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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 3:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Lukas Sutter learned from watching Brayden Schenn

Saskatoon Blades center Lukas Sutter certainly picked a good time to have a career-season with so much attention on him during his draft year.

In addition to being a feisty and agitating player to go up against, Sutter, the son of former Philadelphia Flyers forward Rich Sutter, also proved to be an extremely valuable asset on the score sheet. He connected for career highs in goals (28), assists (31) and points (59). He also tied for second on the team with nine power-play goals and sported an impressive plus-15 rating.

Why all the success in his sophomore campaign with the Blades?

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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 12:00 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Tallinder ready, could make appearance in Final

NEWARK, N.J. -- A blood clot in his left leg kept Henrik Tallinder out of the Devils lineup since Jan. 17, but the 33-year-old defenseman is now healthy enough to board a plane to Los Angeles during the Stanley Cup Final.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer said he has no reservations about putting Tallinder in his lineup, although that won't be the case in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final against the Kings on Saturday night (8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS). DeBoer had some concerns about letting Tallinder take a six-hour flight due to his blood-clotting condition, but the team gave him clearance.

"Sure, you worry about it," DeBoer said. "Our doctors, trainers and him have a comfort level or he wouldn't be traveling with us. It's definitely an issue. I think a lot of people point to airplane flight as the cause for that."

Tallinder wasn't available Saturday to discuss what precautions he'll need to take in order to fly, but he once again skated with the team's black aces. He has been healthy enough to play for about two weeks, and DeBoer has fewer worries about putting Tallinder back in the lineup after such a long layoff after seeing forwards Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson seamlessly jump back into game conditions after lengthy absences.

You're never sure. I do know this -- he's kept himself in great shape," DeBoer said. "He looks good in practice. Before he went out, he was a top-two defenseman for us. You miss two, two and a half months. It didn't hurt Zajac coming back in. I know you're jumping into the Stanley Cup Final, not into the last week of the regular season.  But Josefson jumped in last round against the Rangers coming off six weeks out with a broken wrist, and it didn't hurt him.

"You hope you get the desired result, but you never know."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 11:40 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils to stick with same lineup for Game 2

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday morning that there will be no lineup changes for New Jersey in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) at Prudential Center.

The Devils will look to break even in the series after losing Game 1 in overtime, 2-1, on Anze Kopitar's breakaway goal 8:13 into the extra session.

Here is the Devils expected lineup for Game 2:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Patrik Elias - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 9:31 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Combine just part of the Draft Soup

TORONTO -- To Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney, the decision on what to do at the draft is like cooking a meal. You need all the ingredients, but too much of one thing can spoil the meal. That's why he enjoys the annual NHL Scouting Combine, but he told NHL.com it's important not to put too much emphasis on the event.

"It's like a soup," he said. "There's 20 ingredients and you have to make sure how much emphasis you put in certain areas."

Maloney, who said he didn't do a lot of amateur scouting this season, said he allows his scouts to run things in the interview room. He said the Coyotes talked to about 75 prospects during the four days of interviews, and for most of them he was a spectator.
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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 6:49 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Young Russian goalie Vasilevski is the great unknown

It's amazing to think how much differently Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski might have been viewed had he not pulled himself from the semifinal round game of the 2012 World Junior Championship in Calgary with just six minutes remaining in the third period.

Some may look at Vasilevski's decision to take himself out of the game at the 14:17 mark, and his country clinging to a 6-5 lead over Canada, as a move to help a seemingly winded Russian squad.

Others may view it as a sign of giving up or quitting. Either way, Vasilevski, who made 44 saves in the game, was replaced by Andrei Makarov, who closed out the victory in splendid fashion with seven saves.

Both Vasilevski and Makarov are eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft in June. But Vasilevski is the one viewed by many as a potential first-round selection.
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 10:07 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Red Wings prepared to find that diamond in the rough

Just because the Detroit Red Wings aren't making a pick in the first round of the NHL Draft for the second straight season, doesn't mean Director of Amateur Scouting Joe McDonnell can take the weekend off.

McDonnell and part of his scouting staff were front and center at the fitness-testing portion of the NHL Scouting Combine this weekend at the Toronto International Centre. The objective is simple -- find a diamond in the rough in the later rounds.

"We don't have a first round pick this year, so we're picking No. 49 [overall]," McDonnell told NHL.com. "You still want to check the kids out but for us, most of the kids that are here and are high-end guys that had injuries, we're never going to get a shot at anyway. So there's no one particular guy we're looking at."
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 6:55 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Evans glad to see current Kings making history

It remains perhaps the greatest moment in Los Angeles Kings history. From his perfect shot to his euphoric celebration, Daryl Evans' overtime goal completed the Kings' historic comeback from a 5-0 third-period deficit against the Edmonton Oilers on April 10, 1982 -- a game forever known in L.A. as the "Miracle on Manchester."

Thirty years later, fresh off Anze Kopitar's show-stopping overtime goal in Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, Evans is thrilled to see this year's Kings writing a new chapter in the franchise's history.

"There have been a lot of big plays. You go back to the beginning of the playoffs, when Jarret Stoll got the game-winner in overtime against Vancouver. Then [Dustin] Penner's [series-clinching] goal against Phoenix," said Evans, who now does color commentary on the Kings' radio broadcasts. "You know that these are going to be moments that go down in Kings history."

If there's anyone who knows about Kings history, it's Evans. His goal remains one of the marquee moments in franchise history, and he played parts of four seasons with the team before spending the last 13 seasons in the radio booth. He has also served as a power skating consultant for the team since 2007. But it's his historic OT winner that he's still best known for, a distinction he doesn't shy away from.

"It comes up a lot, especially at this time of year. It comes to the forefront in the playoffs. I never get tired of talking about it," Evans told NHL.com. "Edmonton that year finished 46 points ahead of us in the regular season. It really was a remarkable evening. It was capped off by a great finish with the game winning goal."

Incredible as that goal may have been, it could be eclipsed by Kopitar's Game 1 overtime winner against New Jersey. How the series ends could ultimately dictate how that goal is remembered, but Evans knew it was a special play the moment he saw it.

"It's only the first game of the series," he said, "but these are the goals and moments that Kings fans will always remember."

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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 6:31 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Tampa Bay will be very busy at NHL Draft

The Tampa Bay Lightning might just be the busiest team at the 2012 NHL Draft.

It's easy to see why with possibly six picks over the opening two rounds. Entering this year's Draft, slated June 22-23 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman will have two first-round picks and three, possibly four, in the second.

With this many picks at his disposal, Tampa Bay Director of Amateur Scouting, Al Murray, certainly has his work cut out.

"Steve has put us in a position with two first-round picks and three seconds, maybe a fourth, so we're going to be able to get a little bit of everything if we want," Murray told NHL.com. "We can go for a defenseman, a goalie, a center or wing or just load up at a certain position. We're entering the Draft pretty open-minded and trying to rank the best 40 players of the group."
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 5:20 PM

By Ryan Murray -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ryan Murray draft blog

Ryan Murray pushes himself to the limit at Combine

Defenseman Ryan Murray is captain of the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot, 182-pound native of Saskatchewan won a bronze medal playing for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship and was also the second-youngest player to ever appear for Canada at the Men's World Championships. Despite his busy schedule, Murray submitted one final blog on Friday upon his completion of the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine.

Hi everyone. The NHL Combine has come and gone.

I got a good sleep [Thursday] night and wasn't too nervous. I think I had a little too much to eat [Friday] morning though. I had a big breakfast and that didn't hold up too well -- after the Wingate test I felt good for a couple minutes. I felt that wasn't so hard, and then went into the back room and started getting nauseous and, as soon as I sat down, felt really dizzy and just wasn't feeling well. So I figured I'd just force it out since I was going to do the VO2 Max next.

I kind of knew what to expect a little bit. I knew it would be tough and it was.

At the start of the testing, there are scouts everywhere just sort of staring at you as you're going through the testing and it's a bit intimidating, but I just tried to block them out and focus on the test. I thought the Wingate wasn't that hard because it was only 30 seconds; I just closed my eyes and just went as hard as I could. I thought the VO2 was harder.

During the VO2, at around the eight-minute mark, you're trying to keep up with the RPM's and going absolutely full out and you're breathing through the tube and it's a little different because they're plugging your nose. You're trying to get air and going so long, you completely max your body out.

Overall, I had fun and despite being a little nervous for the first couple of interviews, I was fine after the first two or three. It was most of the same stuff and I just felt more comfortable. I got to meet some new guys here at the testing and it was very tough, but very satisfying afterwards when you can kind of take a seat. I can honestly say I really pushed my body to the limit.

Thanks for reading my blog during the NHL Combine. Next up ... the NHL Draft.
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 5:12 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Physical testing can reveal strength of character

TORONTO -- While NHL scouts, general managers and strength coaches are focused on the physical attributes of the prospects taking part in the fitness testing portion of the NHL Scouting Combine, at times there are other traits that come shining through during the exercise.

Ottawa Senators director of player personnel Pierre Dorion shared one such instance of that occurring, and it involves a player that now has become part of the NHL's elite.

In 2006, Dorion and current Senators assistant GM Tim Murray were working for the New York Rangers when they were eyeing a slender forward prospect preparing for the bench press test.
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Hockey means everything to people here [Winnipeg]. They take their team's success to heart. We've had an incredible year and they've given us incredible support.

— Jets center Mathieu Perreault after losing to the Ducks in Game 3 of their playoff series on Monday