Author: Joe Yerdon

Alex Galchenyuk

Galchenyuk (broken hand) returns to practice

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The Montreal Canadiens headed into the Olympic break on a three-game winning streak. Now they’re that much closer to getting Alex Galchenyuk back in the lineup.

Galchenyuk has been out with a broken hand, but he returned to practice with the team on Thursday. As Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette shares, he’s anxious to play.

“It’s my first practice with the team and I am still looking to get more speed and flexibility back in my hand,” said Galchenyuk, who was sporting an ice pack on his hand as he talked to the media. “There are little things I have to work on, like the toe drag I tried out there. I know what I have to do, but I have to think about it. Those movements have to become natural again.”

Galchenyuk was injured against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 6 and the team has gone 7-7-1 in his absence. This season, his second in the league, he has 23 points in 44 games.

The break may have come at a poor time for the Habs as they were getting their act back together after going through a slump in January, but with Galchenyuk on the mend and aiming to get back soon, things are looking up.

Latvian hero Gudlevskis returns to Tampa with Lindback hurting

Kristers Gudlevskis

Fans have gotten to know Team Latvia and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect goalie Kristers Gudlevskis after his incredible performance in a 2-1 loss to Canada in the quarterfinals. Now NHL fans might get to know him a little better.

As Missy Zielinski of the Lightning site shares, coach Jon Cooper said Gudlevskis will head to Tampa instead of back to Syracuse because backup Anders Lindback health status is unknown.

Lindback has been dealing with a sprained left ankle and it came at a poor time as Ben Bishop had been dealing with an injury. At a time when Lindback could’ve shown that he too could prove reliable, he wound up out of the lineup and opened things up for Cedrick Desjardins and Gudlevskis to get the call from the AHL.

Now Gudlevskis will at least practice with the Bolts while Lindback’s ankle is figured out. With his new found celebrity thanks to his play in the Olympics, Gudlevskis could earn a bit more attention this time around.

Toews on Canada-U.S. rivalry: ‘There’s a lot of animosity’

Jonathan Toews

The semifinal matchup between Canada and the United States is one that will grab the attention of the hockey world, but all eyes might be on Chicago Blackhawks teammates who will square off against each other.

Team Canada center Jonathan Toews says Canada-U.S. is now the preeminent rivalry and as Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune shares, he says it’s not exactly a peaceful battle between the two.

“It has become even a bigger rivalry than Canada-Russia. There’s a lot of animosity, a lot of feelings like there’s something to prove between both teams,” said Toews. “It’s for the chance to go and play for a gold medal. It doesn’t get any better than that, playing for your country and going against the United States. There are millions of kids that grow up dreaming of this.”

Toews’ comments come after there was a very minor dust-up of opinions from Team USA’s Patrick Kane who gushed about the play of Phil Kessel.

As Tim Wharnsby at CBC Sports shares, Toews had a bit of fun with that statement himself.

Toews added with a smile, “He’s all right, [but] that Kessel guy is even better.”

All the talk goes away at Noon ET on NBCSN when the two sides square off for a spot in the gold medal game.