November 30, 2009
Grabo's enthusiasm uncurbed
By TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA
For the second time in less than a year, Mikhail Grabovski has gotten into a scrap with Maple Leafs teammate during practice.
In front of a few hundred season ticket-holders, Grabovski grabbed defenceman Francois Beauchemin and then punched him in the face near the end of practice yesterday at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke.
But after assistant coach Tim Hunter stepped in, the incident didn't escalate.
"I'm okay," Grabovski said afterward. "After a day off, everybody wants to play hard. I'm just trying to practise hard."
In February, Grabovski and winger Jason Blake scrapped during a practice.
Beauchemin refused to speak about the skirmish, the roots of which were not clear. Coach Ron Wilson was not about to lose any sleep over it.
"They were arguing over the last Curb Your Enthusiasm episode," Wilson said. "Grabo did not quite understand of those some of the little idioms, and Francois, who is a master of the English language, was explaining to him.
"It happens. It's hockey. People get more physical and upset with themselves. It leads to a minor skirmish and nothing more than that. You have more crap going on like that at home when you were 10 years old and fighting with your brothers."
Defenceman Mike Komisarek, who has the leadership ability to perhaps be the next Leafs captain, had a little chat with Grabovski, skating with his former Canadiens teammate to the boards not long after the set-to.
"Guys are working hard, battling and pushing each other," Komisarek said. "It's a good thing when you are winning or losing. I'm sure they are in the back playing ping pong right now."
Grabovski figured the disagreement might be good for Beauchemin.
"Last time, Blake scored two (in the game after the fight)," he said. "This time, Beauch will score two, you'll see."
Blake, meanwhile, has been bumped back up to the second line and will skate with Grabovski and Nik Hagman.