FRWG Chats with Mikhail Grigorenko

(photo courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with Mikhail Grigorenko who is currently with the Rochester Americans. The 20-year-old Khabarovsk native spoke about his season thus far in the AHL, improving his game, and friends in the NHL.
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FRWG Chats with Andrey Makarov

(courtesy of Dan Hickling)

Yesterday I had the opportunity to chat with netminder Andrey Makarov who currently plays for the Rochester Americans. The 21-year-old Kazan native spoke about why he choose to stay in North America, his friends around the hockey community and his favorite US city. Be sure to catch our next interview next week with Mikhail Grigorenko.

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Russia Powers Past USA En Route to Semi’s

(courtesy of Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)

After coming down to earth with two straight defeats to their neighbors to the north, Russia fell from the top spot of group B to third, setting up a date with the reigning champs in Team USA. Russia came out of the gate swinging and found themselves up 1-0 early thanks to Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko who tallied his fourth goal of the tournament. The lead was short lived as Stefan Matteau evened things up for the Americans shortly thereafter in what would be a topsy turvy first period.
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Sabres Decide Not to Get Griggy with It After All

(photo courtesy of Getty)

After appearing in 22 of Buffalo’s 27 games where he scored just one goal (below) with four helpers, Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko has been sent down to the Quebec Remparts. The move comes as a surprise since the Sabres elected to keep him in Buffalo after their first five games thus taking one year off his three-year entry level contract.
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Russia’s Shootout Moves not Swede Enough

(photo courtesy of Mark Blinch/Reuters)

After avoiding an embarrassing elimination at the hands of the Swiss yesterday, Russia came just shy of completing another comeback for the right to play for gold. In what was a rematch of last years final, Russia managed to overcome a two-goal deficit against Sweden only to fail at the skills competition they so heavily relied on to get there. All three Russian shooters, two of whom scored yesterday (Mikhail Grigorenko & Nikita Kucherov), couldn’t solve the big frame of Swedish netminder Niklas Lundström and Sebastian Collberg’s nifty backhander proved to be the difference.
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Three Russians Drafted in First Round of 2012 NHL Draft

(courtesy of Getty)

For the first time since 2004, three Russians were selected in the first round of Friday’s NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. Much speculation was made beforehand as to whether the Edmonton Oilers would trade their first pick having picked first the past two years. Any suspicion was quickly put to rest when GM Steve Tambellini announced 18-year-old Nail Yakupov’s name making him the third Russian to ever be picked first overall in draft history.
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Evgeni Malkin To Have Knee Surgery

On Wednesday, it was announced by the Pittsburgh Penguins that Evgeni Malkin has elected to have knee surgery to repair the torn ligaments in his right knee. Malkin, who was only just making his return to the ice from a different ailment, suffered the injury when Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers awkwardly fell on his knee during a February 4th game at the Consol Energy Center. Malkin then had to be helped off the ice and headed directly to the locker room, and it was later revealed he had torn both his ACL and MCL.

The Penguins are estimating his recovery time at six months, which effectively rules him out for the season and duration of the playoffs, but expect Malkin to be ready when training camp begins in September.
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Russia’s Time to Shine at the Winter Classic


(courtesy of http://ovechkin.tumblr.com/)

There’s beating a dead horse and then there is the Alex Ovechkin vs Sidney Crosby rivalry. The NHL’s two biggest stars, rivals on the ice yadda yadda yadda. The league received much criticism when it awarded this year’s Winter Classic (tonight at 8pm NBC) to Washington and Pittsburgh with the Crosby led Pens appearing in their second Classic in the event’s short four year existence.

While the league is doing what’s best to generate interest and revenue by pitting their poster boys against one another outdoors in front of what’s expected to be 67,000 fans it leaves many who have been fans before this new rivalry feeling slightly cheated.
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Kovalchuk’s Shootout miss heard around the world

(courtesy of AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

In case you haven’t heard, last night’s 5-4 shootout loss by the New Jersey Devils against a third-string goalie lead Buffalo Sabres was ended on an extremely unfortunate play or lack thereof by Ilya Kovalchuk. With the Devils down 2-1, Kovy needed to score to extend the skills competition in order to salvage the 2nd point his team had let slip away 3 times.

As he neared Jhonas Enroth(who was playing in just his 4th NHL game) the puck opted not to join Kovalchuk’s stick amidst his stick handling giving the Sabres the win and further dampening the Devil’s train wreck of a season. The bad bounce capped a horrible night for Kovalchuk who failed to get on the score sheet or generate much offense blowing a golden chance in the final frame of the third when on a partial breakaway sending the puck into the safety netting rather than the goal.
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Slava Kozlov Joins KHL’s CSKA Moscow


(Courtesy of Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

It appears Slava Kozlov’s storied NHL career has come to an end as the 38-year-old winger has signed a one-year deal with his former Russian club CSKA Moscow of the KHL. Kozlov’s now former club the Atlanta Thrashers opted not to resign the veteran who had spent the last seven years with the team where he scored 145 of his 356 career goals.
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