Malkin Gonchar

KHL All-Star Game top lines loaded with NHLers

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Locked-out NHLers in the KHL have excelled in the league and won over fans, as evidenced by the KHL’s announced starting goaltenders and lineups for the 2013 All-Star Game. The starters for Team West and Team East were determined by a fan ballot.

Team West’s starting goaltender will be Semyon Varlamov, who only narrowly beat Pekka Rinne. Team West will also feature Zdeno Chara, Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin, and Ilya Kovalchuk.

That leaves defenseman Alexander Ryazantsev as the lone member of Team West’s starting lineup that isn’t a locked-out NHLer.

Team East isn’t quite as dominated by the NHL, but they will feature Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin, and Sergei Kostitsyn.

Evgeny Kuznetsov will also be part of Team East after the Washington Capitals took him in the first round of the 2010 draft. However, Kuznetsov planned to play in the KHL this season regardless of the NHL’s CBA situation.

Malkin ended up with the most votes while Datsyuk topped the Team West selection. Ovechkin ranked third overall.

The full rosters for the 2013 All-Star Game haven’t been determined yet and the league’s all-star weekend is January 12-13. Obviously, if the NHL and union manage to come to a CBA agreement in the not too distant future, that will complicate the KHL’s plans.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)