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Colorado prospect Michael Sgarbossa continues his fantastic AHL rookie season - he scored the OT winner for Lake Erie last night.

 

Zack Boychuk scored for Charlotte - he could be a candidate to fill in for Tuomo Ruutu in Carolina's top six (again, assuming a season is on the way - I hope I don't have to write that for much longer).

 

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The key to the Americans win over Canada early on Thursday morning? Getting out to a fast start.

 

Sleeper of the game: Connor Murphy. Solid in his own end, great stick, eliminated offense before it happened. Bench management by Phil Housley, who had his team prepared, rolled his lines and stayed with the game plan of keeping his guys disciplined and focused, can't be overlooked. He turned an emotional game into a routine one, and that is no easy task at the WJC. I've seen the other side of that many times in this event.


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I wasn't a huge fan of the Canadian team from the outset - the forward group was too small and full of perimeter players, and the defensive effort was very disjointed. Ryan Murphy was pretty brutal and a liability all tournament long, even on the big ice. He relies too much on his skating to get out of trouble. Morgan Rielly was the best Canadian defenseman today, but that doesn't say much.

 

The US has a very good team, and the Canadians found out the hard way.

 

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Tomas Tatar is enjoying his time in the AHL with Grand Rapids. Although he is still a young prospect, this season marks Tatar’s fourth in the AHL.

 

Perhaps an even more noticeable difference is his growth off the ice. As a rookie, Tatar was one of few words, grasping only parts of his teammate’s conversations, having lived his whole life in Slovakia. Now, Tatar’s on-ice enthusiasm is on full display in the Griffins locker room on a daily basis.


“That’s been the biggest thing for me,” said Tatar. “I feel at home here now. I don’t speak the best English, but I understand everyone. I can talk to anyone, watch movies, that kind of stuff. I knew a little coming over here, but not enough to make whole sentences. It was hard, but I picked it up hearing other people speak in the locker room and from TV shows. It’s not a hard language to learn, you just have to listen and you will learn fast.”


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Sergei Gonchar has rediscovered his offensive touch in the KHL. He could be a great late round option on one-year leagues. He is a UFA after this season, and could be highly sought after at the trade deadline if the Senators are out of contention (again, assuming a season starts up soon).

 

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Not much happened today in the lockout. Instead of writing about things you are likely going to see at TSN, I'll link to a solid read from Elliotte Friedman.

 

Finally, Wednesday, at the NHLPA's request, the NHL agreed to a second compliance buyout for the 2013-14 season. That's two per team. (Some of you have asked if players can be bought out right away if there is hockey this month. I'm under the impression the answer is no, because the concern is those bought out would be unable to find new work so quickly).

 

The ramifications of two potential buyouts per team are significant, and I will have more coverage should that be included in the new CBA.

 

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Adam Henrique had his cast removed, but is still at least three or four weeks away from returning to game action (broken thumb).

 

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Kimmo Timonen isn't sure how his body will hold up in a shortened season.

 

Timonen underwent surgery last May to remove a disc fragment from his lower back. He’s been 100 percent healthy for months.n mid-December, he took time off to be a more active hockey dad to his 13-year-old son, who is playing for an area youth team coached by former Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher.

 

“I’ve got to be honest, there were a lot of weekends where I didn’t miss hockey at all,” Timonen said. “Following my son, going to tournaments … we drove to a tournament in Canada last week … I’ve been having a good time.”

 

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A slick move from Calgary prospect John Gaudreau:

 

 

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Eric Daoust mentioned Pat Maroon in his profile of five Western Conference sleepers yesterday - here is more information on Maroon from The Hockey Writers.

 

Admirals Associate Coach Mike Haviland described Maroon as, “A big power forward who protects the puck down low.  For a big man, he has good hands and he’s tough. He’s got the complete package.” Maroon is the type of forward who takes pride down low in the attacking zone and overloads opposing netminders standing at 6’2” and weighing in at 230 pounds.

 

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Comments (2)add comment

OceanMon said:

OceanMon
The Sheeple Will Return There is no way that this lockout will have an enduring negative effect on the NHL. People's memories are so soft. They voted Bush in for a 2nd term. The voted Obama in for a 2nd term. The voted the provincial Conservatives in Alberta in for decades now. The federal Liberals were in power for years. If people forget the ridiculous bullshit of politicians, they'll definitely forget the lockout. The NHL and fantasy hockey is just too goddamn fun to stay angry at.
January 05, 2013
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... Love the AHL news Jeff, thanks again. Its tough to get hockey news in Japan smilies/wink.gif
January 03, 2013
Votes: +0
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