October 15, 2011
Phaneuf checking out old mates
By DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency
Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf wasn’t saying who picked up the bill, but he and a couple of old Calgary Flames teammates, including Jerome Iginla, headed out for Italian food on Friday night.
“It’s good to see everyone,” a relaxed Phaneuf told reporters after the Leafs’ morning skate on Saturday. “We had some laughs, but when the puck drops, it’s all business.
“I started my career there. I had a lot of fun, made a lot of real good friendships and I can’t say enough good things about the city or the organization. But having said that, I’m really happy where I am now and it’s been a really great move for me.”
The defenceman recorded 228 points in four-plus seasons with the Flames, including 20 goals in his rookie campaign.
As for who picked up the cheque?
“Ask him (Iginla),” Phaneuf said with a grin.
While Phaneuf and Iginla are obviously good friends, as the Leafs captain says “it’s all business” when the two hit the ice. Iginla has told media that he likes to “chirp” at Phaneuf when the pair are out on the ice. Phaneuf didn’t deny it any, when asked if he likes to chirp back.
“We battled whether it was practice or now in the real game,” Phaneuf said. “He’s a competitive guy, I’ve got lots of respect for Iggy, the way that he plays. He scores goals but he plays really hard.”
Wants to contribute
Forward Clarke MacArthur didn’t have any bold predictions for the start of his season last night, but he did say he wants to contribute just like he did last year.
The winger, who ranked first in assists (41), second in points (62), and tied for third in power play goals on the Leafs last season, was to be reunited with linemates Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin after returning from a suspension handed out in the pre-season by league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan for an illegal hit to the head on Justin Abdelkader in a pre-season game in Detroit on Sept. 30.
MacArthur got off to a club record goal start by scoring four goals in the first four games.
“You want to build on years prior,” MacArthur said ahead of his first action last night. “For us to do well, all the lines have to play well. Whether I score in the first five games or not, I don’t know whether that’s going to happen. I’m going to try and shoot as many pucks as I can and chip in as much as I can.”
Being the sixth defenceman, Mike Komisarek is going to see his fair share of defensive partners. Last night he played alongside the 6-foot-5 Cody Franson after starting the season with speedy rookie Jake Gardiner.
But the American said he doesn’t foresee any troubles adjusting to changing partners.
“This is part of what we do, lines get changed, D partners get changes,” Komisarek said. “We have seven D, so in practice you’re not always going with the same guy. You always get a feel of playing with each other and different guys’ tendencies.”
So what does Komisarek think of the contrasting styles of his two playing partners so far this season?
“They’re both great players. Gards has come in and had a tremendous training camp. He moves the puck well, he tries to create things offensively. He’s extremely poised and has great hockey sense for his age (21). Franny has a good camp as well, he’s got that booming shot, the puck just flies off his stick.”