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Tag:Adam Gretz
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:43 pm
 

Alex Radulov loses teeth after high stick

By: Adam Gretz

Last week we passed along the bizarre video of Alex Radulov, currently the leading scorer in the KHL, hitting his coach in the face with his stick while sitting on the bench. It didn't take long for the star forward to find himself on the other side of a stick to the face, losing three of his teeth on Sunday when he was hit by the stick of Mikhail Churlyayev as he followed through on his clearing attempt behind the net.

Warning: There is some blood. A lot of blood, actually.



Karma? Bad luck? All of the above?

Churlyayev actually received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for high-sticking, but his team ended up winning the game 6-2.

(H/T Dmitry Chesnokov, via Puck Daddy)

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Video: Radulov smacks his own coach with stick

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Category: NHL
Posted on: February 4, 2012 4:35 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 10:18 pm
 

Zac Rinaldo fined for slew foot, late hit

By: Adam Gretz

After jumping out to a six-goal lead early in the second period the New Jersey Devils had to hang on for a 6-4 win in Philadelphia as the Flyers put together a spirited third period rally, scoring four goals and out-shooting the Devils by a 24-1 margin over the final 20 minutes.

In the end, though, the Devils fast start was enough to earn the two points in the standings, and it was a big day for forward Ilya Kovalchuk, on what was the two-year anniversary of the trade that sent him to New Jersey from Atlanta.

He celebrated the day by scoring his 21st goal of the season, picking up two assists and completing his first career Gordie Howe Hat Trick by fighting Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn, and dropping him with a huge punch midway through the third period.

It all started after Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo tripped Devils captain Zach Parise with a slew foot (that he would receive a fine for from the league) after the whistle had already blown. Here is a look at the entire sequence.



Schenn, of course, missed time early this season with a concussion, so watching him throw his helmet off and take part in a fight that ended with a punch like that probably wasn't the ideal situation for him to be in.

It was announced on Saturday night that Rinaldo has been fined $2,500 for the slew foot, and also received another $2,500 fine for a late hit on Jacob Josefson in the second period.

But how about the day for Kovalchuk? His goal came with his team shorthanded, and his role as a penalty killer for the Devils continues to be one of the biggest surprises of the season. He is not only a regular on what has been the best PK unit in the league, but he also done a fine job in that situation, already scoring three shorthanded goals this season. Perhaps even more impressive is that he has only been on the ice for one goal against during 4-on-5 situations.

A Gordie Howe Hat Trick and a shorthanded goal from Kovalchuk all in the same game? Strange times in the NHL.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Kovalchuk's role as a penalty killer
NHL Discipline news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 4, 2012 1:03 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 1:29 pm
 

A Big Mac helped Olli Jokinen end his slump

By: Adam Gretz

Before he scored on Friday night during the Calgary Flames 3-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks, Olli Jokinen had gone 14 consecutive games without a goal. That's a pretty lengthy drought (though, it's not the longest one we've seen in the NHL recently), and one that he was looking forward to ending.

So what did he do before the game to help snap out of his funk? He took some advice his former coach, Wayne Gretzky, gave him four years earlier and ate perhaps the worst possible thing an athlete can put into his or her body before competition -- a Big Mac. Even if he didn't really enjoy it, telling Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun, “You can’t eat a Big Mac meal before every game. It wasn’t that good, but whatever it takes. You’ve got to suck it up. We got two points and can move on I did it for the team. It’s all about the team. A little upset stomach (Friday), but it’s all good.”

It's probably a safe bet that Jokinen isn't one of the NHL players that sticks to the Gary Roberts all-natural, non-processed food diet, but whatever works.

Following his goal on Friday, Jokinen talked about his pre-game meal:



Hey, maybe somebody in Montreal should go pick up a Big Mac for Scott Gomez.

