Friday, January 7, 2011
Ben Eager sucker punch on Colby Armstrong leads to 4 powerplay goals
That was one very strange game against the Thrasher tonight. Ben Eager pretty much hands the game to the Leafs by taking 14 minutes in penalties (he only had 8 minutes of ice time). The anemic Leaf powerplay exploded for 5 goals while Eager sat in the box.
The sucker punch delivered by Eager might merit some disciplinary action by the NHL although it couldn't be any worse than the punishment delivered by the Leafs.
In a lopsided 9-3 win, you would expect the worst +/- in the game to be a Thrasher player. However, that honours goes to Brett Lebda who finished the game at -3. That means he was on the ice for all 3 Thrasher goals and no Leaf goals. He was only on the ice for 11 minutes while the Leafs were playing even strength. It is easy to be playing this bad.
Tomas (shoot shoot) Kaberle matched career high for assists in a game with 4. Although he only has 1 goal, he easily leads the team in assists with 27 now. That puts him in the NHL's top 15 players in assists. He does get off some shots since he is 5th on the team with shots on net.
The members of the red hot Grabovski-Kulemin-MacArthur line are all approaching career highs for goals in one season and it's at the half way point of the season. Kulemin is one shy of his best season (16), Grabovski is 3 shy of his best season (20) and MacArthur is 5 goals away (17).
In his four appearances, James Reimer has a .947 save percentage which will make it difficult to send him back to the Marlies when J-S Giguere is ready to return. However, he may be playing his way into a backup role next season.
UPDATE: Colin Campbell spun the NHL Wheel of Justice and it awarded Eager a 4-game suspension. Or maybe it was a game for each goal the Leafs scored while he was serving his match penalty. I'm not convinced a suspension was warranted. I guess the lesson is deop your gloves before throwing a punch and you are less likely to be accused of sucker punching.