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.
An excerpt from TSN: â€œGrabovski said after the game that he expected to be suspended for shoving Cherrey (not Don) while trying to get at Kostitsyn, who was also fighting off officials to try and engage in a fight. But Grabovski added that he wouldn’t mind challenging Kostitsyn where there are no officials in sight.â€
Personally, the ice kicking went too far, (way too far Mikhail!) but I canâ€™t help but appreciate the amount of hatred he draws from the Montreal franchise and their fans. For a team that has arguably lost its identity, two fights (one by newcomer Brad May) and some emotional antics from an up and coming dangler brings a tear to my eye.
So while Grabovski takes 3 games off (and likely checks to see what his words really do mean in English) we will miss him from the lineup; but hopefully the rest of the team can learn what true intensity in a player looks like. Next time, no ice kicking Grabo.
Micheal A. Aldred
A few years back, the league decided that, to better supplement the meaningless and uninspired All-Star Game, they would replace the Heroes of Hockey Old-Timers game with a meaningless and uninspired All-Star game for youngsters and call it the YoungStars game. Luke Schenn will be playing in this year’s edition, representing the “rookie” side in the new “rookie vs. sophomore” format.
Schenn, Drew Doughty, James Neal, Michael Frolik, Mikkel Boedker and Steven Stamkos will be leading the “rookies” side. Interestingly, the YoungStars game is an all-offense, non-contact affair, so I have no idea what Schenn’s gonna do. Here’s hoping he says screw it and puts Milan Lucic through the boards.
In other news, Mikhail Grabovski has been assessed his sentence for pushing the linesman in last night’s tilt… 3 games. It obviously wasn’t overly harmful or malicious, but there was definitely a push, big or small. And it’s not like the suspension was discretionary on the part of Colin Campbell (not only a terribly inconsistent disciplinarian, but the only guy who actually asks to be called “Colon”). Any deliberate application of physical force on a referee is an automatic three games according to section 41.4 of the NHL rulebook. I wish the refs would’ve just let ’em have at it, but that doesn’t justify pushing a ref if he’s got you tied up. No complaints here.
Fist-tap to PPP: Grabovski after the game remarked about Sergei Kostitsyn: “I think he is not Belarussian now, he is French because I never fight with Belarussian guys. I don’t know why he wants to fight with me. If he wants to fight, we’ll go in the street and every minute of every day I’ll wait for him and we’ll fight.” I’m not sure what any of that meant exactly but it’s still awesome.
I don’t condone ref pushing or stick kicking, but I certainly give Grabo my thanks for spicing up this Leafs-Habs rivalry. Battle of Ontario, step aside.
Also, Mike Van Ryn skated for the first time today since suffering his second concussion of the season.