leafshabsgetty

Video: Grabovski accused of biting Pacioretty in Leafs’ big win

41 Comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ 6-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens produced at least two shocking sights on Saturday night. One was the score; the other happened when Mikhail Grabovski seemingly snacked on Max Pacioretty’s hand:

That was the wildest moment from a game that unraveled, especially in the third period. Take a gander at the penalty summary from the final frame alone:

1:09 – Mark Fraser fought Brandon Prust
7:59 – Michael Kostka fought Brenden Gallagher (instigator included)
11:30 – Both Grabovski and Brandon Prust received minor penalties and were ejected during the munching melee. Pacioretty was also tossed.
12:17 – A benign hold from Tomas Plekanec.
15:01 – Josh Gorges fought Frazer McLaren. Colton Orr was handed a game misconduct for roughing Rene Bourque.
19:14 – Bourque also received a game misconduct.

Well, that escalated quickly.

It’s anyone’s guess how Brendan Shanahan might punish (or avoid punishing) Grabovski, 29, for the incident.

For one example, the Bergen Record’s Tom Guilliti recalls when Derian Hatcher allegedly bit Travis Zajac during a Jan. 4, 2008 contest between the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils. Hatcher’s supposed nibble apparently made Zajac bleed but didn’t leave bite marks, so the tough defenseman got off the hook.

Pacioretty, 24, just seems like a magnet for strange twists like these. He bounced back from that infamous Zdeno Chara hit, just recovered from an emergency appendectomy and now experienced this odd exchange.

This isn’t the only time biting accusations have come up lately, by the way. Chris Stewart accused Derek Dorsett of doing so on Jan. 31 while a Swiss player was fined for biting John Tavares in the late stages of the lockout.

This concludes a 3-0-0 road trip for the Maple Leafs. In case you’re wondering, the next game between the Habs and Buds takes place on Feb. 27.

Devils unveil ‘The Salute’ statue in honor of Martin Brodeur

2816marty4
New Jersey Devils
Leave a comment

The New Jersey Devils on Monday unveiled ‘The Salute’ — a statue paying homage to one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, Martin Brodeur, who will have his No. 30 uniform retired Tuesday at Prudential Center.

“Looking at the pictures of my career and some of the events that meant a lot to me, I always saluted the fans,” Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Devils, told the Fire and Ice blog.

“That picture, at different times, in different jerseys, actually, like with Team Canada, it all came to that same pose.”

More on the statue from the Devils:

The 900-pound bronze statue was created by renowned sculpture and artist Jon Krawczyk, who worked with Brodeur on the design. Krawczyk, a Boonton Township, N.J. native and lifelong Devils fan, who also created the hockey statue on Championship Plaza outside of Prudential Center, personally drove “The Salute” from his Malibu, Cali. studio to the arena late last week.

Video: Panthers furious after Abdelkader ‘cheap shot’ hit on Barkov

15 Comments

The Florida Panthers are fuming after their skilled 20-year-old forward Aleksander Barkov left Monday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings following a hit from Justin Abdelkader.

Abdelkader caught Barkov with a hard hit near the goal line as the Panthers player tried to move the puck up ice early in the second period.

The only call on the play was to Panthers’ blue liner Alex Petrovic for the retaliatory cross check on Abdelkader. Barkov left the game and didn’t return with an upper-body injury.

Members of the Panthers irate with the hit, and the fact there was no call.

“It was a cheap hit, I don’t know how the ref didn’t call it,” Nick Bjugstad told the Miami Herald. “It was frustrating, the whole bench felt that way. We’re not happy with it. It turned the game around. Barkov has tough shoes to fill. It looked pretty serious. We’ll see how the league handles it and I think they will. I just don’t know how it wasn’t handled on the ice.”

“You hate to lose your top player, but that’s part of the game,” added Panthers’ head coach Gerard Gallant.

“We’re disappointed to lose him. I thought it was a cheap shot but the referees didn’t see it that way and explained to me it was a clean check. It’s tough. It happens quick and we get to see the replay. I think it’ll be looked at. [Abdelkader] left his feet a little and got him in the jaw.”

The Panthers gave up three goals in the third period in a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings.

Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Three
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

The Islanders also have a game in hand.

Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils
Getty Images
2 Comments

The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.