Grigo blanked as Russians gain series edge

Written By Kris Baker on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 | 8/14/2012

Mikhail Grigorenko was again held off the scoresheet Monday as Russia downed Canada 6-5 to take game #3 of the Canada/Russia Challenge in Halifax. The Russians now lead the series 2-1 with the concluding game #4 taking place Tuesday evening (7pm, TSN).

Grigorenko centered a line with 2012 top pick Nail Yakupov and Memorial Cup hero Anton Zlobin. Despite not getting in on any of the half-dozen goals, the 6'3 pivot continued to impact the play with his vision and puck skills. His best opportunity came on a 2x1 break in the second period when he drove the net and saw his backhand off a Yakupov feed stopped by Flames prospect Laurent Brossiot.

As Sabres fans get acclimated to his game, they'll notice his awareness as a center. He sees the ice well in both zones, and while not being the most intense forechecker on the ice, knows his spots and smartly comes back defensively. The extra gear displayed pre-mono is also starting to re-emerge, as the ability to gobble up ice with the puck on his stick was briefly flashed late in the third. There was one particular play where he could have pushed the puck deep as opposed to trying to make a play to the middle, but overall he has played well in the three series games.

View the video below for shift-by-shift coverage of Grigorenko's game #3:

4 comments:

boos said...

the best he's looked so far...

it seems as if he's still thinking a lot out there, but not as much as the first two games...

also seems as if yakupov is starting to use his linemates more...

thoughts, kris?

boos said...

oh...and thx for these vids

Boogie said...

Great job on the video Kris, thanks. He looks pretty good out there, and it's obvious that Steve Spott didn't intend to give them an inch with Jenner, Sutter and Lessio out for most of their shifts. Besides the one bad pass that led to the PP, I thought he looked really composed, and I am surprised by his hockey sense. Lots of little moves on backchecks and positioning, and he seems to have eyes in the back of his head when he's got the puck on the boards. I've been lukewarm on Grigs because I like guys that are tough to play against, but I'm coming around.

Kris Baker said...

Grigo looks real good to me. I like his style. I only mention "not the most intense on the forecheck" part because I want to get it out of the way now. He's very proficient and look slike a player who will have value even when he's not lighting up scoreboards.

ps: you can thank a SP correspondent for the video work. He's been putting in long hours during the series to piece together a finished product by morning, and doing a great job as always.

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