Mikhail Grigorenko

Report: Grigorenko won’t play in Buffalo this season


The Buffalo Sabres will reportedly keep Mikhail Grigorenko — the 12th overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — in junior for the remainder of this season, according to Le Journal de Quebec.

Le Journal learned of the decision from Ray Cloutier, play-by-play man for the Quebec Remparts, Grigorenko’s QMJHL club.

Cloutier tweeted that a “reliable source” claimed the plan was to keep the talented Russian in junior for the full season, rather than have him play with the Sabres if (when?) the NHL season gets underway.

(For more on this story, check out Yahoo!’s Buzzing The Net)

If the report checks out, it’ll be a surprising decision to say the least.

Grigorenko — who once challenged Nail Yakupov as the top prospect for the ’12 draft — is a dynamic talent with NHL-ready size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds).

He also made it clear at Buffalo’s July prospects camp his goal for this season is to play for the Sabres.

“Make the NHL,” he said of his plans for 2012-13. “I’m getting stronger and on the ice I feel more comfortable.”

Grigorenko’s done all he can to make good on that goal. He currently leads Quebec in scoring with 29G-21A-50PTS — fifth overall in the league — and was recently named to Team Russia for the upcoming World Junior championships.

What’s more, Buffalo doesn’t have much depth at center.

The Sabres have lost the services of centers Tim Connolly, Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy over the last year and a half, leaving them with Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis projected as their top two centers.

Grigorenko has drawn comparisons to famous Russian center Alexander Yakushev — a star from the 1972 Summit Series — so it stands to reason he could be in line for minutes with Buffalo…you know, assuming he gets the chance.


Sabres sign 12th overall pick Grigorenko

Grigorenko wants to wear Alex Mogilny’s No. 89 in Buffalo

Julien says Lundqvist’s acting ‘doesn’t need to be on the ice’


The goalie interference penalty called on Brad Marchand late in Friday’s Thanksgiving Showdown didn’t sit well with the Bruins.

Marchand, whistled after making contact with New York’s Henrik Lundqvist midway through the third, said he thought “it was a bit of a weak call,” adding “[Lundvqist’s] out of the crease, and he lightly gets touched.”

While Marchand took issue with the call, his head coach took issue with King Henrik.

(In Julien’s defense, Lundqvist does have a pretty lengthy IMDB page.)

The interference penalty was nearly disastrous for the Bruins, as J.T. Miller scored on the ensuing power play to given the Blueshirts a 3-2 edge.

However, Boston replied with a power-play goal of its own — Ryan Spooner, at the 16:14 mark — which set the stage for David Krejci‘s dramatic game-winner with just under two minutes to go.

So, to recap: Today’s game had the Beleskey hit on Stepan, the Marchand-Lundqvist theatrics and a dramatic come-from-behind victory for Boston.

And so, to answer your next question:

These two teams next meet on Monday, Jan. 11, at MSG.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Video: Peluso, Gabriel throw down in spirited heavyweight tilt

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The big boys got after it early in Minnesota today.

Wild forward Kurtis Gabriel — all 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds of him — picked one of the toughest opponents in hockey on Friday, throwing down with Jets enforcer Anthony Peluso early in the first period.

And it was a pretty good tilt.

Peluso, one of the league’s most feared fighters, was coming off two pretty heavy scraps — one against Columbus tough guy Jared Boll, and another in which he landed some serious shots on overmatched Canucks d-man Luca Sbisa:

Of course, Gabriel’s no slouch.

He had one previous fight in the NHL this year (against Peluso’s teammate, Chris Thorburn) and five in the American League, where he’s spent the majority of this season.

Given the fisticuffs that occurred earlier in the Bruins-Rangers game, it seem the NHL has really gotten into the spirit of Black Friday.

(All videos courtesy HockeyFights.com)

Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Matt Beleskey, Derek Stepan

Alain Vigneault remembers a late hit that happened in Boston one time.

The Rangers’ head coach referenced it today after one of his top centers, Derek Stepan, was injured on a check that the NHL may need to review with a stopwatch.

“I remember Aaron Rome in this building, .6 seconds late, getting suspended four games in the Stanley Cup Final,” Vigneault said, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

For those that need their memories refreshed (nobody in Vancouver does, that’s for sure), here’s Rome’s late hit that knocked Nathan Horton out of the 2011 final with a concussion:

Now here’s the hit that Matt Beleskey put on Stepan:

According to Vigneault, Stepan has some broken ribs and is out indefinitely.

Over to you, Department of Player Safety.


A league source has confirmed that the hit is being reviewed.

High-flying Bruins (sounds weird to say) beat Rangers for fifth straight win


Somebody tell the Boston Bruins there’s a goal-scoring crisis in the NHL.

This afternoon, for the 14th time this season, a Bruins game featured at least six goals. The final score was 4-3, as Boston came back to beat the Rangers in a wildly entertaining Thanksgiving Showdown on NBC.

David Krejci scored the winner with 1:43 remaining. Krejci’s goal came just 2:03 after teammate Ryan Spooner had tied it on the power play.

The win was the Bruins’ fifth straight. Though the defensive mistakes remain…

…Claude Julien’s troops have been finding ways to overcome them.

The running and gunning Boston Bruins.

When was the last time you could call them that?