Tag: 2013 world juniors

Mikhail Grigorenko

Russian team accused of partying during World Juniors, Sabres’ Grigorenko responds


Mikhail Grigorenko has responded to accusations that Russia’s World Junior team has been enjoying too much of the nightlife.

Grigorenko angrily denied claims made by Alex Semak — the former NHLer, now coaching Russian junior club Tolpar — that members of the team were out late at nightclubs and restaurants throughout the tournament.

“It’s sad to read such nastiness in the media,” Grigorenko told Russian media outlet Sportbox.ru. “Nail Yakupov is bad. Mikhail Grigorenko is bad. The hockey is bad. I don’t know what game he was watching.

“All the guys are giving everything on the ice and can’t be blamed.”

Russia’s had an inconsistent tourney, deemed a disappointment by many given 1) it’s talent-laden roster and 2) the fact it was the host nation.

The Russians blew out Germany and defeated a American team that will play for gold on Saturday, but needed shootouts to beat Slovakia and Switzerland. They also lost 4-1 to Canada in their final game of the group stage.

In the semifinal against Sweden, Russia started sluggishly, getting out-shot 14-2 in the opening frame while falling behind 2-0. The Russians rallied to tie and send it to a shootout, only to see the Swedes win on a Sebastian Collberg goal.

As for Semak — well, he wasn’t done with the accusations.

He went on to suggest Grigorenko was two years older than the rest of the field at the WJC (see here and here). Whispers about the legitimacy of Grigorenko’s age have come up before, only to be quashed after a thorough investigation.

As expected, the Sabres prospect didn’t take too kindly to those accusations either.

“Who is he? A coach? Of what club? Tolpar? Never heard of such,” he said of Semak. “It seems that the man just didn’t get the job he wanted and he’s now happy that we’ve lost.”


Uh oh, people are already calling Yakupov a “prima donna”

Yakupov keeps Canada-Russia analysis tame after controversial remarks

Yakupov to avoid media, won’t interview until Canada game

Nail Yakupov mics

Nail Yakupov has been silenced.

That’s the word out of the World Junior Championships on Thursday as a Russian team official explained Yakupov wouldn’t be talking to reporters until Sunday, Dec. 30 — one day before Russia faces Canada in the final game of the group stage.

The gag order is likely a response to Yakupov’s comments from earlier this week.

In an interview with Russian media outlet R-Sport, the Oilers prospect called the Canadians “dirty” and said he and his Russian teammates would have to be prepared for their style of play.

“I understand that I will have to keep a cool head and ignore provocations. Especially against the Canadians,” Yakupov said. “These guys play dirty. We got used to that, we played a few games in the North America, so our team is ready.”

That comment drew the ire of CBC Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry, who tweeted “Yakupov is just being honest as that’s how he feels about us,” and “what bugs me, he took a Canadian kids spot in the Canadian Hockey League.”

Prior to being selected first overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Yakupov spent two seasons playing for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.

Russia won its opening game of the WJC with a 3-2 overtime decision over Slovakia. It will play the U.S. on Friday and Germany on Saturday before facing Team Canada on Monday, the 31st.

Caps’ first-rounder Forsberg named Swedish World Junior captain

Filip Forsberg

Filip Forsberg will captain Team Sweden at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia.

Forsberg, 18, is one of six returnees from last year’s gold medal-winning side, the first Swedish team to win a WJC title in 31 years.

Taken 11th overall by Washington at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Forsberg has enjoyed great success this season playing for Leksand of the Swedish second division, scoring 9G-10A-19PTS in 22 games.

Given the mass influx of locked-out NHLers in the Allsvenskan, Forsberg’s production is impressive — he’s one of the top scorers on Leksand despite being the youngest player on the roster.


Caps’ Forsberg, Ducks’ Lindholm highlight Sweden’s 2013 World Junior camp roster

Swedish coach angry over Sens holding Zibanejad out of World Juniors