The Maple Leafs Welcome Grabovski back to Toronto With A Face Full of Stitches

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Win puts Buds into 2nd place

 

BY: Jeff Schneberk @Game7overtime

 

The Leafs took their best shot at Mikhail Grabovski and his new team, the Washington Capital last night and the little f—- just wouldn’t stay down. In fact he got right back up again and played even harder. So in that case, Grabovski is not a little f—, instead he is more a warrior. It didn’t fully matter though, Leafs walked off with a 2-1 SO victory.

Now they are tied for second place in the East Atlantic.

I would not curse out the former Leaf speedster, in fact, I would rather commend him on his efforts last. Night. Midway through the middle frame, new Leaf David Clarkson butchered up former Leaf Grabovski near the Capitals’ blue line and Grabovski had to be sent off for a lot of stitches. By the time he returned, he looked more like Jason with a helmet and visor. Sporting a line of stitches from his right temple to near his jaw line, and a couple more smaller ones near his nose.

Grabovski

If that injury did anything other than maybe re-ignite the visor debate and how important they are. I have always thought that the best hockey players in the world today all wear them (Ovechkin, Crosby, Stamkos, Kessel and James van Riemsdyk).

When Grabovski went down last night, he was right back at it like a jack-in-the-box, wouldn’t stay down and worked even harder when he got back up. Displaying the same reckless, but fun-to-watch hockey that makes teammate Ovechkin so much fun to watch.

Toronto had a 1-0 lead last night on David Clarkson’s second goal of the year.

The goal was reviewed to see if the puck was deflected into the net with a high stick, but video replay was inconclusive and the goal was allowed to stand.

TOO CUTE: “We’ve been preaching and we’ve been pleading with our players: ‘Just direct pucks towards the net and drive the middle lane,'” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’re far, far too cute.”

See the Carlyle press conference here:  http://bit.ly/1aY98Xz 

They held it up until about five minutes remained in the game, then guess who scored with a quick wrist shot of a bouncing puck. You knew that Ovechkin wouldn’t be completely be held scoreless last night.

John Tavares of the NY Islanders was the other night, but Ovie wouldn’t be denied. Ovie tied the game at 1-1, overtime produced nothing other than a few good chances, so that meant it was going to a shootout. Washington scored on their first shot, Leafs missed theirs. Then van Riemsdyk pulled off a nifty move on Brayden Holtby and Joffrey Lupul scored the winner. Troy Brouwer  had the last crack at it for the Caps but James Reimer shut the door and sent LeafsNation into hysteria.

Reimer continued his Curtis Joseph-like play in net, stopping 49 shots during the game, plus 2/3 shooters.

The win comes on the heels of one of their uglier losses this season, a 4-1 setback at home to Nashville, but it also puts Leafs into a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with Tampa Bay. Both Leafs and Lightning are dead-even in the standings at 14-8-1 through 23 games. Tampa has one more goal scored for than Toronto and has allowed six more goals than Toronto. Both teams trail division leader Boston by three points.

NEXT UP: Leafs play four games this week, beginning Monday when they host Nathan Horton and his Columbus Blue Jackets. On Wednesday evening, they are off to Mellon Arena to re-acquaint with Sid the Kid and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then it is off to the First Niagara Centre to pay the Sabres and John Scott a visit, and then it is back to Hockey Night in Canada, in Montreal, to play Les Canadiens.

Six out of eight points are available to be won this  week from three Eastern Conference opponents.

@Game7overtime

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