March 10, 2011
Wilson won't buy into hysteria about violence
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Like just about any coach at any level of hockey, Ron Wilson is never shy about telling you what he thinks of an official if a call doesn’t go his way.
So give the man credit for not buying into the hysteria feeding the NHL these days.
A five-minute major and game misconduct to Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek just 3:45 into Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was the worst possible way to start the game.
It led to the game’s first goal and had the Leafs spending the first half of the period wanting to nail Daniel Carcillo, the “victim” of the Komisarek hit.
“It’s a five-minute major,” Wilson said of the play enhanced by Carcillo, who didn’t move for minutes but returned later in the period. “(Komisarek) cross-checked him on the lower back in a vulnerable position. Whether the guy is acting or not, we would expect the same in return.”
It certainly seems as though Wilson is fed up with the noise around the league surrounding every injury and every controversial hit. Talking about the Leafs’ first goal that was a deflection off Mikhail Grabovski’s visor on a point shot from Dion Phaneuf, Wilson offered this: “I’m surprised it hasn’t been tweeted that (Grabovski) got a concussion or something. There’s so much stuff like that on the internet.”
As strong as he has been for most of his 12 consecutive starts, rookie James Reimer still takes losses hard. Thursday’s was especially so after the Flyers’ Darroll Powe scored his team’s second goal from the corner of the rink with a shot that banked in off his pad. Afterwards, goaltender coach Francois Allaire tried to boost his spirits. “He told me it took Eddie Belfour (Reimer’s idol) 200 losses before he hoisted the Cup and I just have to keep going,” Allaire said. “When you take the training wheels off, sometimes you are going to get scrapes.” ... The Leafs finished the game two men down with Komisarek getting tossed and Freddie Sjostrom leaving midway through the second with an upper body injury ... Grabovski, whose 26th goal was his second in 11 games, left a big red mark on his forehead. Imagine what it would have left without a visor. “Thank God he was wearing a shield, which everyone should be doing just for that play there.” ... Leafs captain Phaneuf on the call that sent Komisarek to the showers early: “I’m not going to comment on it.”
While Carcillo has a reputation for enhancing a bad hit, the Leafs let the pest get under their skin for half the period. “He was doing his job,” said Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, who was briefly a teammate of Carcillo in Philly. “I think for a little bit we might have gave him the wrong reaction and then we just stayed away from him.” ... The Leafs had a scare when forward Colby Armstrong took a late hit from James van Reimsdyk and crashed into the boards. There was no penalty on the play ... While Reimer picked one of the worst times in his young career to get all flat-footed on the Flyers’ second goal, the behind-the-net effort from Darroll Powe never would have happened had Nikolai Kulemin been able to clear the zone. Instead, the terrible clearing pass was stopped at the blueline by the Flyers ... Remember when the Brian Burke model had big forwards crowding the front of the net? The Flyers have it perfected while the Leafs barely have the bodies and rarely have the willingness to go there. With big Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger unable to go with a hand injury, the Leafs had a great chance to muscle their way in, but didn’t take advantage.
Though Grabovski’s header ended an 0-for-25 drought on the power play, the Leafs remain awful with the extra man. On two PPs Thursday, they didn’t manage a shot on net and had difficulty even setting up in the offensive zone ... Shock of all shocks, Air Canada execs had not torn down their signage prior to the game as an anti-violence protest ... Flyers coach Peter Laviolette played the percentages in starting Brian Boucher in net. In nine career starts versus the Leafs, Boucher is 7-2-1 with a 1.65 goals-against average ... Once again, there was little offence for the Leafs, who made live simple for Boucher with the lack of traffic. “Boucher saw a lot of the shots and made easy saves,” Wilson said. “You allow a goalie to do that and he gets comfortable.” ... Timeouts often seem overrated, but with the score 2-1 midway through the second and the Leafs carrying the play after finally scoring, Laviolette called the TO to quiet the building. Moments later, Claude Giroux restored the two-goal advantage ... Guess Kris Versteeg wasn’t here for even the most irrational of Leafs fans to grow a hate for him. The Flyers forward barely got a boo.