Buffalo’s Michal Neuvirth has become the sixth player — and first goalie — to be fined for diving this season, the NHL announced on Wednesday:
Neuvirth was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 251 vs. Toronto on Nov. 15. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 886 vs. Nashville on Feb. 22.
Predators forward Mike Santorelli received a minor penalty for interference on the goaltender on the play, at 2:23 of the second period.
The incident involving Santorelli that led to the fine:
With that, Neuvirth joins Montreal’s P.K. Subban, the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck and Nashville’s James Neal as the six players to be publicly outed as divers, under new rules put forth by the league this season.
Video: Patrick Roy pulls goalie with 12 minutes remaining, plan backfires
Last spring during the Stanley Cup playoffs, we all witnessed as Patrick Roy pulled his goalie far quicker than most coaches would, giving his Colorado Avalanche an extended advantage with the extra skater.
He took that to a new level Tuesday against the Nashville Predators. With the Avalanche on a power play and trailing by three goals, Roy pulled Reto Berra with around 12 minutes remaining in the third period.
It backfired. Eric Nystrom scored into the empty net for the short-handed goal. That made it 5-1 Nashville.
The Buffalo Sabres haven’t been that much better as a team lately – at least as far as any reasonable stat goes – but Michal Neuvirth is on such a hot run that it’s not as safe to write them off as an easy win.
Yes, the Nashville Predators won 2-1 via a shootout on Sunday, but they had to sweat this one thanks almost entirely to Neuvirth’s efforts. They trailed for most of the third period until Mike Ribeiro was the only Predator who could thwart Neuvirth in regulation (and on the power play, to boot).
Overall, Neuvirth stopped 37 out of 38 shots. While he’s still not really winning, just look at what the 26-year-old goalie’s done in February:
1-3-2 record, .944 save percentage, 1.93 GAA.
One almost wonders if Neuvirth might just play himself out of Buffalo, as his strong work may just be a threat to what many believe is a tank job.
In other words, there’s at least some room for concern that the Sabres’ bid for a guaranteed top-two pick could even hit a wall:
“Sometimes you’re mature in certain things. Sometimes you’re not. Unfortunately, we’ll have to deal with him,” said Ted Nolan per The Buffalo News. “We had a number of discussions, and then another thing happened this morning. We’ll just talk to him again.”
Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds scored in the shootout as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Nashville Predators 3-2 Saturday afternoon.
The win against the league-leaders comes after Philly dropped back-to-back games against teams below them in the standings. With the victory the Flyers move to within four points of the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Simmonds also scored in regulation opening the scoring with his 23rd of the season. Ryan White gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead near the midway mark of the second.
Despite registering just three shots on goal in the first period, Colin Wilson’s 19th of the season had the Preds and Flyers tied 1-1 after 20. The Predators, who have now failed to pick up a win in back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 29 and 30, had just four shots on goal in the second period.
Craig Smith had the other Nashville goal while Pekka Rinne made 31 saves in the loss.
Rob Zepp improved to 4-1-0 on the season with a 20 save performance.
The game was the first for both Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli since their trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs last weekend.
Franson had two shots on goal and a hit in 17:52 of ice time while Santorelli was a minus-1 with a shot on goal and two hits in 12:11 of ice time.