NHL Hockey Column: In The Crease
Eastern Players Update
With the NHL lockout finally over, players are already flocking back to their respective teams to begin preparing for 2012-13's shortened season. Let's take a look at how some notable players in the Eastern Conference performed at their lockout destinations:
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Tuukka Rask played eight games with HC Plzen in the Czech Extraliga this campaign, where he posted a 6-2 record with a .936 save percentage and a 1.85 goals-against average.
Anton Khudobin spent the lockout in the KHL with Atlant Moscow Oblast, earning a 6-14-4 record with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage in 26 games.
Zdeno Chara registered 10 points, 24 penalty minutes and a plus-5 rating in 25 games with Lev Praha of the KHL.
Dennis Seidenberg returned home to play in Germany' s top league, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, with Adler Mannheim, where he racked up 18 assists, 20 points and a plus-15 rating in 26 contests.
Tyler Seguin spent his lockout time in Switzerland's top division, the National League A, where he amassed 25 goals and 40 points in 29 games with EHC Biel.
Rich Peverley potted nine goals and added 14 assists in 29 SM-liiga matches with JYP Jyvaskyla in Finland's top league.
David Krejci suited up in 24 games with HC Pardubice back home in the Czech Republic and he made the most of his time there with 16 goals and 11 assists in the nation's top league.
Patrice Bergeron picked up 11 goals and 29 points in 21 contests with HC Lugano in Switzerland's National League A.
Christian Ehrhoff notched eight goals and 26 points with 52 penalty minutes in 32 games with the Krefeld Pinguine in Germany's Deutsche Eishockey Liga during the lockout.
Tyler Myers earned 10 points, 37 penalty minutes and a minus-7 rating in 17 games with Klagenfurter AC of the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga in Austria.
Andrej Sekera produced 12 points over 25 games in the KHL with HC Slovan Bratislava while he was locked out by the league.
Tyler Ennis skated in 10 matches with the SCL Tigers of the Swiss National League A, while recording three goals and eight points before leaving the team to nurse a shoulder injury.
Jason Pominville was great for Germany's Adler Mannheim in the DEL during his brief tenure with the team by tallying five goals and 12 points in just seven outings.
Thomas Vanek played back home in Austria with the Graz 99ers of the EBEL, where he totaled five markers and 15 points in 11 appearances.
Cody Hodgson got sidetracked by a broken hand, but he has played well in the AHL for Rochester with 19 points in 19 games.
Marcus Foligno has made his presence felt in the minors with the Rochester Americans as well by generating 10 goals and 27 points in 33 matches.
Jussi Jokinen went overseas to play in Finland's SM-lliga on three separate occasions during the NHL lockout and he posted 21 points in 21 games with Karpat over that span.
Alexander Semin began the lockout by appearing in four games with hometown team Sokol Krasnoyarsk of the VHL, which is a development league in Russia, where he had four points before heading to the KHL, where he potted 16 points in 20 games with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod.
Jiri Tlusty turned in a superb showing with HC Kladno in the Czech Extraliga by putting up 12 goals and 23 points in 24 games.
Anthony Stewart played in the UK with the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League during the work stoppage and he ended up with 11 points in 19 games.
Justin Faulk has been skating with Charlotte in the AHL since the lockout started and he has played well there with 24 points in 31 matches.
Zach Boychuk has elevated his game in the minors with Charlotte during the lockout with 15 goals and 31 points in 36 games.
Filip Kuba dressed in 11 games with HC Vitkovice in the Czech Extraliga and collected four assists.
Sean Bergenheim earned one goal in two games with HIFK in Finland's SM-liiga during the lockout before aggravating his groin and returning to North America.
Tomas Kopecky had a brief lockout stint with HK Dukla Trencin in Slovakia’s top league, where he skated in four games and contributed four points prior to leaving with a shoulder injury.
Jack Skille traveled to Norway to play for Rosenborg IHK in the nation's top division and he registered 12 points and 20 penalty minutes in nine contests.
Raphael Diaz excelled back in the Swiss National League A with EV Zug by piling up 29 points, including 22 assists, in 32 games.
Andrei Markov skated in 21 games with Vityaz Chekhov of the KHL and he generated five points.
David Desharnais played in Switzerland's NLA during the lockout and thrived offensively with 16 points in 16 games with HC Fribourg-Gotteron.
Lars Eller produced 15 points, including 10 assists, in 15 games with JYP Jyvaskyla in Finland's top league.
Tomas Plekanec was a scoring machine with 21 goals and a jaw-dropping 46 points in 32 games as a member of HC Kladno in the Czech Extraliga.
Max Pacioretty had a rough time with Ambrì-Piotta in Switzerland's top division during the lockout, where he had just one goal in five games before leaving the team to rest his sore elbow.
Scott Gomez played at home in Alaska during the lockout with the Aces in the ECHL, where he notched six goals and seven assists in 11 matches.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Anton Volchenkov spent his lockout time in the KHL with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod and he contributed one assist in 11 outings.
Marek Zidlicky was another player who racked up points with HC Kladno in the Czech Extraliga, picking up three goals and 25 points in 25 games.
David Clarkson collected two goals and three points in five games with EC Salzburg in Austria's top league prior to deciding to return to North America.
Ilya Kovalchuk flourished back in Russia with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL by garnering 18 goals and 40 points in 34 matches.
Adam Henrique had been playing in the AHL with Albany, where he had eight points in 16 games, prior to suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.
Adam Larsson has been solid for AHL Albany this year with 17 points and a plus-3 rating in 31 games from the back end.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Rick DiPietro appeared in just one game with SC Riessersee in Germany's second division during the lockout and it wasn't memorable; he finished with a 3.03 goals-against average.
Mark Streit amassed seven goals, 26 points and a plus-19 rating in 32 games with SC Bern in Switzerland's NLA during the lockout.
Jesse Joensuu enjoyed a spectacular showing with Assat in Finland's SM-liiga, where he collected 11 goals, 25 points and a monstrous 83 penalty minutes in 24 matches.
Frans Nielsen flashed his playmaking skills in the SM-liiga with Lukko by setting up 20 goals and scoring four of his own in 27 games during his lockout stop in Finland.
John Tavares lit up Switzerland's top division of play with 17 markers on 106 shots and 42 points in only 28 contests.
Nino Niederreiter has been very good for Bridgeport in the AHL this campaign with 17 goals and 33 points in 33 matches.
Travis Hamonic had nine points and 29 penalty minutes in 19 games with AHL Bridgeport prior to heading to the sidelines with a concussion.
NEW YORK RANGERS
Ryan McDonagh traveled overseas to play in 10 games with the KHL's Barys Astana franchise, where he had three assists and 16 shots, before leaving to rest some minor ailments.
Derek Stepan struggled during the work stoppage notching just two goals and two assists in 12 games with KalPa in Finland's top league.
Rick Nash suited up for HC Davos of the National League A in Switzerland while the NHL was closed for business, where he produced 12 goals and 18 points in 17 games prior to exiting to heal up a mild groin injury.
Carl Hagelin's time in Sweden's second division with Sodertalje was cut short due to a shoulder injury, but he generated five goals and 11 points in eight games when he was healthy.
Chris Kreider has struggled in the AHL with Connecticut by collecting an underwhelming 12 points in 33 games.
Sergei Gonchar enjoyed some great success in the KHL with 29 points and a plus-20 rating in 37 games as a member of Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Erik Karlsson turned heads in Finland's SM-liiga during the lockout by generating nine goals and 34 points in 30 games with Jokerit.
Milan Michalek skated with HC Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Extraliga, while earning himself 13 goals and 24 points in 21 contests.
Kyle Turris registered seven markers and added 12 assists in 21 SM-liiga matches with Karpat during the NHL's work stoppage.
Erik Condra spent the lockout in Germany, where he had eight goals and 19 points in seven games with EV Fussen in the nation's third division. He posted 15 points with 10 goals in 10 contests while skating with second division team SC Riessersee afterward.
Jason Spezza amassed nine goals and 21 helpers in 28 matches with the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers in Switzerland's National League A.
Jakob Silfverberg has accounted for 13 goals and 28 points in 32 AHL games with Binghamton after overcoming a slow start to the year.
Ilya Bryzgalov kept up his on and off again style in the KHL en route to a 6-5-0 record, a 2.13 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 12 appearances with CSKA Moscow.
Jakub Voracek tallied seven goals and 13 helpers in 23 games with the KHL's Lev Praha.
Wayne Simmonds played in nine games with Eispiraten Crimmitschau of Germany's second division, where he registered 14 points and 35 penalty minutes, and then he posted six points in six games with Liberec in the Czech Extraliga.
Matt Read played in Sweden's second division with Sodertalje during the lockout, where he finished with six goals and 24 points in 20 matches.
Ruslan Fedotenko notched eight goals and 18 points in 33 appearances with Donbass Donetsk of the KHL during the NHL lockout.
Daniel Briere produced 10 goals and 24 assists over 21 games with Eisbaren Berlin in Germany's top league while waiting for the lockout to end. Unfortunately for the Flyers, he returned to North America with a wrist injury.
