We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
 
SHARE
Posted On Sunday, 04.01.2012 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

NHL Central Scouting league lists

It's early Sunday morning and the men of NHL Central Scouting have returned to the hotel conference room here in Vaughan, Ont., to continue ranking the top North American prospects eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft.

The scouts currently are 50 players deep and into the heart of the second round. We're at a point now where it could be time to find those diamonds in the rough. That's precisely what Central Scouting is paid to do.

As promised, here are the top 10 players Central Scouting ranked in each league. In order to maintain some level of confidentiality, the players are listed in alphabetical order.

Keep in mind, this is the closest thing you'll get to a finalized list until the actual release of the "Big Chart", tentatively scheduled for April 9. The number beside each league represents the projected amount of first-round picks from that league's top 10.

Can you predict what the actual top 10 for each league might look like?

Western Hockey League (7)
Mathew Dumba, D, Red Deer
Ryan Murray, D, Everett
Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland
Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton
Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw
Colton Sissons, C, Kelowna
Chandler Stephenson, C/LW, Regina
Lukas Sutter, C, Saskatoon
Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon
Mike Winther, C, Prince Albert

Ontario Hockey League (10)
Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa
Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener
Matthew Finn, D, Guelph
Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia
Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville
Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough
Scott Kosmachuk, RW, Guelph
Olli Maatta, D, London
Thomas Wilson, RW, Plymouth
Nail Yakupov, RW, Sarnia

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (2)
Francis Beauvillier, C/LW, Rimouski
Matej Beran, C, Prince Edward Island
Ryan Culkin, D, Quebec
Martin Frk, RW, Halifax
Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Quebec
Charles Hudon, LW, Chicoutimi
Tomas Hyka, RW, Gatineau
Christophe Lalancette, RW, Acadie-Bathurst
James Melindy, D, Moncton
Andrew Ryan, LW, Halifax

USA East (0)
Chris Calnan, RW, Nobles
Adam Gilmour, RW, Nobels
Brian Hart, RW, Exeter
Mark Jankowski, C, Stanstead High School
Samuel Kurker, RW, St. John's Prep
Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves, C, Kent School
Daniel O'Regan, C, St. Sebastian School
Doyle Somerby, D, Kimball Union
Devin Tringale, LW, Lawrence
Jimmy Vesey, LW, South Shore

USA West (5)
Phillip DiGiuseppe, LW, University of Michigan
Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque
Nicolas Kerdiles, LW, USNTDP
Michael Matheson, D, Dubuque
Stefan Matteau, C, USNTDP
Jake McCabe, D, University of Wisconsin
Jordan Schmaltz, D, Green Bay
Patrick Sieloff, D, USNTDP
Brady Skjei, D, USNTDP
Jacob Trouba, D, USNTDP

Canadian Juniors (0)
Matthew Benning, D, Spruce Grove
Paul Dejersey, RW, Prince George
Rhett Holland, D, Okotoks
Alexander Kerfoot, C, Coquitlam
Jujhar Khara, LW, Prince George
Wade Murphy, RW, Penticton
Peter Quenneville, C, Sherwood
Devin Shore, C, Whitby
Reece Willcox, D, Merritt
Morgan Zulinick, C, Salmon Arm

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 10:19 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

LA @ MIN - 10:57 of the Third Period



At 10:57 of the third period in the Kings/Wild game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Jason Zucker's shot deflected off Erik Christensen's left skate and into the net.  According to rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."  Good Goal Minnesota.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 9:39 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CLB @ STL - 14:52 of the Second Period



At 14:52 of the second period in the Blues/Blue Jackets game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Alex Pietrangelo's shot hit the post and never crossed the goal line. No Goal St Louis.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 8:48 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

BUF @ TOR - 19:59 of the Second Period



At 19:59 of the second period in the Sabres/Maple Leafs game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off John Michael Liles' right skate and into the net.  According to rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."  The official timekeeper ruled that there was 0.7 seconds left on the clock when the puck crossed the goal line. Good Goal Toronto.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 8:25 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CLB @ STL - 6:16 of the First Period



At 6:16 of the first period in the Blues/Blue Jackets game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Jared Boll's right skate and into the net. According to rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."  Good Goal Columbus.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 6:18 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

NHL Central Scouting completes Day 1

So NHL Central Scouting has wrapped up Day 1 of its final meetings of the top 2012 draft eligible North American players.

The group will do it all over again at 9 a.m. on Sunday, continuing where they left off on Saturday. The votes will continue to be tabulated to determine the top 210 North American skaters. The scouts will submit their votes via 'Meeting Manager' and, if needed, incorporate some hand votes if needed to break a tie.

On Monday, head goalie scout Al Jensen will offer his analysis of the top 30 goalies in North America.

On Sunday morning, the 'Prospecting with Central Scouting' blog will post the exclusive top 10 list of players selected from each league. The only catch is, players will be listed alphabetically, so you'll have to try and guess the order.

Check back on Sunday for more reports from the final Central Scouting meetings. In case you missed Saturday's feature on what the scouts think of prospect comparisons to NHL players, check it out.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 5:59 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Myers out for Sabres against Maple Leafs

The Buffalo Sabres will be without defenseman Tyler Myers and Mike Weber as they play a pivotal game Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. 

The Sabres are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, tied in points with the Washington Capitals who have more non-shootout victories.  The Capitals play host to the Canadiens on Saturday.

While Weber was expected to miss the game, the news about Myers came as more of a shock.

“He’s going to miss tonight’s game,” said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff matter of factly, adding that Myers is “Day-to-day right now.”

Because of the injuries, Brayden McNabb and T.J. Brennan are expected to play on the back end for Buffalo.

“You’ve got to live off your experiences, we had some really good play out of Brayden," Ruff said. "We had some good play out of T.J.  It’s just handling the extra minutes and where we put them that has sometimes been a problem.  I think we are going to try and get them some good ice time and see how the other pairs make out.”

Because of the conundrum his club faces, Ruff is counting on his forwards to pick up the slack with two of his regular defenseman out of the lineup.

“We have to deal with it better this time than we did last time," Ruff said. "We’re a little deeper up front.  We might have to score a little more. I think we are capable of that. I think our forwards have to pick up a little bit of the slack, we need to control more of the play and take the pressure off our D in this situation.”

Ruff acknowledged that Myers injury came after taking a shot in the foot of a 5-3 loss Friday to Pittsburgh.  Weber was felled by a Matt Cooke hit in the same game.

While Ruff would not confirm that Miller is starting in net, there is a good bet he will be between the pipes as playing on back-to-back nights is not uncommon for the Sabres.

“We’re used to dealing with it, we’ve tried to adapt, do the right things, but it’s just part of our schedule," Ruff said.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 4:59 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flames hope to bouce back against surging Canucks

The Calgary Flames are still technically alive in the Western Conference playoff race, but their hopes dimmed so considerably after a 4-1 loss to Colorado on Friday night that it’s hard to know how they’ll respond 24 hours later in Vancouver.

For the first time in a while, Canucks players were talking about facing a team that was playing for jobs next season rather than one fighting to make the playoffs this year. It’s an interesting conundrum for the Canucks, who have used their opponent’s desperation as motivation to snap out of their own late-season funk with five straight wins against teams battling for one of the final playoff spots.

“A lot of times those guys are playing for their jobs for the next year,” said goalie Roberto Luongo, who plans to play against Calgary after a sore neck forced him to abandon a scheduled start Friday night against Dallas after warm up. “We have seen it throughout this year, we haven't necessarily had great success against teams like that. We want to make sure we still get ready to play.”

Vancouver clinched at least the second seed a while ago, which contributed to an early-March funk. But their first five-game win streak since November has put the Canucks within a point of St. Louis for top spot in the Western Conference, and two back of the New York Rangers in a bid to win a second-straight President’s Trophy as the NHL’s regular season team. That should keep them focused.

“That should be good enough motivation,” coach Alain Vigneault said.

Here are the expected lineups as the Flames try to stay alive – at least mathematically – in the west playoff race against a Canucks team looking for its first six-game win streak of the season:
 
CANUCKS

Alexandre BurrowsHenrik SedinMaxim Lapierre
Mason RaymondRyan KeslerDavid Booth
Chris HigginsSamuel PahlssonJannik Hansen
Andrew EbbettManny MalhotraZack Kassian
 
Dan Hamhuis – Chris Tanev
Marc-Andre GragnaniAlexander Edler
Andrew AlbertsSami Salo
 
Luongo returns in goal after ceding a start Friday against Dallas to Cory Schneider in warmups because of a sore neck.

The only change for the Canucks is the return of Andrew Ebbett, who has been out since having his collarbone broken in two places by a clean hit from Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg during a Jan. 7 rematch of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Ebbett, who required multiple screws and plates during surgery to repair the damage, was cleared for contact 10 days ago.
"It was actually 12 weeks since I got hurt, so it's about that time," Ebbett said of his return, which allows the Canucks to test his playoff readiness.

The versatile 5-foot-9 forward had four goals and five points in just 14 games. He takes the spot of Dale Weiss on the fourth line.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault also said he hoped to get defenseman Keith Ballard, out since Feb. 7 with a concussion, back in a few games before the end of the season. But Ballard, who went seven weeks without even skating, still hasn't been cleared for full contact, is just hoping to rejoin a full practice on Monday, and didn't sound like he was close to playing a game.

“Right now I know I’m not ready," Ballard said.
 
FLAMES
 
Calgary didn’t skate Saturday after flying in late following a 4-1 loss to Colorado, so the lineup is expected to be the same. The big question mark is in goal, where No. 1 Miikka Kiprusoff has played seven straight, 37 of the last 40, and is one game short of 70 for a seventh-straight season.
Kiprusoff has 34 of the Flames 35 wins, with rookie Leland Irving posting the only other victory in Vancouver two days before Christmas. Current backup Henrik Karlsson has only played 20 NHL minutes since injuring his knee in a crease collision with Canucks’ forward David Booth during a 5-1 loss here Dec. 4.
 
Alex Tanguay - Michael Cammalleri - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - David Moss
Lee Stempniak - Matt Stajan - Blake Comeau
Tom Kostopoulos - Blair Jones - Tim Jackman
 
Chris Butler - Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan
Anton Babchuk - Cory Sarich
 
Kiprusoff may finally get a night off in favor of backup Henrik Karlsson.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 4:47 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Slumping Sharks hope facing Stars is remedy

SAN JOSE – After losing back-to-back games and falling from third place to ninth in the Western Conference standings, the San Jose Sharks will take good news wherever they can find it.

Based on the numbers, having back-to-back games against the Dallas Stars certainly qualifies as good news for the Sharks.

The Sharks have gone 3-0-1 against Dallas entering Game No. 5 in the season series Saturday night at HP Pavilion. They’re 2-0 against the Stars at HP Pavilion, winning those games by a combined score of 10-4. In their three wins, the Sharks have outscored Dallas 14-5.

“For whatever reason they bring out the best in us,” Sharks captain Joe Thornton said after San Jose’s morning skate at HP. “We’ve always played well in their building, and this year we’ve kind of had their number in our building. Hopefully we’ll continue that trend tonight.”

The Stars certainly won’t lack motivation. They can clinch a playoff berth with back-to-back regulation wins over San Jose – Saturday night in San Jose and Tuesday night in Dallas. But the Stars are also playing their second game in two nights after falling 5-2 Friday night at Vancouver. Dallas is 1-10-2 this season in the second game of back-to-backs.

After arriving in San Jose late Friday night, the Stars held an optional skate Saturday morning with only six players on the ice. Most of the team remained at the hotel, getting some much-needed rest.

Dallas owns seventh place in the West with 89 points, while the Sharks are two spots back with 88 points. Both teams have four games left to play.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said one key reason why his team has had so much success against Dallas this season is that it’s been able to grab early leads.

“We’ve been able to establish that in most of the games,” McLellan said. “The special teams, our penalty kill’s been pretty good there. We haven’t given up many goals. And just getting timely goals from people when we need them -- pretty simple formula, and we’ll need that again tonight.”

The Sharks scored only one goal in its past two games, a 3-1 loss at Anaheim and a 2-0 defeat at Phoenix. Some of their top goal scorers have gone ice cold. Patrick Marleau ranks third on the team with 28 goals, but he has scored just two goals in his past 18 games. Logan Couture, who leads the Sharks with 30 goals, has gone nine games without a goal.

Marleau was asked if tries to change his game plan or approach when he’s in a scoring drought.

