Winnipeg Jets franchise in the 1990s, playing 231 games and scoring 147 of his 675 career NHL goals. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy with 76-goal rookie debut in the 1992-93 season.

While the 43-year-old made his on-ice return to Winnipeg in December 2011, even his subsequent return this weekend has drawn crowds to the Ducks' downtown hotel and massive media attention for what is expected to be his final regular-season game in Winnipeg.

"He deserves it," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of Selanne. "We want him to play. We'd like him to score a couple of goals and make this a perfect farewell."

The Jets are also aware of Selanne's stature in the city.

"He's a freak of nature," Jets right wing Blake Wheeler said of Selanne. "He has been the model of consistency, and he is someone that I think a lot of young guys look up to, especially guys who play forward."

Posted On Sunday, 10.06.2013 / 2:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

No Stajan for Flames; Lack starts for Canucks

CALGARY -- Thanks to a deep leg contusion from Thursday against the Washington Capitals, center Matt Stajan isn't ready to return to action in the Calgary Flames' home opener against the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

"I saw him this morning," coach Bob Hartley said. "He looks like he had a few slices of pizza and burgers over the last week. He has a big butt right now."

The injury means newcomer Joe Colborne, acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs six days ago, will play in his second straight game for the Flames. Colborne played 12:41 in his Flames debut Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording no points but a team-high four hits.

Making the game extra special for the 23-year-old is the fact he grew up in Calgary.

"I'm trying to just keep calm and relax," Colborne said. "There's going to be a lot of emotion, a lot of energy out there. I'm going to have quite a few people in the stands. It should be fun."

Posted On Saturday, 10.05.2013 / 9:51 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

PHI @ MTL - 7:55 of the Third Period

At 7:55 of the third period in the Flyers/Canadiens game, video review was initiated by the Situation Room because the puck entered the Philadelphia net. Referee Brian Pochmara was in the process of blowing his whistle prior to the puck entering the net. No goal Montreal.

According to Rule 78.5 (xii) "Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee when the referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle".

Posted On Saturday, 10.05.2013 / 9:40 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

PHI @ MTL - 4:42 of the Third Period

At 4:42 of the third period in the Flyers/Canadiens game, video review determined that P.K. Subban's shot entered through the side of the net. No goal Montreal.

Posted On Saturday, 10.05.2013 / 9:39 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

WSH @ DAL - 8:01 of the Second Period

At 8:01 of the second period in the Capitals/Stars game, the puck entered the Dallas net. Referee Mike Leggo determined that Nicklas Backstrom made incidental contact with goalie Kari Lehtonen and prevented Lehtonen from doing his job in the crease -- no goal, no penalty. This play is the referee's call on the ice and is not reviewable.

Posted On Saturday, 10.05.2013 / 4:39 PM

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

Canucks, Oilers ready for physical game

VANCOUVER -- An already intense rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers ratcheted up when they met in a preseason game that yielded two suspensions.

They play again Saturday night, and Canucks forward Dale Weise, who was suspended three preseason games for his check to the head of Oilers star Taylor Hall, said he isn't sure what to expect.

"I guess we'll see what happens," Weise said. "I'm going to go out and play the same way, and regardless if it's Taylor Hall or someone else I am going to finish that check every time and look to be physical tonight. And if I have to answer the bell it's part of the game."

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Quote of the Day

Yeah, it was a pretty special moment for me. Today was my Dad's [55th] birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today. A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can't have everything.

— Sabres rookie Jack Eichel after scoring a goal in his National Hockey League debut
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