Also at Eye On Hockey

The Scott Gomez goal slump: by the Numbers

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 4, 2012 9:57 am
Edited on: February 4, 2012 9:25 pm
 

The Scott Gomez goal slump: by the numbers

By: Adam Gretz

At no point in his career has Scott Gomez ever been considered to be a great goal-scorer. Even when he was at his peak, playing his best hockey, he was always more of a playmaking center and a set-up man, having reached the 20-goal mark just once in his 11-year career, scoring 33 during the 2005-06 season as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

Still, he's never gone through a goal slump like the one he's been on dating back to last season, having not found the back of the net since Feb. 5, 2011, against the New York Rangers when he beat backup goaltender Martin Biron. He enters Sunday's game against Winnipeg having gone a full calender year without a goal (some fans already have a celebration planned), which almost seems impossible for any player in the NHL, especially one that has a pretty solid amount of talent like Gomez does. And one that is the 18th highest paid player in the NHL this season in terms of salary ($7.5 million) ... and carries the 11th largest salary cap hit ($7.3 million). But here we are, at the point where high expectations, an angry fan base, a struggling player and even a little bit of bad luck all meet at the same place.

That place is called Scott Gomez.

What has to make it even more frustrating for Canadiens fans is that along with the lack of production and huge salary is the fact the team also gave up defenseman Ryan McDonagh in the trade that brought Gomez to Montreal in the June, 2009 trade. McDonagh, of course, has since gone on to become one of the NHL's top shutdown defensive defenseman at the age of 22 and is playing a huge role for the first-place Rangers.

Canadiens fans have, naturally, grown frustrated, and even started to write parody songs, including this one titled, "Scott Gomez Can't Put Anything In."



Just how long has it been, including the playoffs, since Gomez last scored a goal? Some numbers.

58: The number of games Gomez has appeared in for the Canadiens, including 22 this season.

1,277: The number of shifts Gomez has skated since his last goal.

122: The number of shots on goal Gomez has recorded during his slump. This really makes it amazing. You would have to think that in 122 shots an NHL player, any NHL player, pick one at random, would score at least one goal, even by accident. Look at it another way: there are 93 players in the NHL this season with at least 120 shots on goal. Those 93 players have scored an average of 15 goals. Only 17 of them have scored fewer than 10, and 12 of them are defensemen. If he had maintained his career average shooting percentage of 7.8 percent during that stretch he would have scored eight goals. A player that shot at the league average mark of nine percent would have scored 10 goals.

22: The number of assists Gomez has been credited with during his goal drought, which would put him on a pace for 31 over the course of an 82-game season. It's also the exact number he recorded last season in 80 games.

Again, there is no doubt that Gomez is no longer the player he was seven or eight years ago, and there have been some injuries during this run, but there also has to be some bad luck, too, to keep him from scoring even a single goal over this rough stretch.

He's going to score again. He almost has to.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:38 pm
 

Patrik Elias fined $2,500 for illegal hit

By: Adam Gretz

The NHL's department of player safety announced on Friday that Devils forward Patrik Elias has been fined $2,500 for boarding Montreal's Mike Blunden in the first period of New Jersey's 5-3 come-from-behind win.

This is the play that the NHL, most likely led by Brendan Shanahan, a former teammate of Elias with the New Jersey Devils, deemed worthy of a fine.



There was a penalty called on the play as Elias received a two-minute minor for boarding, but remained in the game and finished with an assist in just under 22 minutes of ice-time.

Blunden played one shift in the second period, but did not return after that.

Elias has a pretty clean reputation as a player and usually only averages around 30 penalty minutes per season. In 49 games this season he's spent just 16 minutes in the penalty box.

(H/T Puck Daddy for video)
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:18 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 12:55 am
 

Sam Gagner records 8 points in win



By: Adam Gretz

Oilers forward Sam Gagner had the game of his life on Thursday night during Edmonton's 8-4 win against the Chicago Blackhawks, having a hand in every single goal his team scored.

Gagner scored four of the goals himself, assisted on the other four, and became the first player in the NHL this season to record eight points in a game (and only the 14th of all time, including playoffs) and the first since Mario Lemieux did it all the way back in the 1989 playoffs (that was also infamous Ron Hextall-Rob Brown game).

The last regular season eight-point performance came on December 31, 1988, also by Lemieux, which was the night he scored five goals, five different ways.

The NHL record still belongs to Darryl Sittler with 10 points on February 7, 1976.

Prior to Thursday, the most points scored in an NHL game this season was five, which had been done by five other players: Evgeni Malkin (twice), Lars Eller, Jonathan Toews, Brad Marchand and Gagner's Edmonton teammate, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

 Throughout his five-year career the 22-year-old forward tallied more than three points in a single game just once, finishing with a four-point night back in March of 2009 in a game against the Colorado Avalanche.

