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NHL announces top prospects invited to 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

For the second year in a row, Brendan Shanahan and NHL executives will host their Research, Development and Orientation Camp to try out some of the rule change suggestions advanced by the various general managers. Again, the league has looked towards draft eligible prospects to use as their guinea pigs—they’ll be the hockey players trying the new rules out over the two day camp. While all of these prospects have been playing in front of scouts for years, many times this will be their chance to make a good first impression on the 30 general managers.

The list of prospects includes some of the very best draft-eligible players North America can offer. Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Alexander Galchenyuk, Jacob Trouba, and Nick Ebert are all expected to be first round selections at the NHL Entry Draft next June. On the ice, the prospects will be led by Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma and Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.

From an NHL press release, the following players have confirmed their participation:

Name Pos Club (League) Height, Weight
ALTSHULLER, DANIEL G NEPEAN (CCHL) 6′ 2′, 194 lbs
ATHANASIOU, ANDREAS C LONDON (OHL) 5′ 11′, 157 lbs
BEAUVILLIER, FRANCIS LW RIMOUSKI (QMJHL) 6′ 1′, 170 lbs
BUSSIERES, RAPHAEL LW BAIE-COMEAU (QMJHL) 6′ 1′, 183 lbs
CAMPAGNA, MATTHEW C SUDBURY (OHL) 5′ 10′, 170 lbs
CECI, CODY D OTTAWA (OHL) 6′ 2′, 203 lbs
CURCURUTO, GIANLUCA D SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL) 6′ 1′, 191 lbs
DARCY, CAMERON C U.S. UNDER-18 (USHL) 6′ 0′, 185 lbs
DI GIUSEPPE, PHILLIP LW U OF MICHIGAN (CCHA) 6′ 0′, 185 lbs
DRIEDGER, CHRIS G CALGARY (WHL) 6′ 2′, 172 lbs
DUMBA, MATHEW D RED DEER (WHL) 5′ 11′, 171 lbs
EBERT, NICK D WINDSOR (OHL) 6′ 0′, 195 lbs
FRASER, JEREMIE D ACADIE-BATHURST (QMJHL) 6′ 1′, 200 lbs
FRK, MARTIN RW HALIFAX (QMJHL) 6′ 0′, 192 lbs
GALCHENYUK, ALEX C/LW SARNIA (OHL) 6′ 0′, 185 lbs
GAUNCE, BRENDAN C BELLEVILLE (OHL) 6′ 2′, 205 lbs
GIRGENSONS, ZEMGUS C DUBUQUE (USHL) 6′ 1′, 182 lbs
GUDBRANSON, ALEX D KINGSTON (OHL) 6′ 1′, 200 lbs
KERDILES, NICOLAS LW U.S. UNDER-18 (USHL) 6′ 1’, 183 lbs
KOSMACHUK, SCOTT RW GUELPH (OHL) 6’ 0’, 182 lbs
LAUGHTON, SCOTT C OSHAWA (OHL) 6′ 0′, 174 lbs
MAIDENS, JARROD C OWEN SOUND (OHL) 6′ 1′, 169 lbs
MATHESON, MICHAEL D DUBUQUE (USHL) 6′ 0′, 170 lbs
MARCANTUONI, MATIA C KITCHENER (OHL) 5′ 11′, 185 lbs
MURRAY, RYAN D EVERETT (WHL) 6′ 0′, 182 lbs
OLSON, COLLIN G U.S. UNDER-18 (USHL) 6′ 3’, 189 lbs
POULIOT, DERRICK D PORTLAND (WHL) 5′ 11′, 185 lbs
RIELLY, MORGAN D MOOSE JAW (WHL) 5′ 11′, 189 lbs
RYAN, ANDREW LW HALIFAX (QMJHL) 6′ 3’, 193 lbs
SCHMALTZ, JORDAN D SIOUX CITY (USHL) 6′ 2′, 175 lbs
SISSONS, COLTON RW KELOWNA (WHL) 6′ 1′, 182 lbs
SIWAK, DAULTON C RED DEER (WHL) 5′ 11′, 190 lbs
SUBBAN, MALCOLM G BELLEVILLE (OHL) 6′ 1′, 178 lbs
TIERNEY, CHRIS LW LONDON (OHL) 6′ 0′, 170 lbs
TROUBA, JACOB D U.S. UNDER-18 (USHL) 6′ 1′, 175 lbs
YAKUPOV, NAIL RW SARNIA (OHL) 5′ 11′, 180 lbs

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

Read about that blowout here.

Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.