Saturday, March 3, 2007
Leafs' Kaberle Injured As Toronto Beats New Jersey
The Leafs had a lot of motivation for this game. They are in a playoff hunt, the Canadiens were losing and they had a couple games at hand. But the Leafs got a piece of motivation that they would rather live without.
With New Jersey up 1-0, the Devils' Cam Janssen took a run at Tomas Kaberle. The hit was late, it had an elbow and the guy jumped. Kaberle was taken off in a stretcher and he had a neck brace on. The good thing was that he was moving. I believe that if the hit was open ice, Kaberle would of just been shaken up, but the hit was a long the boards. Kaberle's head fell awkwardly into the boards knocking him unconscious. After a few moments of checking Kaberle, Tomas woke up. He was then carried to the dressing room and sent to a New Jersey hospital. The thing about this hit is that there was no call on the play.. and the ref was 10 feet a way from the hit. Hopefully Gary Bettman and other NHL disciplinarians will see this hit.
So with that hit in mind, the Leafs looked to win this won for Tomas. But that plan didn't start out to good as the Devils added to their lead before the 2nd period ended to give themselves a 2-0 lead going into the 3rd. But then the Leafs got a spark. Almost 10 minutes into the 3rd, the Leafs scored a goal courtesy Carlo Colaiacovo. Then, in just 2 minutes after that, Toronto potted to more to take the lead 3-2. Then, late in the period, Bryan McCabe made a brutal giveaway which resulted in a goal by Sergei Brylin to tie it up. After a scoreless overtime, the game went to a shootout. After the Leafs' Stajan missed, Zack Parise scored to give the Devils the lead. After both teams missed, newly acquired Yanic Perreault scored to tie up the shootout. Then, after a miss by New Jersey and then both teams scoring, Jeff O'Neill scored to put the Leafs up by 1. So with the game on the line, Sergei Brylin missed the net for the Leafs to win 4-3.
Even tough this game was huge for Toronto, all the talk after the game was about the hit. "Absolutely no place for it in this game, and that's it," Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice said of the play". Andrew Raycroft said, "If I don't see it and it's right in my zone, it's pretty late," Raycroft said. "You can't have the best players on the ice and someone taking liberties like that. It's unacceptable. Hopefully, they (the NHL) sees the tape and do something. It's not the hit, it's the fact it's 10 seconds late."
The man who laid the hit felt it was clean. "I was just finishing my check," Janssen said. "You hate to see that. It's a weird feeling. You never want to see that, but I've got to do my job. I've got to take the body and I did."
This will be talked about for awhile, and it should be a good re-match on the 20th.