Alex Burmistrov

Burmistrov spending AHL time improving his all-around game

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It’s been a bit of a strange trip for Alex Burmistrov since he was drafted into the NHL and going from Atlanta to Winnipeg was just the beginning.

Last season, just his second in the league, saw him break out a bit scoring 13 goals and seeing more ice time than his downer of a rookie year, but there were thoughts he might wind up in the AHL to start this year.

Thanks to the lockout, he’s with the St. John’s IceCaps anyhow and he’s playing every role for them. He’s on one of the top lines, he’s running the point on the power play, and he’s killing penalties. He’s happy to do whatever he can to live up to his potential.

“I’m still learning how to play hockey,” Burmistrov says. “I appreciate they give me a lot of ice time. I just need to play my game and help my team.”

It’s been a whirlwind trip for Burmistrov in his career, but being a former top pick in the AHL means people are gunning for him and he’s ready for it.

“It’s always like this, every game. I’m not a fighter so I won’t be fighting. They try to get under my skin but it never works. I don’t care, I just do my job.”

If he brings that kind of attitude back to Winnipeg when the NHL returns, their sold-out crowds will love him all the more.

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: