Trevor Smith

Video: Zdeno Chara bloodies Trevor Smith


Sometimes an innocuous hit can draw blood. That’s especially true when Boston Bruins behemoth Zdeno Chara is delivering the check.

That was evident on Saturday, as a fairly typical-looking hit left Toronto Maple Leafs forward Trevor Smith bloody:

Leafs send Kadri home for missing a meeting


Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri missed a team meeting on Sunday morning and was sent home.

It could’ve been related to daylight savings, but interim head coach Peter Horachek wasn’t amused.

“He missed the meeting, so I sent him home. He’s available [Monday]— if I want him,” Horachek said per Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press.

Why did Kadri miss the meeting?

“Not prepared. It wasn’t the snow,” responded Horachek.

Trevor Smith took Kadri’s spot on a line with Leo Komarov and Richard Panik during practice.

The 24-year-old has 16 goals and 36 points in 64 games this season.

Leafs name Horacheck interim head coach, shuffle lines


Big day in Toronto.

First, to the surprise of few, the Maple Leafs announced that Peter Horachek has been named the club’s interim head coach following yesterday’s dismissal of Randy Carlyle. Horachek, who had previous head coaching experience in Florida, will run the bench along with Steve Spott and ex-NHLer Steve Staois, who’s headed down to ice level after serving in a player development role.

Horachek’s first order of business as bench boss? Shuffling the lines ahead of tonight’s game versus Washington.

Daniel Winnik was promoted to a more prominent offensive role alongside Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel, leaving Kessel’s frequent running mates — James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak — to skate with Mike Santorelli.

Trevor Smith centered Leo Komarov and David Clarkson, while recently-recalled Sam Carrick centered the fourth line, which featured Richard Panik, Greg McKegg and Carter Ashton.

Today’s morning skate also had a few new onlookers:

In goal, Jonathan Bernier will start against the Caps tonight after James Reimer was torched for five goals in Saturday’s disappointing loss in Winnipeg.

Related: Nonis: Leafs are ‘capable,’ but also ‘movable’

Carter Ashton returns to Leafs’ lineup

Carter Ashton makes his return to the Leafs’ lineup tonight as Toronto visits the Florida Panthers.

According to TSN Radio’s Jonas Siegel, Ashton will be on the Leafs fourth line replacing Trevor Smith.

Ashton has not played since he was suspended 20 games for testing positive for a banned substance.

He was eligible to play as of Dec. 20.

The 23-year-old’s last game action was a Nov. 4 loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

In three games this season, Ashton is pointless while averaging 6:09 in ice time.

Originally the first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning (29th overall) in 2009, Ashton has three assists in 50 career games all with the Leafs.

Teravainen on 3-on-3 overtime: ‘I think it’s great’


The positive reviews for 3-on-3 overtime keep coming.

“I think it’s great,” said Chicago prospect Teuvo Teravainen, currently skating for AHL Rockford. “I think I can play the whole four minutes. It’s fun.”

As you may know, the AHL is experimenting with 3-on-3 play as a way to reduce the number of shootouts that have been deciding games. So far, it’s been working. And on top of that, it’s apparently been quite enjoyable to watch.

“It’s definitely exciting for the fans and you get to see guys’ skill really come out in those situations,” said Toronto Marlies coach Gord Dineen. “They have the puck on their stick a lot more and guys get a little more creative.”

“At least [the game is] decided in play and it’s not just a 1-on-1 situation,” added Dineen. “It’s a team game and so 3-on-3 certainly brings a lot more of the team aspect of it than a shootout.”

Whether the NHL ever adopts 3-on-3 overtime remains to be seen. It’s still early in the AHL experiment, and unintended consequences may arise.

Here’s one possible drawback: time wasting.

Let’s say a team is good at shootouts and would rather try its luck in the breakaway competition than in sudden death. Well, it’s a lot easier to rag the puck in a 3-on-3 situation compared to 5-on-5 or 4-on-4.

“It’s not too much forechecking,” said Marlies forward Trevor Smith. “It’s a lot of man-on-man and zone time and just controlling the pace.”

At any rate, time wasting doesn’t seem to have been an issue in the AHL. So far, only nine of the 45 OT games have required the shootout.

Update: Handy infographic here, from the AHL…


(Quotes gathered by PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban)