International stars to compete in Finland’s Karjala Tournament

With NHL action locked out indefinitely, one of the best collections of hockey talent can be found during Finland’s Karjala Tournament, which takes place Nov. 7-10.

The round-robin tournament features one squad each from the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and host team Finland.

Here are some standout players (aside from the Czech roster, which isn’t readily available):

Finland (via Leijonat.fi): Pekka Rinne, Tuukka Rask, Mikko Koivu and Niklas Hagman. Also: four guys named Teemu who aren’t Teemu Selanne. (Full roster)

Russia (via Leijonat.fi): Sergei Bobrovsky, Artem Anisimov and Nik Zherdev. (Full roster)

Sweden (also via Leijonat.fi): Victor Hedman, Patric Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin and Gabriel Landeskog. (Full roster)

A Swedish team including Peter Forsberg and Matt Sundin will take on a Finnish squad that boasts Jari Kurri and Jere Lehtinen in a legends game on Nov. 8 as well, according to Turku.fi.

Before you start pondering a hasty trip to Finland, let’s finish with a few facts about the tournament:

  • Either Finland (10 times) or Russia (five times) finished in first place in all but one of the 16 tournaments, with Sweden taking it in 1997.
  • The tournament is sponsored by Karjala beer, which has a rather interesting history.
  • Again, it’s a round-robin tournament featuring three games per team. If two teams are tied for first-place, whichever team won the head-to-head matchup takes the No. 1 spot.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: