It’s fair to say Mikhail Grabovski was upset when the Toronto Maple Leafs decided to buy him out over the summer. In a profanity-filled rant after the news became public, Grabovski called Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle a “[expletive] idiot.”
Months have passed since then and Grabovski has settled in with the Washington Capitals. He’s excelling with his new team and last night he got his first game against the Toronto Maple Leafs behind him.
Even before the contest started though, the 29-year-old forward was looking to put his previous statements behind him.
“Probably done it differently,” Grabovski said, according to the Toronto Sun. “It’s like so emotional, you know, and we all want to win and do for this (team) everything what we can do.
“From that period of time I think the years I spent in Toronto, I try to win (the) Stanley Cup … that whole emotion, probably, feel the same. (Would) I say (it) again? Probably not.”
Toronto earned a 2-1 shootout victory, but not before Grabovski suffered a scare when he fell and was slashed in the face by David Clarkson’s skate. He needed 20 stitches, but still managed to return, earning the praise of his teammates for his toughness.
With his contest in Toronto out of the way, Grabovski and the Capitals will turn their attention to Wednesday’s match against Ottawa. That will be an important game for Washington after suffering three straight defeats.
Video: Grabovski bloodied by Clarkson’s skate blade
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.