Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 12 - Sweden v Slovenia

Sedin feeling ‘good’ after scoring first goal of 2014


SOCHI, Russia — Daniel Sedin buried the puck into the gaping Slovenian net, and then he fell to the ice.

Quite possibly, he fell in relief. Because for the former NHL scoring champ, that third-period tally — off a perfect pass from Loui Eriksson — was his first of the Olympics, and his first of any kind since Dec. 30, when he scored for his Vancouver Canucks against the Flyers.

“Yeah, it felt good,” said Sedin. “Two-nothing, too. As long as the game was 1-0, they’re right there, so it was a big goal for us.”

A big goal. And a long wait to get it. Counting the Olympics, Sedin had gone 22 games without bulging the twine, something he did 41 times when he won the Art Ross Trophy in 2010-11.

That said, he didn’t think the extended slump had affected his confidence.

“I’ve been playing for a long time,” he said. “You can’t change your game just because you haven’t scored.”

He also still thinks Sweden has room for improvement, even after shutting out Slovenia, 5-0, in the quarterfinals.

“It was better tonight. Still, it can get even better than this,” he said. “The opponents are going to be tougher the next two games, so we have to be ready and really bear down defensively.”

In Friday’s semis, the Swedes will either face their geographical rivals from Finland, or the host Russians.

“Finland’s looked really good. They play us as tight as anyone in this tournament,” Sedin said. “And Russia, we know what they can do up front, so it’s going to be tough either way.”

As for his twin brother, Henrik, who was forced to miss the Olympics with a rib injury, Daniel says they’ve spoken a few times during the Games.

According to Daniel, Henrik is hoping to be back playing for the Canucks once the Olympics are over.

“He hopes so, but we’ll see,” he said. “It’ll be close.”

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.