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Stat of the Day: Neal for Sochi

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James Neal eyes a spot in Sochi, potentially if Steven Stamkos has to bow out.

Christian Petersen

78 – goals James Neal has scored since the start of the 2011-12 season. That’s 4th best among all Canadian NHL players (behind only Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and Corey Perry…With Neal having a better goals/game rate than the latter two names).

With Stamkos’ recovery from a broken leg in question of whether or not he’ll be healthy enough to play a game in the NHL in time to show he’s Olympic ready, Team Canada could definitely find a replacement in Neal if they were looking to add a sniper, natural winger to their roster. Of course, with Claude Giroux, Martin St. Louis, Joe Thornton, Taylor Hall, Eric Staal and Tyler Seguin (among others) also left off the roster, they have no shortage of qualified candidates to go asking to join them in Sochi.

Stamkos has been skating briefly with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and left Monday with some leg pain before coming back on Tuesday and reporting feeling better.