Tag:Michal Neuvirth
Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:06 am
 

Daily Skate: NHLPA files grievance against Preds

QUALIFIED MESS: It could be a Blackhawks snafu situation all over again. Late Wednesday night the NHLPA filed a grievance claiming the Nashville Predators failed to tender qualifying offers to its restricted free agents such as Sergei Kostitsyn (not Shea Weber, who was taken to arbitration). NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly had said earlier in the day that the NHL wasn't aware of any issues, but the official grievance came later. If the ruling goes in favor of the NHLPA, the players will all become unrestricted free agents. You might remember this happened to Chicago under Dale Tallon, forcing the team to re-sign its players to inflated prices, eventually helping to put the team in salary cap hell, which it is just recovering from.

KONTINENTAL DIVIDE: Last season, the Capitals had, I hesitate to call it a problem, but an issue with three goaltenders for two roster spots. Perhaps that problem is taking care of itself. While it's still not clear, it appears as though Semyon Varlamov is likely going to ply his trade in the KHL next season instead of with the Caps. That leaves Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby to tend the goals in the capital, if it happens that way (or to sign a veteran backup and leave Holtby to get more playing time in the AHL). But adding intrigue to the situation is Varlamov's agent throwing the Capitals team doctors under the bus a bit, saying they aren't as good as the doctors in Russia and it led to some injury troubles for Varlamov in D.C.

REALIGNMENT MAP: Are you the type of person that has a difficult time visualizing such things as realignment? Well here's a handy little map with one of the proposed plans. In this rendition -- not a very likely one if you ask me -- it keeps 15 teams in each conference, moving only Detroit to the East and leaving Columbus in the West. It does chop the league down to four divisions instead of six.

TRUE KEEPER OF THE CUP? A few of the Blues players recently attended a screening of the movie Zookeeper with the movie's star, Kevin James. While at the screening, James pointed out he knows what the Blues need to do if they want to win the Stanley Cup: have him film a movie in St. Louis. "I shot [a movie] in Chicago and the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. I shot in Boston recently, I just wrapped. Who wins? The Bruins win it," James said. "So St. Louis, you better bring me here to shoot my next movie. That's all I'm saying ... I'm just throwing that out there right now." Now St. Louis must weigh the pros vs. cons of winning a Stanley Cup or giving the world another Kevin James flick.

JAGR WATCH BEHIND THE SCENES: Think the big, seemingly never-ending stories that drag on are tough to read every day? Imagine the task of covering it. Penguins beat writer Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review details the dizzying experience he has had keeping tabs on all things Jaromir Jagr, including an invasion of turtles and a superstar lost in transportation.

Posted on: March 23, 2011 1:36 am
Edited on: March 23, 2011 1:54 am
 

Morning Skate: Rookie Reimer keeps Leafs going



Toronto Maples Leafs rookie goalie James Reimer must be doing something right if he's getting compared to a Transformer.

A couple “Optimus Reim” posters were spotted Xcel Energy Center Tuesday night where Reimer turned in a 29-save performance in a 3-0 Leafs victory over the Minnesota Wild, the Toronto Star reports.

The 23-year-old from Arborg, Manitoba, is the chief reason Toronto still has a shot at its first postseason berth since before the lockout. He had fair amount of admirers as friends and family members made the 540-mile trek from his hometown.

“You always want to win and always want to put on a good show for family, especially when they drive a long way,” Reimer told the newspaper. “They’re the ones who put in the time and effort into my life and into my hockey career.”
Line Changes

Reimer is 11-3-4 over his last 18 decisions and his three shutouts have come since Feb. 3. Not bad for a guy who was sent down to the AHL three times this season.

The Leafs finished the night in 10th place in the East, five points behind the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs have eight games remaining and it’s a safe bet Reimer will get a chance to start in each of those -- especially when you factor in the outrage when coach Ron Wilson started J.S. Giguere in a loss to Florida last Thursday.

Beyond the playoff push, Reimer has also emerged as a candidate for the Calder Trophy. The discussion for the league's top rookie has been dominated by Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture, New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner and Sabres forward Tyler Ennis.

Unlike those skaters who are on lines with talented teammates, Reimer is often on his own --- like when he turned away two shorthanded breakaway chances on Tuesday. But what'll hurt his Calder hopes is his short resume.

He'll play at most 37 games, fewer than Chicago's Corey Crawford, Philly's Sergei Bobrovsky and Washington's Michal Neuvirth --- all rookie goalies with solid stats on playoff-bound teams.

But if he gets the Leafs into the playoffs, that'll cover up his short job history and transfrorm him into Calder contender. 

COOKE AFTERMATH: It appears New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh feels for Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke, who was suspended Monday for the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs for an elbow he delivered last weekend to McDonagh’s head. 

He spoke with Rangers broadcast outlet MSG before Tuesday’s game (Here’s the quote transcribed by TSN.ca): 

“You're trying to get good momentum going into the playoffs or keep your playoff spot and that was a close game at the time and momentum could go the other way. I think he's trying to make a big hit and he just caught me wrong. I don't think it was his intent.

"The suspension … it is what it is. The league is really pushing to get these hits out of the game. If that's a statement, it's a pretty big statement, for sure."


Earlier in the day, Pittsburgh's two newspapers (The Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review) reported Cooke expressed regret for the collision: 

"I realize and understand, more so now than ever, that I need to change," Mr. Cooke said. "That's what I wanted my message to be."

"I'm fortunate that Ryan McDonagh wasn't hurt," he said. "I don't want to hurt anybody. That's not my intention. I know that I can be better. ... I made a mistake, and I'm the one who's accountable for that. And I take full responsibility for it."


WEST END: Four points separate the fourth-place Phoenix Coyotes and 10th-place Calgary Flames entering play Wednesday. At the same point last season, that margin between the same two places in the Western Conference was 19 points.


TUESDAY'S RESULTS
NY Rangers 1, Florida 0
Boston 4, New Jersey 1
Carolina 4, Ottawa 3
Washington 5, Philadelphia 4 (SO)
Buffalo 2, Montreal 0
NY Islanders 5, Tampa Bay 2
Nashville 3, Edmonton 1
Toronto 3, Minnesota 0
Colorado 5, Columbus 4 (SO)
Phoenix 2, St. Louis 1

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 8, 2011 1:31 am
Edited on: March 8, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Morning skate: Crosby's sister suffers concussion



Taylor Crosby, the sister of Pittsburgh Penguins star center Sidney Crosby, recently suffered the same injury that has kept her big brother sidelined for more than two months. 

The Toronto Star reports that 14-year-old Taylor, a goalie, was injured two weeks ago during a practice for her under-16 team at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a prep school in Minnesota. Taylor -- shown above with Sidney, mother, Trina, and father, Troy -- has since returned to the ice.

Dr. Charles Tator, a leading expert on brain injuries in Canada, said having multiple family members suffer concussions isn't uncommon, pointing to the Lindros brothers as one example. 

“I know several families that have all had concussions,” said Tator. “We do wonder whether some families have a special susceptibility to concussion. But there’s no proof for this.”

Twelve NHL players were listed as injured with concussions on Monday and three more with “head injuries” and one with “dizziness,” according to The Toronto Star. A Pittsburgh Penguins spokesperson told the newspaper there has been no change in Sidney Crosby’s status.

The topic of concussions will be a key issue discussed at next week's GM meetings in Florida, accordng to USA TODAY.

HOLTBY BAILS OUT CAPS: As Michal Neuvirth was forced out after a period when a piece of metal got lodged in his eye, Braden Holtby was put between the pipes for the Washington Caps on Monday. 

