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In the hockey world this week the World Junior Championship began with a bang. The USA have started the tournament 2-0, while Team Canada is 1-1. The hockey world is getting a nice international appetizer to the Olympics. Until the Olympics, we have the NHL and WJC to keep us entertained.
This week in the NHL: Shawn Thornton’s appeal was upheld by Gary Bettmen. Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg is done for the year after tearing his ACL and MCL. The Islanders John Tavares consecutive games played streak ended at 246. The Blues Alex Steen was placed on IR, and The Wild Zach Parise has been held off the ice due to injury. Patrick Sharp became the first Blackhawks player to have a hat trick on his birthday. And injured starting goalies are close to returning Josh Harding, Corey Crawford, and Jonathan Quick. The Blues and Canucks are up this week, while the Red Wings and Predators are down this week.
After all that excitement let’s get to the rankings:
30. The Buffalo Sabres 10-24-4: The Sabres are historically bad this season but their future might be bright. Their prospects Ramus Ristolainen of Finland scored a goal for Finland in WJC. Mikhail Grigorenko scored for Russia and Nikita Zadorov notched an assist. Although the present is DARK the future could be bright for the Sabres.
29: Edmonton Oilers 13-24-3: The Oilers agreed to a three year entry level contract with Mitchell Moroz. Moroz is currently playing on their WHL. Moroz has 21 goals and 13 assists on the season. The present is bleak but the future might be promising.
28: New York Islanders 11-20-7: Tavares consecutive streak came to end this week. Doug Weight and Kyle Okposo are hoping to crack the Team USA Olympic rosters. Okposo is third in American scoring behind Patrick Kane and Bobby Ryan. The Islanders did win their only goal last week.
27. Florida Panthers 14-19-5: The Panthers have lost two in a row and are not going anywhere this season. Similar to the Oilers and Sabres, Panthers look to the WJC to get hope for the future. Ian McCoshen a Panthers prospect was a +1 in the first game for team USA.
26. Calgary Flames 14-18-6: The Flames Dennis Wideman returned to practice since breaking his hand. He has missed 14 games and could return to the lineup soon. The Flames faithful are also looking toward the WJC. The team USA goalie is Jon Gillies a Flames prospect. He is 2-0 to start the WJC.