2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition

Today on NBCSN: The 2012 NHL All-Star Game

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It’s finally here. The NHL All-Star Game between Team Alfredsson and Team Chara drops the puck in Ottawa this afternoon (4:00 p.m. ET) and while it’s just an exhibition and the guys are out there to do their part to light up each other’s goalies, there are some curious juxtapositions in this game.

Team Alfredsson is made up of all the Swedish All-Stars. Daniel Alfredsson captaining the team with Henrik Lundqvist as the assistant managed to pick up Alex Edler, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Erik Karlsson.

This also means that Team Alfredsson has all the Vancouver Canucks in today’s game on their team. Comparing that with Team Chara captained by Zdeno Chara who also drafted his Bruins teammates Tyler Seguin and Tim Thomas to his side and you have a the whole Bruins-Canucks rivalry at hand. If this game were played like a playoff game, there’d be enough fire there to make sure no one tuned out.

As it is we’ll have to hope to see maybe the Sedins work some magic around Thomas or perhaps see Chara throw a bodycheck on Edler. With checking being practically forbidden, any hit would be enough to cause a stir. If all that isn’t enough drama for you, perhaps seeing Phil Kessel being coached by Claude Julien one more time is enough to get you excited.

As for the guys that will take the worst of it in the game, the goalies are ready to be shelled. Team Chara rolls with Thomas, Canadiens goalie Carey Price, and Red Wings starter Jimmy Howard. Team Alfredsson will try to hold things down with Lundqvist, Kings star Jonathan Quick, and Blues starter Brian Elliott.

For what it’s worth, Bovada Sports (formerly Bodog) has the over/under on goals scored in this game at 19.5 — Keep in mind that last year’s game ended up 11-10 win for Team Lidstrom over Team Staal and the 2009 All-Star Game was a 12-11 win for the East over the West.

Streaking: Team Chara starting goalie Tim Thomas has been the winning goalie in the last three All-Star Games. Should Team Chara get ahead while he’s in the game, Thomas will have a shot at making it four in a row. It’s a bit of a silly stat, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

See also: Breaking down Team Alfredsson and Team Chara’s lineups.

WATCH LIVE: Blues at Sharks – Game 6

ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 23:  Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues, Brent Burns #88 of the San Jose Sharks, and Joe Thornton #19 argue with a referee during the second period in Game Five of the Western Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on May 23, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The San Jose Sharks can make franchise history on home ice tonight against the St. Louis Blues. Win, and the Sharks clinch their first ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Lose, and it’s back to St. Louis for a deciding Game 7 in the Western Conference Final.

You can catch tonight’s Game 6 on NBCSN (9 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Tarasenko needs to start ‘playing within the system’: Hitch

On the brink of elimination, Blues turn back to Elliott

The Blues could sure use a goal or two from Tarasenko

Stanley Cup Final to begin Monday

 

‘There’s still lots of room for growth’: Stars GM preaches patience with Nichushkin

Valeri Nichushkin
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Valeri Nichushkin has the tools — listed at six-foot-four-inches tall and 205 pounds with devastating speed. He has the skill.

However, now at the end of his entry-level contract, the 10th overall draft pick for the Dallas Stars in 2013 has endured the highs and lows associated with a young player trying to make his mark in the National Hockey League after a promising rookie campaign.

For starters, his sophomore 2014-15 season was essentially wiped out — he played only eight games for the Stars — by a hip injury that required surgery. He also didn’t get off to the greatest start this season, and coming back from surgery likely played a factor as to why, as he found his way into Lindy Ruff’s doghouse early on.

As a result, was made a healthy scratch.

His bottom line offensive numbers included nine goals and 29 points in 79 games played, and one assist in 10 playoff games for the Stars, as they were eliminated in the second round.

Still, he’s just 21 years old. When playing with top players like Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, he was able to get on a bit of a roll offensively.

Stars GM Jim Nill, speaking on SiriusXMNHL, referenced the difficulty for a young player coming back off surgery, but remains confident in Nichushkin.

“We’re happy with Val,” he said (at around the 5:30 mark).

“Came back this year, got off to a slow start because of that. We thought the last five games of the playoffs, he really started to look like himself. He started to dominate down low and in the corners.

“He is only 21. I know there’s still lots of room for growth, so we’re going to be patient with him. We think he’s a big part of our future.”

 

Coyotes hire new COO

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 09:  Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets on October 9, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Jets defeated the Coyotes 6-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes have hired Anaheim Ducks executive Ari Segal as chief operating officer.

The move was announced by the team on Wednesday.

Segal previously served as a special assistant to Anaheim CEO Michael Schulman and as president of business operations for the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in San Diego.

Segal helped with preparations for the new AHL club and recently worked with the NHL in the league’s broadcast media strategy group, evaluating league and team broadcast rights and distribution deals.

Segal previously worked as an associate in the sports practice at McKinsey & Company, a New York-based management consulting firm.

Related: The Coyotes are going in a ‘new direction,’ and that’s an understatement

Jackets re-sign Sedlak, AHL affiliate’s leading playoff scorer

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 20:  Lukas Sedlak #85 of the Columbus Blue Jackets waits for the pass during the game against the Winnipeg Jets on September 20, 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio.  The Blue Jackets defeated the Jets 5-1.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
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Columbus farmhand Lukas Sedlak, who currently sits tied atop AHL Lake Erie’s playoff scoring leaderboard, has signed a one-year, two-way deal, the Jackets announced on Wednesday.

Sedlak, 23, was a fifth-round pick in 2011 that’s spent the last three years in the American League. This season was by far his most successful — in addition to potting a career-best 14 goals, he’s become close to a point-a-game producer in the playoffs, with 11 through 12 games.

“Sedlak has been on a run for us with goal-scoring,” Lake Erie head coach Jared Bednar said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “He’s not a guy who does it for us every night. But he works so hard in all the other areas.”

Sedlak has yet to make his NHL debut, but could be in the mix for a recall next season.