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The Rat Trick: NHL Morning Links 2/11/14

Welcome to The Rat Trick’s NHL Morning Links! Your best place for keep up to date with what is going on in the hockey world.

With less than 24-hours till the Men’s tournament starts, practices have begun and we are getting our first look at the teams and the line combinations. With so many injuries down the middle for team Finland, 18-year old Alexsander Barkov finds himself in a position just about no one had him at – the top line.

We knew that Sidney Crosby was going to be lined up with Chris Kunitz – that wasn’t a shocker. But shocked some were when former Philadelphia Flyer (who was their for the height of the Penguins/Flyers rivalry) Jeff Carter was placed on Crosby’s right side. Things can obviously change from here but I like the move. Remember the days of Kunitz-Crosby-Billy Guerin? The line that led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup. [Pens Labyrinth]

Team Russia has an extreme amount of pressure on them, maybe more so than Canada did in 2010, and it seems like they realize this – has the players from the KHL have been practicing for quite some time now. The NHL players finally joined them yesterday. [Union and Blue]

With the West so deep, and many teams are fighting for their playoff lives. The Nashville Predators are one of those teams. PredLines take a look at where the team stands. [PredLines]

Luke Schenn was apart of that amazing 2008 NHL Draft that has proved deep in defensive prospects, and had a great year at 18-years old, he has had his ups and downs, as any young defender will – and ended being traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Philadelphia Flyers. It looks like he is on his way to turning the corner now, as written by David Quackenbos. [Broad Street Buzz]

Speaking of the 2008 draft, a look at three of the premiere defenders out of that draft - Alex Pietrangelo, Drew Doughty, and Erik Karlsson. [Bleedin Blue]

I am truly surprised this isn’t brought up more – but with the Olympics overseas it is not surprising it is surfacing this year – should the NHL expand its ice surface? TMMotS thinks so. With the speed in the game now, it might not be a bad idea, but there are far more pressing matters in the league right now than the ice surface. [TMMotS]

Anthony Murphy is the Editor at The Rat Trick. You can follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC,

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