Alex Ovechkin

PHT Morning Skate: Notes from Olympic camps

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Alex Ovechkin got to play the part of fashion model for Team Russia as they unveiled their hockey jerseys for the Winter Olympics. There’s a lot of red going on. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Dustin Byfuglien is at Team USA’s camp and eager to earn a spot on the American blue line. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Patrick Kane is digging Team USA’s chances at gold in Sochi. (

Phil Kessel says he’s a “different player now.” Does that mean he’s going to be an even more dynamic scorer? (Toronto Sun)

There’s another goalie out there eager to put his Vancouver drama to rest. At least Cory Schneider wound up in New Jersey where there hasn’t been much going on lately at all. (Fire & Ice)

Who’s the Brady Anderson of hockey? It’s always been Jonathan Cheechoo to me, but Down Goes Brown has a few other great candidates. (Grantland)

Jason Spezza isn’t sweating not being invited to Canada’s Olympic camp. Besides, getting snubbed in 2006 was way more egregious. (Senators Extra)

Speaking of Spezza, he’s ready to play with or without the Senators’ captaincy. (Ottawa Sun)

Rangers forward Derek Stepan believes he’ll get a new deal done before the season starts. (Ranger Rants)

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: