May 5, 2013
Maple Leafs' unsung crew deserves big kudos
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

Nazem Kadri (left), Phil Kessel (centre) Ryan Hamilton celebrate Kessel's third-period goal last night in Boston. The 28-year-old Hamilton, who assisted on the goal, enjoyed a fine outing. (Getty Images/AFP)

Breaking up is hard to do, but for Randy Carlyle, it’s better than breaking down.

The Maple Leafs coach had little time for Saturday night sentiment, under threat of being blown out a second time at TD Garden. So he put Clarke MacArthur, Frazer McLaren and John-Michael Liles in the press box, Liles joining injured defenceman Mike Kostka.

“It’s always difficult to take people out,” Carlyle said at the morning skate, his way of letting down the scratched veterans easy. “But we’ve always (maintained) if we weren’t getting what we need from somebody, then a change would be necessary.

“You will need everyone in our club to make a contribution and we’ll continue to go in that direction. If you can help us, you’ll get the call.”

So in came four who’ve patiently waited out their minor roles in the final weeks of the regular season, forwards Matt Frattin and Ryan Hamilton and defencemen Jake Gardiner and Ryan O’Byrne.



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