Claude Giroux was scoring points in frequent bunches prior to leaving Germany's Deutsche Eishockey Liga because of a neck injury. He amassed 19 points in a mere nine games overseas with Eisbaren Berlin.
Brayden Schenn has been great in the minors with 13 goals and 33 points in 33 AHL games with Adirondack.
Sean Couturier has kept up with Schenn in Adirondack with 10 goals and 28 points in 31 minor-league matches.
Tanner Glass spent the NHL lockout with HC Banska Bystrica in the Slovak Extraliga, where he totaled one assist and a jaw-dropping 75 penalty minutes in just six games.
Evgeni Malkin set the KHL on fire with 23 goals and 65 points in only 37 outings with his hometown team of Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Eric Tangradi had 10 goals and 17 points over 33 games with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Anders Lindback appeared in 13 games with Ilves Tampere in Finland's top league and he ended up with a 3-6-4 record, a 2.33 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.
Victor Hedman posted strong statistics in the KHL this year with Barys Astana. He had a plus-18 rating, 20 points and 70 penalty minutes in 26 games overseas.
Brendan Mikkelson collected seven points and 20 penalty minutes over 17 games with Vasteras in Sweden's second division during the NHL work stoppage.
Adam Hall found the scoresheet with regularity in Germany's second division with Ravensburg. He tallied 11 goals and 15 points in 17 contests.
Nate Thompson played in front of family and friends at home in Alaska, where he gathered seven goals and 12 points in 24 ECHL games.
Dana Tyrell contributed three assists in four games with HC Banska Bystrica in Slovakia, but was hampered by a groin injury.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Carl Gunnarsson skated in nine games with Orebro in Sweden's second division and got on the board with two assists.
Mikhail Grabovski joined CSKA Moscow in the KHL during the lockout, where he tallied 12 goals and 24 points in 29 games in addition to 73 shots.
Nikolai Kulemin enjoyed a successful KHL reunion with his former Metallurg Magnitogorsk teammates. He posted 14 goals and added 24 helpers in 36 contests, while playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin.
Joffrey Lupul didn't spend too long in the KHL, appearing in nine games with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg and recording four points before deciding to stay in North America.
Clarke MacArthur suited up with Eispiraten Crimmitschau in Germany's second division and he concluded his lockout stint with 11 points in nine outings.
Nazem Kadri overcame a slow start and some injuries in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies and has produced 25 points in 26 games this year.
Jake Gardiner was playing very well for the Marlies, with nine goals and 17 points in 22 games, prior to heading to the sidelines because of concussion and whiplash symptoms.
Michal Neuvirth remained busy in the Czech Extraliga with HC Sparta Praha during the lockout. In 24 games, he posted a 2.51 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
Brooks Laich compiled six goals and 18 points in 19 contests with Switzerland's National League A while waiting for the lockout to end.
Joey Crabb voyaged home to Alaska to play in the ECHL, where he shined with 17 goals and 38 points in 35 matches.
Alex Ovechkin potted 19 goals and 40 points over 31 games in the KHL as a member of Dynamo Moscow.
Nicklas Backstrom joined his Washington teammate Ovechkin in the KHL with Dynamo Moscow during the NHL work stoppage and he tallied 25 points in 19 outings prior to going down with a bruised neck.
Braden Holtby posted a 12-12-1 record, including four shutouts, with a 2.14 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in 25 AHL games with Hershey.
Ondrej Pavelec didn't perform well in 14 games with Liberec in the Czech Extraliga, where he had a 3.50 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage, but he was a little better in Finland's SM-liiga with a 2.68 GAA and a .912 save percentage in six appearances.
Tobias Enstrom played in just five games with EC Salzburg in Austria's top league before deciding to part ways with the EBEL team. He had one goal and four penalty minutes over that span.
Mark Stuart skated with the Florida Everblades in the ECHL during the lockout. He finished his time there with three points and 12 penalty minutes in nine games.
Evander Kane had a horrible time adjusting to the style of the KHL game, so he earned just one goal and spent 47 minutes in the sin bin in 12 games with Dinamo Minsk.
Alexei Ponikarovsky headed to the KHL during the lockout and he concluded his time there with 18 points in 32 contests with Donbass Donetsk.
Blake Wheeler picked up six goals and 14 helpers in 15 matches with EHC Munchen of Germany's top division while the NHL locked out its players.
Alexander Burmistrov was forced to deal with an injury to his upper body, but he has been limited to two goals and 11 points over 22 games with AHL St. John's this campaign.
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