Cam Tucker

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 05:  Jeff Petry #26 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on before a face off against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on January 5, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Habs’ Petry hopes for strong return from sports hernia surgery

Jeff Petry‘s first season in Montreal after signing his lucrative contract extension with the Habs didn’t go according to plan for both the player and team.

The Habs, after the injury to Carey Price, fell apart and fell out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Petry, 28 years old and signed to a six-year, $33 million deal, had five goals and 16 points to go with a strong 54.5 per cent Corsi For rating at even strength — in 51 games played.

But his season was cut short due to injury. He underwent sports hernia surgery in March and was expected to be out for 12 weeks. But the right-shooting defenseman expressed optimism with how his offseason workouts have progressed, as he looks to enter training camp for the new season in good health.

“After taking a little time off, I got back in the gym in June and jumped right back in as if I didn’t have the surgery,” Petry told the Habs’ website.

“I was actually kind of surprised how strong I was going in terms of lifting. I was lifting more than I did last summer. That was good for me to see, and I was feeling stronger than in previous years. I feel good.”

His recovery may have gone under the radar, especially after the controversial summer the Habs had, dealing P.K. Subban for Shea Weber.

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    Schneider to start in goal for Team USA

    NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 04: Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils tends net against the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center on October 4, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    Team USA has its starting goalie for tonight’s World Cup pre-tournament rematch with Team Canada.

    According to numerous reports, Cory Schneider will get the start before Ben Bishop takes over to begin the third period.

    Head coach John Tortorella went with that plan in Friday’s game, the only difference being that Jonathan Quick started and Bishop took over for the final 20 minutes.

    Last season with the New Jersey Devils, the 30-year-old Schneider posted four shutouts and a .924 save percentage in 58 games.

    Related:

    Forget physical play, the key for Team USA is clearly the goaltending

    Team Canada to sit Sidney Crosby in World Cup pre-tournament rematch with Team USA

    France v Canada - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship
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    After long-time rivals Team Canada and Team USA renewed hostilities yesterday, the two teams meet again in a World Cup pre-tournament rematch on Saturday in Ottawa.

    As per Hockey Canada on Saturday, coach Mike Babcock will sit team captain Sidney Crosby and defenseman Jake Muzzin for tonight’s game, which concludes a back-to-back set.

    The physical play from Friday was a major topic of discussion, particularly after hits from Ryan Kesler on Shea Weber and T.J. Oshie on Logan Couture. Team USA tried targeting Crosby early in the game, which Weber took exception to.

    Claude Giroux was on the receiving end of a big hit a split second after the whistle from Joe Pavelski.

    After what transpired Friday, could the bad blood boil over to tonight’s contest? Or will cooler heads prevail?

    If World Cup exhibition is an indication, Sedin twins and Eriksson could ignite Canucks power play

    SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 19:  Loui Eriksson #21 of Sweden celebrates his goal with Daniel Sedin #22 in the third period against Slovenia during the Men's Ice Hockey Quarterfinal Playoff on Day 12 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 19, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The Vancouver Canucks have yet to play a game of any kind this season.

    But the trio of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Loui Eriksson, who have played together at previous international events, should provide the Canucks with at least some excitement, especially for the power play, as training camp approaches.

    The Canucks, in need of goal scoring and improvement to their power play, signed Eriksson to a six-year, $36 million contract on the first day of free agency. The plan, it’s expected, is for the left-shooting Eriksson to play on the top line with the Sedin twins.

    (Mind you, Radim Vrbata was brought in as a free agent signing two years ago for the same reason, but he was eventually moved off that line.)

    So far in the World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament games, the trio has been productive for Sweden, albeit in a small sample size as far as this competition goes.

    Eriksson scored twice in Saturday’s game against Finland, as Sweden earned a 6-3 win over their neighboring rivals. Henrik Sedin assisted on both goals and Daniel Sedin had a helper as well. Both Eriksson goals came on the power play, including a five-on-three.

     

    In both cases, Eriksson, who now has three goals in two pre-tournament games, was stationed in front of the net, and the Sedins — Henrik on the first goal and Daniel on the second — set him up.

    “They are such smart players,” said Eriksson, as per NHL.com in July.

    “It was easy for me when I first played with them to get chemistry because we kind of play the same way. We like to give the puck and get it back from each other. Maybe the first couple games was a learning process to see how they played and how they were thinking, and we seemed to match really well when we played together in those games, especially in the 2013 World Championships when we won it. … Hopefully we can keep playing like we did during that time and we should have some good success.”

    The Sedin twins will turn 36 years old later this month. They have two more years remaining on their respective contracts. Eriksson, who has twice hit 30-plus goals in a single season, including last season in Boston, is 31 years old. They’re not getting any younger.

    But the Canucks were dismal when it came to overall goal scoring (29th in the NHL) and power play (27th in the NHL). They also acquired and signed defenseman Philip Larsen with the idea of giving him the opportunity to run the power play from the back end.

    So far, so good for the Sedin twins and Eriksson in the World Cup. If that can translate into the NHL regular season, the Canucks should at the very least improve their power play. The Canucks certainly need it.

    Whether the Canucks, as an entire team, will be good enough to make it back to the playoffs is another story for another day.

    Report: Hossa taken to hospital for x-rays after Team Europe loss

    CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 09:  Marian Hossa #81 of the Chicago Blackhawks talks to a teammate against the San Jose Sharks at the United Center on February 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Sharks defeated the Blackhawks 2-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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    Team Europe and Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa has been taken to a hospital in Quebec City for x-rays following Thursday’s World Cup pre-tournament game, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.

    Hossa was credited with 10:47 of ice time in Europe’s 4-0 loss to Team North America, though it hasn’t been determined yet what caused him to leave the game.

    Earlier today, Czech Republic forward Vladimir Sobotka was hurt on a hard hit during his team’s game with Russia. It was initially reported that he was taken to hospital with a possible clavicle fracture.

    Czech coach Josef Jandac later said the injury to Sobotka was not serious.