Things may be relatively quiet in Leafs Nation these days, but that doesn’t mean there has been a lack of excitement elsewhere in the NHL.
As such, here are a few quick takes on some of the headlines dominating the NHL landscape these days (including the Phoenix Coyotes situation, the Patrice Cormier charges, and Willie Mitchell’s controversial comments),Â as well as a quick glance at the nearly-completed 2nd round of the NHL playoffs.
The NHL has finally done something right this decade. Hits to the Head will now officially be punished in the league, which offers up the option of suspending players more frequently should the violent collision continue.
The league has announced a 3 game suspension for Maple Leafs rookie Mikhail Grabovski after the â€œabuse of an officialâ€ during last nightâ€™s loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The game got heated, and former Canadien, Grabovski, tried to go after the encouraging Sergei Kostitsyn, but were both held by the officials â€“ Grabovski was pinned to the ice. The â€œinterventionâ€ (which no one ever likes) caused both to become quite upset and, ultimately, Grabovski got up off the ice, used some choice words (which are assumed to have translated into English as â€œI donâ€™t like your faceâ€) then bumped into the official who pinned him and used the same words on the linesman. Near the end of Grabovskiâ€™s speech, he kicked ice at the official (oooo) and skated off the ice giving the audience a double peace-sign â€“ very political.
During Saturday night’s home game against the Canadiens, Mike Van Ryn went back in his own end to play the puck, and was subsequently hit from behind by Kostopoulous squarely on the numbers, sending Mike face first into the boards. The impact was tremendous and right away you could tell that it was serious as Van Ryn collapsed immediately in a heap, holding his face with blood spilling onto the ice. The hit occurred at 7:03 into the first period, and Kostopoulos received a 5 minute boarding major and a game misconduct.