No pressure. Holtby -- who had gone nearly six weeks between NHL starts -- responded with a 21-save performance, not counting his three stops in the shootout as the Caps earned a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning

The Washington Post's Katie Carrera reports that Holtby's saves just as he entered the game set the tone. 

"Right off the bat he comes in and there's a power play," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Holtby. "I think he has three great chances. [Simone] Gagne had a fabulous chance and when he saved that you knew he was going to be on.”


Boudreau said after the game that it took some time to get the small sliver of metal -- which flew into his eye on a shot by Tampa Bay forward Nate Thompson in the first minute of the game -- out of his eye, but added  Neuvirth would be fine. 

Caps center Nicklas Backstrom, who has been playing through a broken thumb, fell on his injured hand and missed the third period. Like Neuvirth, Boudreau said Backstrom should be OK.

PHILLY DOESN'T HAVE IT EASY: The Philadelphia Flyers, losers of four in a row, seem to have the right team coming to town to end their slump. 

But maybe not. 

Sure, the Edmonton Oilers are a point away from being the worst team in the league. But they do enter Tueday's contest against the East's top team 7-3-1  7-3-0 in their last 10 games. 

The Flyers are still suffering through a bout of the flu that has ravaged the locker room. CSNPhilly.com' s Tim Panaccio reports the Flyers coach Peter Laviolette isn't using illness as an excuse, but it's not a bad explanation for Sunday's 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers.  

“If everyone is honest here and look at the [loss] as an isolated game, we had no gas,” Laviolette said during a conference call. “We had no energy. To bring them in again, the mental part of it and physical part, I just didn’t see any good it was going to do.”


The Oilers aren't exactly healthy either. Talor Hall, the first overall pick in last summer's draft, is out for the season with an injured ankle suffered in a fight last week and Ales Hemsky is out at least a few more days with a shoulder injury.

And then their GM was also nearly put in the injured reserve. The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson reports that Steve Tambellini was hit in the head by a piece of Plexiglas as he stood near the bench during practice on Monday. 

He wasn’t cut, but he took a wallop to his noggin and definitely was shaken up.

“That’s the hardest I’ve been hit in a long while,” said the former NHL center.


MONDAY'S RESULTS
Washington 2, Tampa Bay 1 (SO)
St. Louis 5, Columbus Blue 4 (SO)
Dallas 4, Los Angeles 3 (OT)
CBSSports.com playoff race tracker 

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 7, 2011 10:06 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 11:24 pm
 

Capitals lose Neuvirth, Holtby shines in releif

Washington Capitals rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth was knocked from Monday's contest after he absorbed a shot to his mask off the stick of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nate Thompson

Neuvirth, making his sixth consecutive start and the leading candidate for the No. 1 job heading into the playoffs, had his mask knocked off on the shot from 25 feet out. Although the volley came 21 seconds into regulation, Neuvirth didn't leave the game until the first intermission.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau told The Washington Post's Katie Carrera that a piece of metel from Neuvirth's mask went into his eye, but he'd be OK.  Neuvirth's replacement, Braden Holtby, was more than capable as he stopped all 21 shots and turned away all three shooters in the shootout for a 2-1 victory over the Lightning as the Caps extended thier lead in the Southeast Division.

The Caps were already without Semyon Varlamov for about another week with what it thought to be a knee injury, never a fun injury to come back from when you're a butterfly goalie. 

Washington's injury troubles weren't just limited to goaltending. First-line center Nicklas Backstrom didn't come out for third period. He was playing through a broken thumb, which limited him in the faceoff circle. There was no immediate word on the injury. 

Boudreau told The Washington Post that Backstrom fell on his injured hand and should be fine. 

Coincidentally, Neuvirth and Backstrom are scheduled to visit St. John the Baptist School in Silver Spring, Md., Tuesday afternoon. (Assistant coach Dean Evason and the team's mascot, Slapshot, were also the roster.) The visit was scheduled to inlcude a Q & A and a skills demonstration.



 
 
 
 
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