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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 7:36 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Ready for the Combine

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was named the best professional prospect in the WHL, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hi everyone!

I arrived in Toronto early Wednesday morning and had nine interviews today. It was a long day.

I've been asked a lot about my experience in the Memorial Cup tournament. It was cool to play against the best teams from all the leagues. You don't normally get to play against them so it's good experience and there are so many great players -- they have all different styles and that's what makes it cool. Halifax deserved that win in the end; they played outstanding hockey in the tournament final.

It was definitely hard to get adjusted to it. You watch video before the game, but only to a certain extent. You just have to do the best you can and play your game. I thought we did a good job, but it's just too bad we didn't win [against Halifax in the Memorial Cup final].

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 7:02 PM

By Ian McCoshen -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ian McCoshen Draft blog

McCoshen had butterflies for Combine interviews

Ian McCoshen, No. 24 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, completed his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2.5, 207-pound defenseman had 11 goals, 44 points and a plus-35 rating in 53 games this season. Boston College bound, McCoshen has agreed to submit his thoughts during the 2013 Scouting Combine in Toronto this week.

Hello all!

If you can believe it, I don't have a roommate here at the Scouting Combine. Out of the 101 players invited, I was the one going solo. But it's actually good because I don't have anyone to wake up in the morning and I can watch television whenever I please, so I'm fine with that.

I had meetings with 11 NHL clubs today, beginning at 9 a.m. and lasting until 7 p.m.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 6:43 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Solid postseason could make Horvat a high pick

TORONTO -- Every kid who ever picked up a hockey stick at some point pretended to be the player to score the championship goal at the buzzer.

London Knights forward Bo Horvat, No. 15 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, got the rare opportunity to live the dream in Game 7 of the Ontario Hockey League finals.

With the Knights and Barrie Colts tied in the waning seconds of regulation, Horvat banged in a bouncing cross-ice pass just as the final buzzer sounded.

"[Seth Griffith] made a nice play to dump it in and get it in deep," Horvat told NHL.com, reliving the moment. "I think there was five seconds left when he did that. It came around to [Alex] Broadhurst and he got along the wall and just fired it out front as fast as he could. Fortunately it made a couple bounces and came right to me and all I had to do was put it in."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 5:26 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Bruins series blog

With schedule released, Penguins gear up again

PITTSBURGH -- Douglas Murray doesn't input his week's plan into a Blackberry, and he doesn't plot out a training schedule with a pad and pencil.

Still, the hulking Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman said he prefers to look ahead when settling into a routine.

Finally, Murray and the Penguins know what's coming when.

The NHL released the schedule for the Eastern Conference Finals late Tuesday night, ending a four-day period in which the Penguins were in limbo. Pittsburgh, which eliminated the Ottawa Senators with a Game 5 conference semifinal victory Friday, opens the series with the Boston Bruins on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Consol Energy Center (NBC, CBC, RDS).

"You always want to know the schedule, for sure," Murray said. "You base your everyday decisions on it. It's not like I write up a schedule or anything, but when you've done this for as long as you have, you learn to manage your time. You know when it feels best for your body to get that extra massage that you might want or when it's time to rest and time to make sure you don't lay around all day.

"People change their routines once they know the schedule, and I think it's good we know now."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 5:20 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Hartman persevered in unlucky season of injuries

TORONTO -- Ryan Hartman is right-handed, but that arm hasn't done much for him this season.

The Plymouth Whalers forward sustained a nasty skate cut to his right wrist during an Ontario Hockey League playoff game April 9 that needed surgery to repair and sidelined him for two weeks.

That came after he sustained a torn labrum in his right shoulder in late December, an injury he was able to play through. He finally had surgery two weeks ago.

