The Blueshirts rallied around losing their captain to a match penalty & won all four games he missed. After coughing up a winnable tilt for his return last night, it looks like they could find themselves right back in the same spot. I understand the argument for Simmonds case (even though I disagree), but there’s no questioning this scumbag attempt at smoking an unsuspecting player up high.
The chicken wing to the jaw is such a fake-hustle bullshit tough guy play from a guy who knew exactly what he was doing. I’m not saying he was intentionally trying to KO McDonagh, but Komarov is one of only six players with over 200 hits so far this season. He knows how to throw them. In this case, he decided to line McDonagh up & coast instead of moving his feet & defending. Once he realized he was gonna miss, he threw his elbow out as scumbags do with no regard for where it landed. He’ll clearly be suspended but the only thing that matters is whether or not any time missed for #27 is simply precautionary.
I don’t wanna overreact but obviously concussions are a big deal. If Mac Truck suffered another within two weeks of the one he got in Philly, who knows how long he could be out for. Big picture, you’d have to wonder how prone he’d be for the rest of his career. We’ve seen concussions force some of the NHL’s best to call it quits early. I’m not saying he’s anywhere near that point but it’s certainly something to think about. Regardless, I’d be surprised to see the Rangers captain on the ice for Saturday’s home matchup against Detroit at the very least.
As for the game, it wasn’t pretty. Toronto dictated a lot of the play but Antti Raanta bounced back in a big way with a strong 35-save effort. The only pucks that got past him were on a questionable kick & a 6-on-5 free-for-all in front. The second one knotted the score with just 150 seconds to go, but JT Miller’s hustle started a play that Derek Stepan finished top shelf for the winner just a minute later.
They killed off 5 shorthanded situations, tallied a PPG in their 4th straight & notched their third straight win away from MSG. Step’s heating up while Zucc & Brass continue to lead the offense and JT keeps growing up. There’s some positives to be taken from tonight’s win even though it’s against the basement-dwelling Leafs, but all are overshadowed by one glaring negative. Here’s to hoping McDonagh’s absence is a short-term one.
Take a listen to the latest episode of Chief’s Chip & Chase podcast where he, Jordie & I talk trade deadline, scumbags & other things hockey.