The dislike between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres grew a little more Saturday.
The Leafs defeated the Sabres 4-2, but a third period scrum that followed a John Scott attempted hit on Dion Phaneuf produced some choice words from Buffalo’s enforcer following the game.
“…all of a sudden I’m not allowed to hit him anymore. He’s Princess Phaneuf. It’s a joke,” said Scott after the game.
“My leg’s fine, everything’s good. It’s just something where I guess you’re not allowed to hit the star guys anymore.”
Scott appeared to hurt his right leg on the attempted hit on Phaneuf.
After a stop in play, Phaneuf went over to Scott and then threw a pretty good cross check Cody McCormick, causing a dust-up. Maple Leafs enforcer Colton Orr then joined the fray, leaping through the air to try and get at McCormick.
All totaled up, 44 penalty minutes were handed out in that melee alone.
“I kind of fell a little bit,” said Phaneuf, as per The Canadian Press. “I obviously ran into (Scott), he’s a big man. I was just going over to kind of talk to him a little bit and obviously McCormick came in, that’s part of the game.”
There is, of course, history between the Sabres and Leafs dating back to the pre-season, when a nasty line brawl broke out after Scott went after star player Phil Kessel off a faceoff.
Buffalo’s new head coach Ted Nolan, speaking after tonight’s game, spoke out against “staged fights.”
“I think there’s room for fighting in this game but not that way,” he said, as per Brian Koziol of WGR 550 and the Sabres Radio Network.
Also of note in this game: Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser has a lower-body injury and is now day-to-day, as per James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail.