Video: Grabovski accused of biting Pacioretty in Leafs’ big win


The Toronto Maple Leafs’ 6-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens produced at least two shocking sights on Saturday night. One was the score; the other happened when Mikhail Grabovski seemingly snacked on Max Pacioretty’s hand:

That was the wildest moment from a game that unraveled, especially in the third period. Take a gander at the penalty summary from the final frame alone:

1:09 – Mark Fraser fought Brandon Prust
7:59 – Michael Kostka fought Brenden Gallagher (instigator included)
11:30 – Both Grabovski and Brandon Prust received minor penalties and were ejected during the munching melee. Pacioretty was also tossed.
12:17 – A benign hold from Tomas Plekanec.
15:01 – Josh Gorges fought Frazer McLaren. Colton Orr was handed a game misconduct for roughing Rene Bourque.
19:14 – Bourque also received a game misconduct.

Well, that escalated quickly.

It’s anyone’s guess how Brendan Shanahan might punish (or avoid punishing) Grabovski, 29, for the incident.

For one example, the Bergen Record’s Tom Guilliti recalls when Derian Hatcher allegedly bit Travis Zajac during a Jan. 4, 2008 contest between the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils. Hatcher’s supposed nibble apparently made Zajac bleed but didn’t leave bite marks, so the tough defenseman got off the hook.

Pacioretty, 24, just seems like a magnet for strange twists like these. He bounced back from that infamous Zdeno Chara hit, just recovered from an emergency appendectomy and now experienced this odd exchange.

This isn’t the only time biting accusations have come up lately, by the way. Chris Stewart accused Derek Dorsett of doing so on Jan. 31 while a Swiss player was fined for biting John Tavares in the late stages of the lockout.

This concludes a 3-0-0 road trip for the Maple Leafs. In case you’re wondering, the next game between the Habs and Buds takes place on Feb. 27.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.