Tag:Jakub Voracek
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:51 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 12:54 am
 

Winners & Losers: Big night for Kings offense

KingsAdam Gretz

There's always a winner and a loser in the NHL, and this is a new nightly look at some of the winners and losers in the biggest games and biggest situations across the league.

Winners

Los Angeles Kings: Entering Tuesday's game in Nashville it had been nearly three full months since the Los Angeles Kings scored five goals in a single game, and they managed to do it for the first time since January 9 in a 5-4 win against the Predators thanks in part to a pair of first period goals from Justin Williams.

The Kings offense, which has been the worst in the league for much of the season, is finally starting to show some signs of life in recent weeks and they have now scored 16 goals over their past five games.

Regression to the mean works both ways, and perhaps it was only a matter of time until things started to improve. A team with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty never should be one of the worst offensive teams in recent NHL history, as the Kings have been this season.

[Related Kings 5, Predators 4]

Boston Bruins: It wasn't necessarily pretty, but after losing back-to-back games over the weekend the Bruins were able to get back in the win column on Tuesday night with a 5-4 win in Toronto. The Bruins were led offensively by Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron, each scoring a pair of goals, and the win allows them to maintain their three-point lead over the Ottawa Senators, 7-3 winners in Tampa Bay, in the Northeast Division race.

The next step for the Bruins is trying to figure out how to do something they haven't done in almost two months … win consecutive games.

They have another chance on Thursday night against Buffalo.

[Related: Bruins 5, Maple Leafs 4]

Ilya Bryzgalov and the Flyers: For the second straight game Ilya Bryzgalov came up big for the Flyers, stopping 37 of the 39 shots he faced in a 3-2 win over the Red Wings. Max Talbot continued his career year for the Flyers scoring his 18th goal of the season. The only downside of the night for the Flyers was the hit forward Jakub Voracek received from Niklas Kronwall.

[Related: Flyers 3, Red Wings 2 -- Voracek crushed by Kronwall -- Grossmann's name change]

Dallas Stars: The Stars took over sole possession of first place on Tuesday night with an impressive 5-2 win in Vancouver, and in the process completed a perfect three-game road trip through western Canada, a road trip that saw them outscore the Flames, Oilers and Canucks by a 10-5 margin. Thanks to the Coyotes loss in Columbus (more on that below) the Stars now have a two-point lead over Phoenix in the Pacific Division race.

Mike Ribeiro had a three-point night (two goals, assist) in the win and also won over 50 percent of his faceoffs, while Richard Bachman 29 of 31 shots.

Losers

Phoenix Coyotes: After putting together an 11-0-1 run in February some regression had to be expected for the Coyotes at some point. They weren't going to keep winning forever, and even though they entered Tuesday's game riding a three-game losing streak, they showed some signs of busting out of their mini-slump on Monday night.

But that was all erased on Tuesday in Columbus where they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Blue Jackets, losing to the 30th ranked team in the NHL for the second time in less than a week. Those are points you can not let slip away, and the last thing the Coyotes can afford right now is to have this turn into a five or six game losing streak.

[Related: Blue Jackets 3, Coyotes 2 -- For Coyotes, playoffs have already started]

Toronto Maple Leafs: What started as a positive day with the re-signing of forward Mikhail Grabovski ended with not only a loss on the scoreboard to the Bruins, their fifth in a row this season, but also included injuries to forwards Joffrey Lupul and Colby Armstrong, neither of which is expected to play Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Not good.

[Related: Leafs re-sign Grabovski]

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Posted on: March 6, 2012 9:11 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 9:15 pm
 

Jakub Voracek gets crushed by Niklas Kronwall

By: Adam Gretz

Midway through the second period of Tuesday's game between Detroit and Philadelphia, Flyers forward Jakub Voracek was on the receiving end of this crushing hit from Niklas Kronwall, one of the biggest hitters in the NHL (his resume is all over the Internet).



It's pretty clear right away that Voracek was in some trouble, and that's Flyers analyst -- and former Flyers player -- Bill Clement asking where the freakin' whistle was as Voracek was on the ice trying to figure out what just happened to him.

There was no penalty called on the play, but it's pretty obvious that the head is the principal point of contact, which means it's definitely going to get a look from the NHL, especially since Voracek appeared to be injured as a result of the hit.

Voracek scored his 12th goal of the season earlier in the game.

Given the issues the Flyers have had this season with concussions (Claude Giroux, Chris Pronger, Brayden Schenn, James van Riemsdyk, Danny Briere and Matt Read have all missed games due to one this year) there has to be some concern in Philadelphia after watching that hit.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:07 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 1:42 am
 

How the Kings reunited Richards and Carter

CarterRichardsKings

By: Adam Gretz

Between 2005 and 2011 Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were two of the cornerstone pieces of the Philadelphia Flyers organization.

They were both drafted by the team in what turned out to be one of the best draft years the NHL has ever seen (2003). They made their debuts during the same season (2005-06). And for the better part of six seasons they were two of the best players in Philadelphia, until they were both traded last summer in separate deals on the same day, with Richards going to the Los Angeles Kings and Carter being sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

On Thursday night, the two were reunited once again in Los Angeles as the Kings continued to do their part to seemingly move the Flyers westward one player at a time.

In the end, it took three separate transactions involving three teams, six players and four draft picks to make it happen. And here is how it all went down.

June 23, 2011: The Flyers started their massive roster overhaul by trading Carter to Columbus for forward Jakub Voracek, Columbus' first-round pick in 2011 (No. 7 overall, which the Flyers eventually used to select Sean Couturier), and a third-round pick in 2011 (which the Flyers used to select Nick Cousins).

June 23, 2011:Not long after Carter was shipped to Columbus, the other shoe dropped in Philadelphia with the bombshell that Richards, their captain, would be sent to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn and the Kings second-round pick in 2012.
NHL Trade Deadline
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February 23, 2012: The Kings reunited Carter and Richards by sending defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first-round pick to Columbus in exchange for Carter, just eight months, 39 games and 15 goals after the Blue Jackets acquired him.

When you get right down to it, the Kings traded what amounts to Schenn, Simmonds, Johnson, a second-round draft pick and what very well could be a mid-to-late first-round draft pick for Carter and Richards. That doesn't seem all that outrageous of a price for two big-time, two-way forwards that should be able to provide above average offense and strong defensive play for the foreseeable future. While also being signed long-term (in the case of Carter, very long-term. Through 2022).

Go back one year, Kings fans, and ask yourselves if you would have taken that deal to land both players. It's very possible, if not likely, that none of the players given up will ever be as good as Carter and Richards currently are, and it didn't involve them giving up any of their own franchise players (Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown). 

Of course, that's not to say things haven't worked out OK for the Flyers, as Simmonds is having a breakout year in Philadelphia and Couturier (acquired as part of the original Carter trade with Columbus) looks as if he has a shot to be a really strong player in the future, already playing a decent role for the Flyers as an 18-year-old rookie.

But the team that appears to come out on the short end of it all is the Blue Jackets.

Over the past eight months Columbus has essentially traded Voracek and the draft picks that turned out to be Couturier and Cousins and come away with only Johnson and the aforementioned draft pick from the Kings (which, again, may be at the back end of the first round). With eight months of Carter thrown in the middle. General manager Scott Howson said on Thursday he doesn't regret the initial trade for Carter, just that it didn't work out. And perhaps Carter deserves some (or a lot) of the blame for it not working out better than it did. But at this point, it's hard to look at Columbus and not see a ship that's aimlessly floating around without any real direction.

Also at Eye On Hockey

Carter traded to Kings
Blue Jackets trade Vermette to Coyotes
Lates Nash Dash: Would he fit with Sharks?

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 8:38 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 9:06 pm
 

Jeff Carter traded to Los Angeles Kings

CarterBy: Adam Gretz

The Jeff Carter era in Columbus has come to an end almost as quickly as it began.

The Blue Jackets traded the veteran forward to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first-round draft pick in either 2012 or 2013. The deal comes just eight months after the team acquired him in a trade from Philadelphia as one of the focal points of their offseason re-tooling.

The deal is contingent on Carter passing a physical on Friday.

