Tag:Adam Gretz
Posted on: February 2, 2012 5:19 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 5:21 pm
 

Potential goal of the year from KHL

By: Adam Gretz

The latest entry into the goal of the year discussion comes to us on Thursday from the KHL where Vityaz Chekhov forward Evgeny Timkin scored an absolutely beautiful shorthanded goal in 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow.


A lot of times a goal requires the perfect combination of skill, luck and simply being in the right place at the right time, and all of that takes place here. The goal never gets scored if the defenseman doesn't misplay the puck, and then Timkin's ability to pull off the spin-o-rama and fire off the between-the-legs shot all in one motion is just brilliant.

One of the prettiest goals we've seen this year, in any league.

Timkin entered the game with nine goals in 37 games this season, after scoring none during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons as a member of Omsk Avangard. He also spent some time in the United States last year, playing 35 games with the Florida Everblades of the East Coast Hockey League, scoring no goals in 35 games.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Category: NHL
Posted on: February 1, 2012 9:10 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 9:16 pm
 

Nyjer Morgan practices with Sharks (video)

By: Adam Gretz

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan, originally a hockey player before focussing on baseball, had an opportunity to take part in a practice with San Jose Sharks, his favorite team as a child, on Wednesday afternoon. During the session he was able to try a couple of breakaway attempts against Sharks backup goalie Thomas Greiss, scoring on one of them. Though, when you see the video it's pretty obvious that Griess kind of gave it to him.

Here's a look at at his day on the ice, as well as some reactions from he and the Sharks.



As we pointed out on Monday, before he was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2002 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates he spent some time in the Western Hockey League playing for the Regina Pats.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 5:45 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 5:48 pm
 

Boulton, Boll fined $2,500

By: Adam Gretz

The NHL announced a pair of fines on Wednesday afternoon, fining New Jersey's Eric Boulton and Columbus' Jared Boll $2,500 for incidents during Tuesday's slate of games.

Boll was fined for an illegal hit to the head of San Jose's Joe Thornton just 20 seconds into the first period of the Blue Jackets 6-0 loss, and you can see it at the very beginning of the clip featured below.



He was given a two-minute minor during the game.

Boulton was fined for slashing Rangers forward Mike Rupp during the Devils' 4-3 shootout win. He was not penalized on the play.

As always, $2,500 is the largest fine the NHL can hand out for an on-ice incident, and all money goes to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:23 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 3:28 pm
 

Grabovski playing his best hockey at right time

Mikhail Grabovski is playing his best hockey right now. (Getty Images)
By: Adam Gretz

PITTSBURGH -- As difficult as it had to be for the Toronto Maple Leafs to watch a three-goal lead with less than 10 minutes to play turn into a 5-4 shootout loss on Tuesday night, costing them a crucial point in the standings, there were still a couple of positives developments.

One of the biggest: the continued emergence of forward Mikhail Grabovski, and it couldn't be coming at a better time for the Maple Leafs.

The team is well into the stretch run and hoping to end what has been one of the longest playoff droughts in the league, being one of just two teams (the Panthers being the other) to not make the playoffs in the post-lockout NHL.

Coming out of the All-Star break they started the week as one of three teams deadlocked for what would be the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference,  which is why that loss in Pittsburgh was so damaging (potentially, anyway). The race is so tight right now that they can't afford to let any points slip away like that, especially when it's during a game they completely controlled for over 50 minutes against one of the teams they're chasing.

But the Leafs were still hopeful to build on the things they did well in the loss.

"You can definitely build on the positives," said forward Joffrey Lupul after the game. "Unfortunately it's starting to get to the time of the year where you need results, but there is a lot to build on there. We played one of our better games of our year for 50 minutes, and it's terrible to let that point get away, but we did have some positives to build on."

Among the positives: Toronto continued its recent run of disciplined play, putting itself in a shorthanded situation just one time on the night. Over their past 11 games, a stretch that has seen the Leafs put together a 6-4-1 record and allow just a little over two goals per game, they have been shorthanded just 12 times, including three games with no penalty killing situations. That is probably the best (and only) way to hide what has been the league's 30th ranked penalty killing unit this season.

Perhaps the biggest positive, though, was the aforementioned play of Grabovski as he completed his best month of the season with a two-goal performance that also saw him finish with seven shots on goal, two blocked shots and a 50 percent mark in the faceoff circle. And he did all of that while spending the majority of his night on the ice against Evgeni Malkin's line, which is no small assignment.

Getting minutes against the oppositions best player hasn't been a new situation for Grabovski. During the month of January, for example, he saw most of his shifts in individual games come against forwards like John Tavares (Islanders), Milan Michalek (Senators), Ryan Callahan (Rangers), Derek Roy (Sabres), Pavel Datsyuk (Red Wings), Evander Kane (Jets) and Steven Stamkos (Lightning). Despite drawing the top assignments, he still finished the month with 16 points (eight goals, eight assists), which was tied with Malkin for the second most in the league, trailing only Tavares.

This all comes after what had been a pretty slow start offensively, having recorded just 19 points over the first three months of the season, a total he nearly matched in January alone. The Leafs offense this season has been carried almost entirely by the play of its top line, Lupul and Phil Kessel, and there is going to be a need for some secondary scoring if/when that top line slows down. Grabovski has demonstrated throughout his career that he's capable of providing, even when given the task of matching up against the other teams top lines, which can open things up a bit more for Kessel and Lupul.

