No ringing endorsement, yet, for NHL players in Sochi Olympics

Selanne's point total is his best through his first 11 games since he had the same total for Winnipeg in the 1995-96 season — when he was 25.

"You talk about his age, but look at the people he's playing against — 25-year-olds who are powerfully built men," Boudreau said. "I find it quite amazing."

Boudreau also praised Saku Koivu, 38, who has four goals, 13 points and a +11 defensive rating. "He's been our best player day in and day out," Boudreau said. "He's been leading by example. He leads every practice and works his rear end off and in every game he's giving it everything he's got."

The Ducks face what Boudreau considers a measuring-stick game Tuesday, when they play the top-ranked Blackhawks at Chicago.

"I don't know if they're going to think of it as a measuring stick for them," he said. "We know they're good and they're not that long ago removed from winning the Cup. They're like us in that they're a little bit revived because they didn't have a great year last year so they're trying to prove their detractors wrong, and they certainly are.

"It's a great test for us. If we can come out of this road trip with our lives here, I think we'll be pretty comfortable that we're not a bad team."

Slap shots

The New York Islanders found a loophole in the new labor deal when they were allowed to acquire retired goalie Tim Thomas from Boston in order to reach the salary floor. Thomas has no intention of playing and General Manager Garth Snow knows it. Think of it this way: Thomas will play only slightly less than goalie Rick DiPietro, who has been limited by injuries to only 48 games since 2008-09.

The Kings are still working with White House officials to schedule the traditional champions' visit. . . . The Philadelphia Flyers overpaid in re-signing nearly 38-year-old defenseman Kimmo Timonen to a one-year, $6-million extension. But they overpaid goalie Ilya Bryzgalov too, at $51 million over nine years.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

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