A few more quick notes to add to the absurdity of his performance:

-- Entering their game on Thursday, there were 10 players on the Oilers roster that had appeared in at least 15 games this season and did not have eight points ... for the entire season.

-- Of the 834 skaters that have appeared in an NHL game this season, only 428 have at least eight points for the year.

-- His eight points tied a franchise record that is also held by Wayne Gretzky (twice) and Paul Coffey.

Pretty amazing performance, and it's also the second time this season the Oilers have blown out the Blackhawks, beating them 9-2 on Nov. 19, the night that Nugent-Hopkins had his five-point (all assists) performance.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 10:45 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 10:48 pm
 

Winnipeg is still in the playoff race

ByfuglienBy: Adam Gretz

Believe it or not, but the possibility of the Winnipeg whiteout making a return to the NHL playoffs this spring is still alive. For now.

Including their 2-1 overtime win in Tampa Bay on Thursday night, the Jets have won just five games since Jan. 1 and for the season have earned just 54 points in the standings, a total that only 10 teams in the league have yet to reach. The amazing thing about that is following their win on Thursday they are just three points out of the top spot in the Southeast Division and what would be a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference due to the current NHL playoff format.

The Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers have been involved in a back-and-forth race since the start of the season, and on any given night either one of them is in a position to drop from third place to ninth place, as was the case following Wednesday's game in Florida, a game the Panthers won by a 4-2 margin and went from being on the outside of the playoff picture to one of the top spots in the conference.

All of the attention has focussed on them, but quietly -- very quietly, as it turns out -- the Jets have found a way to, shockingly, hang around in the race.

Of course, while the Jets trail the Capitals by just two points and the currently first-place Panthers by three, it needs to be pointed out that those two teams both have games in hand on the Jets. Florida has played three fewer games than Winnipeg, while Washington has played two fewer, so there is an opportunity for them to increase their leads as the schedule balances out. But the Jets are also going to have their own opportunity to continue to close in on them with six games remaining against their divisional rivals, including Friday night in Florida, a game that suddenly has some significance when it comes to the playoff race.

The Jets aren't playing great hockey, but the Panthers and Capitals haven't done anything to run away with the division. Florida has lost 14 of its past 21 games and Washington's offense has all but disappeared since replacing Bruce Boudreau with Dale Hunter.

There is a good chance the division will provide just one playoff team this year, and right now it's a pretty wide open race. The geography and travel may be an issue for the Jets having to play in the Southeast, but the overall mediocrity of it has also given them an increased opportunity to actually make the postseason, something that probably wouldn't exist in any other division.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 8:38 pm
 

Gary Bettman comments on LA clock controversy



By: Adam Gretz

Everybody has an opinion or a thought on what took place in Los Angeles on Wednesday night when the clock appeared to stop just prior to Drew Doughty's game-winning goal with 0.4 seconds remaining in the game.

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi offered a scientific explanation. Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson shared his thoughts in a blog post on the Blue Jackets website that has since been deleted (but don't worry, the Internet never forgets).

And now NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has weighed in on the controversey, via NHL.com, and unlike Lombardi, did not include "coulombs" as part of his statement:

"Not good, not acceptable -- if [the clock] had run straight through, the game would have been at a tie at that point, would have gone to overtime. And maybe L.A. would have won anyway, maybe not. That's not the point. We are taking this very seriously. We're investigating as to how it happened. Obviously it's either human error or a technology glitch. We don't know which, but we've already begun investigating and we will get to the bottom of it.

"Now I know lots of people are going to say, 'How can you have a mistake?' Well, unfortunately or fortunately, our game is full of mistakes -- by players, by coaches and occasionally by officials -- and on some levels it's no different than if a guy makes a bad penalty call, puts a team on the power play and they score the winning goal. It happens. We don't like when it happens and our job is to minimize mistakes. We don't want any, but obviously when you have a human element in any aspect of the game you're going to have it.

"If we had any reason to believe that this was intentional we would deal with it in a whole different way, but we're going to investigate it, get to the bottom of it."

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Clock error helps Kings, Jackets GM Responds
Lombardi's explanation

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com