“Jeff is a proven goal scorer in our league," said Kings general manager Dean Lombardi in a team statement. "He brings goal-scoring abilities, speed and at his age he is entering the prime of his career.  We also like his versatility as he can play both center and wing. We also want to wish Jack Johnson the best going forward.”

Columbus initially gave up a package of players and picks that turned out to be Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier (the player the Flyers selected with No. 7 overall pick the Jackets sent to the Flyers), as well as a third-round pick. Turning around and trading him this quickly, at what might be his lowest possible value, for a package that on the surface doesn't appear to be as good as the one they gave up for him initially is certainly eye opening.

Prior to this season Carter had scored at least 30 goals in each of the past three seasons, including a career-high 46 during the 2008-09 season. He appeared in just 39 games for the Blue Jackets this year, scoring 15 goals to go with 10 assists. He still has 10 years remaining on his contract that carries a yearly salary cap hit of $5.2 million.

And with that, the firesale is underway in Columbus.

For the Kings, the deal helps to fix their primary area of weakness -- a complete lack of goal-scoring -- as the team is currently the worst offensive team in the league and one of the worst the NHL has seen in recent years. It also reunites Carter and his former teammate in Philadelphia, center Mike Richards, as both players were traded by the Flyers over the summer preceding the addition of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and forwards Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr.

NHL Trade Deadline
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Even though he's appeared in just 39 games this season, Carter would still be tied for second on the Kings in goals (15) as of Thursday night, only two behind  Anze Kopitar.

The biggest piece going back to Columbus in this deal is Johnson, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 draft. He signed a seven-year, $30.5 million contract prior to start of this season, and while he provides a solid amount of offense from the blue line he has had his share of struggles defensively.

This is already the second trade for the Blue Jackets this week, having also sent center Antoine Vermette to Phoenix for goaltender Curtis McElhinney and a pair of draft picks on Wednesday.

Rick Nash's name continues to be the biggest one floating around the rumor mill, and he had been connected to the Kings. At this point it seems that it would be down to either the New York Rangers or San Jose Sharks for his services. Center Samuel Pahlsson is another player on the Columbus Roster that figures to draw a lot of interest before Monday's deadline.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: November 3, 2011 3:57 pm
 

Sabres' Kaleta given four-game ban for head-butt

By Brian Stubits

Patrick Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres was suspended four games by Brendan Shanahan on Thursday for head-butting. The play in question came on Wednesday night early in the first period when Kaleta hit Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek.

As has become standard procedure, Shanahan released a video explaining his decision in detail.

While using the term head-butt is certainly applicable, I'd like to describe it more as a battering ram. With a scrum on the boards about five minutes into the game, it appears as if Kaleta just became impatient. He doesn't have time to wait for the puck to be jarred free. So he essentially powers his head straight into Voracek's face.

The video clearly shows ... Shanahan notes that Kaleta has been penalized for thinking he was a torpedo before. One of the big contributing factors in these suspensions or lack thereof is prior history, and, well, Kaleta has a history.

Also, the new in word from Shanahan is intent. Judging Kaleta's past actions and Kaleta seemingly stepping back and addressing the situation with Voracek before the head-butt led him to conclude this was intentional.

It might seem rather innocuous at first. It was so indiscreet, fans were trying to guess what Kaleta did before the NHL officially announced what the hearing was for. I saw some guess a slashing, another for elbowing. For the vast majority of players, this might get them a stern warning or a one-game suspension/fine. Kaleta isn't in the vast majority.

I feel pretty safe in saying that Kaleta might now be the most hated player in hockey with Matt Cooke having turned a corner. With Shanahan calling for a hearing on the matter, it's only a matter of hours before Kaleta gets his first feel of the Shanahammer.

More NHL Discipline News Here

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 6, 2011 9:08 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 11:11 pm
 

Jagr records 1,600th career point



By: Adam Gretz

We were a bit worried about the Philadelphia Flyers offense following the loss of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Ville Leino over the summer, but perhaps this Jaromir Jagr and Claude Giroux connection will be a suitable replacement. They seemed to quickly develop some chemistry in the preseason and their playmaking ability was on display in the first period of Thursday's season opening 2-1 win against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.

With the Flyers trailing, 1-0, late in the first period, Jagr set up Giroux for the 1,600th point of his NHL career, becoming just the ninth player in NHL history to reach that mark, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Gordie Howe, Ron Francis, Marcel Dionne, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Joe Sakic.

The goal itself was a beauty from Giroux, a player that's developed a flare for highlight reel goals throughout his young career, as he blew past Boston's best defender, Zdeno Chara, and then made a nice backhand-to-forehead move to dangle around the best goalie in the NHL, Tim Thomas, and slide the puck into the net.

Just minutes later Jakub Voracek beat Thomas seconds before the period came to a close to score what proved to be the game-winning goal. Just as important for the Flyers is that their big-money pickup from over summer, Ilya Bryzgalov, stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced to earn his first win for Philadelphia.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Posted on: September 17, 2011 11:12 am
Edited on: September 17, 2011 11:19 am
 

Daily Skate: Not even Crosby's doctors agree

By: Adam Gretz

MORE CROSBY CONFUSION It was announced on Friday that Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, still recovering from a concussion, has been cleared to skate in non-contact drills. Helping to add to the confusion that's already out there regarding his comeback is that his medical team is apparently not on the same page. Ted Carrick, a chiropractor that has been observing Crosby for the past month, appeared on a Pittsburgh radio station (WDVE) on Friday and said that he's as ready for contact as any other player in the NHL, which would be the first time we've heard such a report, and one that seemingly goes against everything his other doctor, Michael Collins, as well as the Penguins team doctors are saying. Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review has more on the story.

OSHIE APPEARS IN TOP SHAPE St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie had an up-and-down season a year ago, going through a team-imposed two-game suspension following an unexcused absence. He was committed to making the team forget about all of it, and it seems that he is off to a good start, having appeared to Blues camp in great shape and acing the teams conditioning tests. Said Oshie, via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, "I just wanted to prove to them after everything that happened that I've matured and have grown up." In 49 games last season he scored 12 goals to go with 22 assists.

DATSYUK'S SALEI TRIBUTE Pavel Datsyuk will be honoring his former teammate, Ruslan Salei, who was tragically killed in the plane crash involving the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, by wearing No. 24 during the preseason. That is the number Salei wore for most of his NHL career, including the 2010-11 season which he spent as a member of the Red Wings.

JAGR OPENS CAMP ON TOP LINE The top line at Flyers practice on Saturday featured Jaromir Jagr, Claude Giroux and James vanRiemsdyk. Jagr signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia this summer after playing the past three seasons in the KHL. Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere and Jakub Voracek, acquired in the trade that sent Jeff Carter to Columbus, skated on the second line.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 7, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Wayne Simmonds signs with Flyers

Wayne Simmonds

By: Adam Gretz

Wayne Simmonds was one of the key pieces acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers during their massive -- and surprising -- roster overhaul last month. He joined the team as part of the trade that sent former captain Mike Richards to Los Angeles and landed the Flyers Simmonds, top prospect Brayden Schenn and a 2012 second-round draft pick.

Eligible for restricted free agency, the Flyers still needed to work out a deal with the 22-year-old forward. They managed to do just that on Thursday afternoon by signing him to a two-year contract that carries an average annual salary of $1.75 million, according to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia.

In 80 games with Los Angeles last season, Simmonds scored 14 goals to go with 16 assists. He's scored 39 goals in 240 career games.

Simmonds is a nice young player, but he, along with Schenn and Jakub Voracek (acquired as part of the Jeff Carter trade), has some large skates to fill this season. The Flyers offseason has essentially seen them lose Richards, Carter and Ville Leino (three of their top-five scorers from a year ago and their best two-way player), as well as role players like Darroll Powe, Daniel Carcillo and Sean O'Donnell. The club is replacing them with nine years of Ilya Bryzgalov, a 39-year-old Jaromir Jagr, Max Talbot, Andreas Lilja and a collection of young players with talent and upside, but it's far from a guarantee that these players will ever reach the level of the players they're replacing.

That's a sizable risk both in the short-term and the long-term.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl 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