Leafs scrimmage gets nasty

Steve Dangle
September 14 2013 12:06PM

Truculence lives!

There were some interesting items of note from today's Leafs camp scrimmages. For example, 19-year-old Morgan Rielly skated on a defensive pairing with Dion Phaneuf. More interesting to me though was just how nasty things got.

Here's what went down.

Obviously we can make jokes like "Oh awesome! Frazer McLaren might be out of the lineup!" Regardless of what you think of McLaren as a player, if you're applauding an injury, that's pretty douchey.

The nastiness continued after defensive prospect Jesse Blacker scored on a penalty shot.

Obviously, Carter Ashton is itching to get back into the NHL. He didn't produce a single point in his 15-game tryout during the epic black hole of suckage that was the late 2011-12 Leafs season, and his AHL production was literally cut in half last season, falling from his 38 point total in 2011-12 to 19 points in 2012-13.

Looking down the Leafs' depth chart at forward, it's not unreasonable to assume that Ashton could see some NHL time this season if the big club has a few injuries up front. He wants to show that he's ready to play with the big boys, and he won't back down to anybody, not even one of the biggest, toughest forwards the Leafs have.

That being said, if he broke McLaren's finger, that's not a good look. Standing up to the guy is one thing, but it's also your own team's training camp. I'm sure the Leafs admire his guts, but I can't see them appreciating him taking out a guy they just signed to a two-year contract extension before the season starts.

Also worthy of mention, Carlyle said he might try McLaren out on the PK. If he can't compete in camp, I can't see that happening. Whether you agree with using McLaren on the PK or not, this is a huge opportunity for him that he could be missing out on.

But this is a tough game. I'm sure Carter Ashton wants to play in the show as much as every other one of his teammates on this roster, but I highly doubt he would purposely injure a teammate to do it. Compounding the slash on McLaren with the cross-check and almost fight with Blacker, Ashton's a man on a mission. 

PREVIOUSLY ON TLN

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TLN Top Twenty Prospects: No. 1 - Morgan Rielly
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Steve Dangle has a YouTube channel with over 3 million views and is the co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Steve has also worked for CBC, the NHL Network, Leafs TV, Nike, the KHL, and most of all, the Toronto Zoo. stevedangle.com
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#1 Luc Gambino
September 14 2013, 12:33PM
Trash it!
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Is there a site anywhere with detailed notes on each day of leaf's training camp?

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#3 whichonespink
September 14 2013, 01:13PM
Trash it!
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Luc Gambino wrote:

Is there a site anywhere with detailed notes on each day of leaf's training camp?

mapleleafshotstove is a pretty good site, check it out, they had bloggers there at each day of camp so far.

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#4 mac
September 16 2013, 09:24AM
Trash it!
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I saw the clip somewhere (tsn website?) and McLaren crosschecks Carter, who then gives him a slash. Just bad luck that it hit his hand, I don't think it was intentional.

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