"He's playing well right now," said Lupul of Grabovski's play. "He had two [on Tuesday] and he could have had a lot more. He's bringing a lot of energy right now you can really see he has his confidence back and has his legs going."

Eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer, he would surely be one of the most attractive players to hit the open market (if a new deal isn't signed before then) given his skill-level, production and ability to match up against top talent and keep them in their own end of the ice.

Grabovski, who was celebrating his 28th birthday on Tuesday, didn't want to talk all that much about his own performance or his confidence level, simply saying "I'll start to feel better when we win the games, that's the most important thing."

If he keeps playing like he did in January, the wins might start coming a little more often.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:04 pm
 

Dennis Seidenberg scores from center ice (video)

By: Adam Gretz

Craig Anderson has been a pleasant surprise for the Ottawa Senators this season as the veteran goaltender has helped backstop their surprising playoff push.

Tuesday night in Boston, however, did not provide one of his best (or luckiest) moments of the season during a 4-3 loss to the Bruins.

Just minutes after a Brad Marchand power play goal tied the game at three for Boston, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg scored what proved to be the game-winner as he stepped up to the red line and blasted an innocent looking slap shot from center ice. And somehow, it found a way to sneak past Anderson for a goal that he would no doubt love to have back.



There's really nothing else you can do there but chalk a lot of that up to luck. Good luck for the Bruins; bad luck for the Senators.

"I don't know if it was a lucky bounce or the way it came off of my stick," Seidenberg said. "It just seemed to bounce off the ice and kind of was rising up and it was tough to read I guess for him and somehow it went in."

Said Anderson, "It took a one-bouncer and it hit my stick and went in. Just one of those things where I've got to make the save but, at the same time it took a crazy bounce."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:37 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 10:38 pm
 

Disallowed goal, late collapse costly for Leafs



By: Adam Gretz

Pretty much every game is a playoff game for the Toronto Maple Leafs right now.

They entered Tuesday's game in Pittsburgh in a three-way tie with New Jersey and Florida for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference, and every possible point is a must. That's why their 5-4 shootout loss against the Penguins was not only costly, but most certianly frustrating. Not only because they didn't gain the two points against one of the many teams they're chasing in the standings, but also because they blew a three-goal third period lead with 10 minutes to play on a night that they completely dominated for the first 50 minutes.

Mikhail Grabovski scored a pair of goals, and thanks to third period tallies from Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak the Leafs opened up a 4-1 lead mid-way through the third period and looked to be well on their way to an important win. And then everything started to collapse. Goals from Steve Sullivan and Joe Vitale brought the Penguins to within one, and then a shot from James Neal deflected off the shoulder of Evgeni Malkin and beat Jonas Gustavsson with just six seconds to play to send the game to overtime and eventually the tiebreaking shootout.

One of the biggest plays of the game, and the one that received plenty of attention after the fact, happened early in the first period when Bozak had what would have been the first goal of the night disallowed for goaltender interference (shown above). If you watch the replay, it's hard to see what, exactly, led to the call.

After the game Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson was asked what explanation he received from the refs.

"We bumped into their goalie, and we didn't," said Wilson. "And then it changed to we pushed their defenseman into the goalie, and that didn't happen either. There's nothing you can do, you play on, but just in hindsight right now it's an important goal that got waved off."

Joffrey Lupul, the player that was called for the interference simply said "bad call," when asked about the play.

"Refs make mistakes too, but I didn't touch the goalie," added Lupul. "I don't know if their defenseman skated into him or not, but as far as I know it was a mistake."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:34 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 8:56 pm
 

Matt Hendricks no-look backhand goal (Video)

By: Adam Gretz

Of all the players on the Washington Capitals roster, Matt Hendricks probably isn't the one you would expect to score a highlight reel goal.

But in the first period Tuesday's game in Tampa Bay, after he fanned on his initial shot attempt on a 2-on-1 rush and nearly lost possesion of the puck, he ended up scoring one of the prettiest goals of the season to this point, spinning around and firing what was basically a no-look, spin-o-rama backhand from just inside the faceoff circle.

Have a look:



Just the way the Capitals drew it up on the whiteboard, I'm sure.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:51 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 7:25 pm
 

Crosby has 'soft tissue injury'

Crosby

By: Adam Gretz

The Pittsburgh Penguins issued a statement on Tuesday night that Sidney Crosby has a "soft tissue injury" to the neck area (not a fractured vertebrae) that could be causing neurological symptoms, and that an independent specialist found no evidence of a past or present fracture.

More from the Penguins statement:
Dr. Alexander Vaccaro is a spinal trauma expert at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and co-director of the Spinal Cord Center at Thomas Jefferson University. He is past president of the American Spinal Injury Association.

Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, along with Penguins owner Mario Lemieux and CEO David Morehouse traveled Monday morning to Philadelphia, where Vaccaro reviewed a CAT Scan and MRI taken last week by Dr. Robert S. Bray in Los Angeles. Bray diagnosed a neck injury.

Bray has treated Crosby with an injection to alleviate swelling in the C1-2 joint of the neck and will be overseeing his progression with therapists.

Doctors say the symptoms of a soft-tissue neck injury are similar to concussion symptoms.

Vaccaro, Bray and UPMC doctors all agree that Crosby is safe, the injury is treatable, and he will return to action when he is symptom-free.
Crosby and general manager Ray Shero spoke just before the Penguins game against the Maple Leafs, and after the 16-minute press conference had ended there were still no definitive answers as to when then injury occured, whether it's what is causing his symptoms and when (or if) he will play again for the Penguins this season.

Photo: Getty Images

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