The Toronto Maple Leafs are losing 3-0 to the Buffalo Sabres after forty minutes, and that’s not good. Jack Eichel scored a beautiful shorthanded goal, and that’s terrifying to think about for the next decade and change. But you know what was good? Watching Dion Phaneuf take a run at somebody’s proverbial life for the first time in 2015/16.
Dion Phaneuf basically ends Brendan Guhle’s career before it starts pic.twitter.com/HXXOQ1BGb0
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) September 30, 2015
Brendan Guhle is a defenceman who hopes to have a similar career trajectory as Phaneuf. Also born in Alberta and developed in the WHL, Guhle was drafted 51st overall in this year’s draft and is attempting to make the Sabres as an eighteen-year-old. He’s been rather impressive thus far, but this hit shows that he needs to become a bit more aware of his surroundings before he can play in the NHL full-time.
As for Dion, it’s nice to see him showing his physical side, particularly when he uses a burst of speed to deliver an open-ice check. They’re entertaining to see, and if he can be that quick consistently this season, he may have his best year in quite some time. While we cross our fingers, I handpicked some of my favourite open-ice checks since the Leafs acquired him from the Flames in 2010.
Nicolas Deslauriers challenged Phaneuf to a fight immediately after the play, but the refs stopped it from happening, knowing that not every check required fisticuffs. Deslauriers received a two-minute roughing penalty.
Dion’s Greatest Hits (In Toronto)
5. That time he effortlessly stood up Patrik Hornqvist (November 2014)
2. That time he sent Stephane Da Costa back to France (October 2011)
1. That time he (sadly) literally ended Michael Sauer’s career (December 2011)