The Toronto Maple Leafs officially have become the team Brian Burke set out to create.
“We require, as a team, proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence. That’s how our teams play,” said Burke.
“I make no apologies for that. Our teams play a North American game. We’re throwbacks. It’s black-and-blue hockey. It’s going to be more physical hockey here than people are used to.”Reuters
Toronto Maple Leafs played hockey and enforcement against the Montreal Canadiens
The Toronto Maple Leafs routed the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 6-0 last night in Montreal. The Leafs outplayed the Canadiens and most fans would agree; played the best first period of hockey all year. The Toronto Maple Leafs not only won on the road yet again they forced their will on a team that is struggling mightily. 64 minutes in penalties handed out in a game that had fights, scrums and a possible bite.
What struck me is this team actually wants to stick up for each other. James Reimer wasn’t allowed any visitation rights from the opposing team in his area after the whistle. I saw John-Micheal Liles hand out a few tickets for being too close to the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie. This is the type of game I haven’t seen from the Leafs for almost three seasons. I miss Wade Belak. May that man rest in peace, but he allowed players to skate with confidence, as he was the type of player on a team that didn’t get pushed around. This year the Toronto Maple Leafs look like a team that opposition won’t bully no matter the score.
Protecting the Goalie
At one point in the game last night Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher pushed Dion Phaneuf into Toronto goalie James Reimer. Without letting the team captain Phaneuf to even respond, Mike Kostka removed the gloves and let Gallagher know that was enough of his silliness.
Highlights from the scrums, fights and Colton Orr and his one punch combo:
The possible Mikhail Grabovski Bite
The Toronto Maple Leafs pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence players of note:
- Colton Orr
- Leo Komarov
- Mike Kostka
- Frazer McLaren
- Mark Fraser
Anyone of these players above can answer the bell. They let Nazem Kadri skate the ice like his is 6’4.
Follow me on twitter as it is just as truculent and dirty at times.