Despite the injury, Hartman had 23 goals and 60 points in 56 regular-season games and four goals and two assists in nine playoff games. He also had two goals in seven games to help the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 5:02 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings tinker with look of power play

CHICAGO -- The Detroit Red Wings might tweak the look of their power play for Game 7 of their Western Conference Semifinal against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

During their morning skate, the Red Wings practiced the power play using somewhat of an umbrella scheme, with only defenseman Niklas Kronwall at the point. Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen were on the flanks with Justin Abdelkader in front of the net and Henrik Zetterberg roaming.

"We tried it out in practice," Abdelkader said. "We'll see what happens in the game, if it stays or not, but if it does we've just got to shoot pucks and get second chances, second rebounds and break them down. Power plays always start with a shot, so we've got to make sure we're shooting, getting pucks back and taking them to the net."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 4:46 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Panthers want player who can contribute immediately

TORONTO -- Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon is at the NHL Scouting Combine this week with an open mind as to who his team will select with the second pick of the 2013 NHL Draft. Though he wasn't going to divulge publicly whom he and his scouting staff have on top of their list, there is one thing Tallon hopes that player can do, and that's step into the NHL lineup immediately.

"We're hopeful," Tallon told NHL.com. "We're going to be a young team. It's going to be a necessary part of our puzzle moving forward. I would hope the guy we select can play for us next year."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 4:10 PM

By NHL Green -  /NHL.com - NHL Green Slapshots™

NHL pledges 1,600 trees to The Nature Conservancy

In the 2012-13 regular season, players from around the NHL tallied 32 hat tricks, including two apiece from Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, and Toronto’s Nazem Kadri.

Inspired by Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, NHL Green launched Hat Tricks for Trees™ in January.  The initiative assists The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) effort to save Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. NHL Green pledged to donate 50 trees to TNC’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign for every hat trick scored throughout the regular season.

Thanks to the League’s highest scoring players, NHL’s contribution this year totals 1,600 trees, helping to restore and rebuild the Atlantic Forest and its irreplaceable part in our global ecosystem. TNC has set a lofty and admirable goal of planting one billion trees in the Atlantic Forest by 2015, which has the potential to remove four million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

Read on to learn more about Brazil's Atlantic Forest, why it's health is important for all of us, and how you can help.


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 3:01 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Bruins series blog

Bartkowski looking forward to facing hometown team

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien is not worried about defenseman Matt Bartkowski collapsing under the pressure of facing his hometown team in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Bartkowski, who grew up in Mount Lebanon, Pa., loved the Pittsburgh Penguins as a kid. Now he might get to face the Penguins in the Stanley Cup semifinals starting Saturday.

"He seems pretty excited. He's looking forward to it," Julien said after practice at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday. "I think at the end of the day he knows who he's playing for and he wants to do well for his team. And the better he does, the better he looks in everybody's eyes, whether it's his hometown that's rooting for the other team or whether it's us. So I don't see an issue with that. I think if anything it's a positive, it's exciting, and you know for sure that he's going to be ready to play."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 2:49 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Bruins series blog

Bruins considering multiple options on defense

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- There are so many variables affecting what the Boston Bruins' defense corps will look like when the Eastern Conference Finals begin Saturday night.

If everyone is healthy, the Bruins could try to defend the Pittsburgh Penguins with the same top four defensemen who won the Stanley Cup in 2011: Zdeno Chara paired with Dennis Seidenberg, and Andrew Ference coupled with Johnny Boychuk.

Rookie Matt Bartkowski could be in the mix to play top-four minutes, and Chara and Seidenberg could be split up. With so many days to prepare before facing the Penguins, the Bruins are trying out different scenarios. One drill at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday featured everyone rotating in and playing with different partners every shift.

Anything is possible prior to Game 1, and coach Claude Julien told the media he hasn't ruled out any and every defensive combination

"It's good, because you saw us during the season, we mixed and matched. And you guys kept asking a lot of questions about that and I said, 'You know what? It's important that we do that because at some point they’re all going to have to play with each other,'" Julien said. "And guys can play right that are left shots, or vice versa. And even during the game we still mix and match pairs sometimes. It's not necessarily set pairs that you see on the ice all the time. So that's not going to change."

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens