Evidently not learning from his past mistakes, Leafs forward Ryan Hollweg took a costly boarding penalty in the second period of Monday’s game against St. Louis. Hollweg was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for his hit from behind on Alex Pietrangelo. The Blues capitalized twice on the five-minute power-play to tie the game 3-3, and went on to win the game 5-4 in a shootout.
Hollweg will now be suspended for three more games, under rule 42.6 of the NHL Offical Rule Book, for his incurring fourth boarding penalty in the past 41 games. The infraction appears inexplicable, given that Hollweg had just returned from serving a two-game suspension for a similar offence, occurring in a pre-season match against the same Blues.
The Leafs, who blew a 3-0 lead, had a glorious chance to extend a 4-3 lead after St. Louis was assessed both a minor and double minor penalty, leaving Toronto with a 5-on-3 man advantage for a full two minutes. Toronto failed to score on the power-play, going 0-for-6 on the night.
“Our power play didn’t dry up,” noted Tomas Kaberle, who opened the game’s scoring just five seconds after a St. Louis penalty expired. “We had good scoring chances and good shots, (the puck) just didn’t go in. But we should have scored their when we had the lead…it would have been a two goal lead again…and that’s not easy to swallow.”
Nikolai Kulemin, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Niklas Hagman had the other Leafs goals, while Kulemin was the only Toronto player to score in the shootout.
The Leafs’ next game is Friday night when they visit the New York Rangers. The Rangers and the NHL were dealt tragic news, with the passing of 19-year-old prospect Alexei Cherepanov.
Forward Lines: Ponikarovsky-Antropov-Blake, Tlusty-Grabovski-Hagman, Steen-Moore-Kulemin, Mayers-Mitchell-Hollweg
Defence pairings: Kaberle-Schenn, Colaiacovo-Kubina, Van Ryn-Stralman
Goaltenders: Toskala (Sh./L 65:00, 22 SV, 4 GA ), Joseph (0:00)
Links: Game Summary | Stats | Discussion boards | Rule 42.6 of NHL Rulebook (boarding)