“Depends on how the game’s going,” Marleau said. “If I’m not getting chances or I don’t find myself in the right spots, obviously I’m going to change that up, but if I’m creating scoring opportunities for my linemates or getting them myself, you got to stick with it.”
During the Sharks’ morning skate, defenseman Douglas Murray was on the ice, and there’s a chance he could return tonight after missing one game with a lower-body injury.

“If he is able to play at 100 percent, we will have him,” McLellan said. “If there’s a risk of him not being able to finish and us being put into a position to play five [defensemen], we won’t.”

Murray was injured in the first period against Anaheim on Wednesday and didn’t play in the second or third periods. He said he felt “good” during practice on Saturday but didn’t sound as if he’s 100 percent healthy.

“I probably felt I could have kept playing the other night, too,” Murray said. “It’s an important time right now, and if you’re somewhat affected by something and you can’t make the play you need – one goal could be the difference. This might have been a little bit different if it was Game 40.”

Here’s how the lineups could look Saturday night when the San Jose Sharks face the Dallas Stars at HP Pavilion:

SHARKS

Patrick MarleauJoe ThorntonJoe Pavelski
Ryane CloweLogan CoutureMartin Havlat
TJ GaliardiDominic MooreTorrey Mitchell
Daniel WinnikAndrew DesjardinsTommy Wingels

Marc-Edouard VlasicDan Boyle
Colin White/Douglas MurrayBrent Burns
Jason DemersJustin Braun

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

Niemi, the first goalie off the ice Saturday morning, is expected to make his 18th consecutive start. He is 2-0-1 with a 1.96 goals against average this season against Dallas.

STARS

Loui ErikssonMike RibeiroMichael Ryder
Steve OttJamie BennTomas Vincour
Brenden MorrowVernon FiddlerAdam Burish
Ryan GarbuttJake DowellReilly Smith

Sheldon SourayStephane Robidas
Adam PardyTrevor Daley
Alex GoligoskiPhilip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Lehtonen is expected to make his eighth consecutive start. He is 1-0-0 with a 2.77 goals against average this season against San Jose. Lehtonen is 14-8-2 on the road with a 2.18 goals against average and .933 save percentage.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 3:45 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Luongo OK, back in net for Canucks

Vancouver No. 1 goaltender Roberto Luongo will be back in goal Saturday night for the Canucks against the Calgary Flames, just 24 hours after a sore neck forced to him pull out of a scheduled start against Dallas after the pregame warmup.

Luongo, who was back on the ice Saturday morning, said he woke up with the sore neck Friday and just wasn’t able to move it well enough to track pucks, so he stepped aside at the last minute to let Cory Schneider take over against the Stars.

"A few years ago I might have been a little more stubborn and tried to play,” Luongo said. “But I thought about the team and the fact we have a guy who can obviously step in and do a great job for us. I tried to make a rational decision."

It was an easier decision after teammates kept picking the corners on him during warm up, but obviously frustrating as he slammed his stick before leaving.

"If you are not seeing the puck you are just a fraction of a second late in reacting to it,” Luongo said after an optional skate Saturday. “Going through warmups yesterday and getting lit up high you realize that maybe you are not ready to play."

Just 16 hours later, Luongo insisted he is now ready to play against Calgary.

"Definitely, I was able to loosen it up,” Luongo said. “I am feeling fine, I was able to track pucks with my head and I am not having any problems. … Obviously you don't want to take any chances with something like that, but I felt really good this morning and don't see why it would be a problem."

The Canucks had third-stringer Eddie Lack at the rink Saturday morning – their American Hockey League affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, played the night before in nearby Abbotsford – but let him leave with Luongo ready to return.

With Vancouver on its first five-game win streak in four months, Luongo is looking to build on a personal 2-0-1 run that includes a .965 save percentage. That came after taking a week off to “reset” his game following a stretch that saw him give up 25 goals in eight games. But with Schneider also playing well – after making 28 saves in a 5-2 win over the Stars, he is 12-1-1 in 14 starts since Christmas and second in the NHL with a .937 save percentage – Luongo is comfortable continuing to split starts over the final four games to keep both playoff ready.

“I am feeling good about my game right now,” Luongo said. “Obviously, Schneider is playing well also and we are getting wins. It's important to have both guys ready -- you never know what might happen.”

That point was driven home during the pregame warm up Friday night.

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
First | Prev | 816 | 817 | 818 | 819 | 820 | 821 | 822-827 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense