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2014 NHL Draft
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Carter's journey takes him to Canada's top line

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:30 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- If practice Monday was any indication, Jeff Carter has come a long way in four years.

Carter spent Canada's first practice at Bolshoy Ice Dome skating next to Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. That trio is expected to be the No. 1 line when the Canadians' quest to repeat as gold medalists begins Thursday at the 2014 Sochi Olympics with a preliminary-round matchup against Norway.

"It was fun. It was the first day and we don't really know what's going to happen come the first game but I think it was a good skate," Carter said. "I didn't really know. [A coach] put up the sheet before practice. We've got a few days here. It would be great to play with them, but we'll see what happens."


Canada shows first hints of Olympic lineup in Sochi

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:09 PM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- After avoiding any sorts of specifics about how he plans to line up the Canadian men's hockey team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, coach Mike Babcock finally had to show his cards Monday.

No, Babcock did not announce his No. 1 goalie. Nor did he roll out his forward lines consistently. But Canada's first practice Monday did provide some hints as to what Babcock and his coaching staff have in mind for the tournament.

Of course, Babcock wasn't willing to admit that.


Historic scoring surge leads U.S. women past Swiss

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 12:51 PM / 2014 Olympics


Kendall Coyne and Amanda Kessel had two goals and two assists each as the United States women's hockey team rolled to a 9-0 victory against Switzerland in its second preliminary-round game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Monique Lamoureux scored two goals, both on assists from twin sister Jocelyne, and Hilary Knight, Alex Carpenter and Brianna Decker also scored for the United States. Molly Schaus stopped all 10 shots for the shutout.

"I'm very happy with our game [Monday] starting from the goaltender on out," U.S. coach Katey Stone said. "We moved the puck well, controlled the pace and had a great overall effort."

Switzerland goalie Florence Schelling stopped 44 of 53 shots.


Ovechkin embracing Olympic opportunity

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 12:10 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- More than 100 NHL players boarded planes Sunday in New York and Atlanta and began a trip to a mysterious place, this hamlet of sporting venues and housing complexes on the banks of the Black Sea.

A select few of those players were embarking on a much different journey.

They were coming home.

Fans and members of the media waited at the Sochi airport to see hockey players arriving Monday morning for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. If it wasn't clear who they were waiting for, an appearance by Russian legend Vladislav Tretiak should have made it clear.

"It's probably like the last half year I start thinking more and more about it," Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin said. "I do my training special for the Olympics. It's big for me and for my country. It is a big moment."


Price, Lehtonen and Iginla named 'Stars' of the week

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 12:00 PM / News


NEW YORKMontreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen and Boston Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Feb. 9.


Price led all goaltenders with three wins in three starts, posting a 1.00 goals-against average, .971 save percentage and one shutout to help the Canadiens (32-21-6, 70 points) move into third place in the Atlantic Division. He began the week by stopping all 27 shots he faced in recording his fourth shutout of the season and the 23rd of his NHL career in a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames Feb. 4. Price then made 42 saves, his second-highest total of the season, in a 5-2 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Feb. 6 and 31 saves in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Feb. 8. The 26-year-old native of Anahim Lake, B.C., who will represent Canada in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, is 26-17-5 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 48 appearances this season.


Former NHL defenseman Niinimaa retires

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 11:41 AM / News


Janne Niinimaa, 38, who played for five NHL teams in 10 seasons in the League, announced his retirement from professional hockey Monday.

The native of Raahe, Finland had spent the previous six seasons playing in Europe, most recently seven games with Asploven in Sweden's second-division.

"I tried to train hard this season in Sweden," Niinimaa said. "Unfortunately my body couldn't hold up anymore and old injuries showed themselves."


Teammates Gudas, Palat hope to shine in Sochi

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 11:34 AM / 2014 Olympics

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

Despite being almost the same age and hailing from the same country, Radko Gudas and Ondrej Palat do not have much in common.

"Just beer," they both said, laughing.

Despite their differences, they've become very close friends since first meeting while playing for the Czech Under-17 national team. It is a bond that has carried them both to North America and eventually together to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Now that bond carries them to Russia where they will both represent the Czech Republic in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"We've had an opportunity to play quite important roles in Tampa, that's why I think we can fit into different roles in our [Czech] team, too. I think we are ready both physically and mentally," Gudas told NHL.com before he and Palat boarded a plane heading for Sochi

The fans in the Czech Republic are eager to see both Lighting teammates on international ice. They call the duo "Terence Hill" and "Bud Spencer", a reference to a popular European comedy and spaghetti western duo from the 80's.


Group B: Canada favorite to advance to medal round

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

If group play wasn't already simply a preseason tuneup for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it might be now.

What already was a top-heavy Group B became even more so when Finland was dealt a severe blow to its hopes with the injury withdrawals of Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild and Valtteri Filppula of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Missing its top two centers, Finland's best hopes for an automatic bye to the quarterfinals most likely will be through the wild-card spot. It's unfortunate because a healthy Finnish squad featuring undoubtedly the best goaltending in the tournament could have had a chance to finish first in the group.

Now Group B is shaping up to be fodder for the Canadian machine to roll through on its way to the medal round.

Preliminary-round play in Group B begins Thursday and concludes Sunday, when Canada and Finland face each other in the final game of group play in the tournament.

Here is a preview of Group B:


Canada's blue line tops Olympic defensive rankings

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2014 Sochi Olympics could be the deepest collection of talent for a hockey tournament in the sport's history.

Some of this generation's top players, like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are at the peak of their powers in the NHL. And some of the previous generation's greats like Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne are getting one last chance at Olympic glory.

For years, international hockey has been led by a group of medal contenders known as the "big seven." But Switzerland continues to progress and could make it a "big eight" sooner rather than later.

So how does each of these eight medal contenders stack up against each other at each position? NHL.com breaks down the top eight sides at forward, on defense and in goal, beginning Sunday with the goaltenders.


International rules to be enforced at Sochi Olympics

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

More players in the lineup, no-touch icing, goalies free to play the puck where they please, plus tweaks to procedures for faceoffs and definitions for offside, high-sticking, fighting and checking from behind are some of the differences NHL players will have to get used to in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The Olympic tournament is governed by the International Ice Hockey Federation and its rulebook differs from the NHL's in many ways. Here are some of the biggest differences between the two, according to IIHF.com:

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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie