Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes: December 9, 2013

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the Game In Six of last night’s game:

It was another poor effort from the Leafs against a team that is clearly better than them. But the Game In Six didn’t include the one play everybody was talking about after the game, which was this one (glove tap to YouTube user dafoomie):

There’s no way you can defend Dion Phaneuf on this hit from behind. He had tons of time to make a decision on whether or not he was going to follow through, and looking directly at Kevin Millar’s numbers, he went for the hit anyway.

It’s a dumb and dangerous play and will most likely warrant a suspension. The NHL announced Dion Phaneuf will have a hearing with Brendan Shanahan tomorrow morning. But how many games will Phaneuf get?

He’s not a repeat offender, so that will come into play. However, there’s no denying he deserves some form of punishment. My co-editor Jeff thinks he’ll get at least two games, while Franklin Steele of FanSided notes the hearing will be over the phone, so by rule he can’t receive more than five games.

That rule came into play for Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal today, who was suspended for the maximum of five games after his phone hearing with Shanny. The play in question was a knee to the head of Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand, which theScore has video of if you missed it.

As Chris Johnston noted on Twitter a couple of days ago, Dave Nonis and the Leafs have until December 19 to make a decision on whether or not they allow Morgan Rielly to head to the World Junior Hockey Championships in Malmo, Sweden. Rielly would instantly become Team Canada’s top defenseman and should help their gold medal chances considerably.

I agree with Luke Fox of Sportsnet that the Leafs should allow Rielly to go and play for his country. It would be exciting to watch him perform in some high-pressure games, and I’m sure he would enjoy it more than sitting in the press box every night.

Topics: Brendan Shanahan, Dion Phaneuf, James Neal, Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs

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  • Stan Smith

    I disagree with you that they gave a poor effort last night. I thought they played well the first period and dominated the first five minutes the second period before the two penalties cost them the 2 goals. They sagged for about 5 minutes after that but started to carry the play again when Bernier let in the 3rd goal. Overall, except for lapses, it was one of their better games played in the past half dozen. The biggest difference in the game was getting scored in in back to back penalties in the 2nd period and failing to score on back to back power plays in the third. I do not think it was a lack of effort last night but a lack of talent.

    End result was a loss which is why I state the only stat that counts are the goals.

    • Tim Bayer

      Fair enough. I actually missed the game (I don’t get Leafs TV and couldn’t find a working online feed), so I probably shouldn’t have been so critical in hindsight. Bernier did look a little off in the GI6. I’m just getting a little tired of seeing the team concede 40+ shots almost nightly.

      On a totally unrelated note, what do you think of the new layout, Stan?

      • Stan Smith

        I like it. Easy to read. Not a lot of clutter.

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