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Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin celebrates his game winning goal (USA Today Sports)

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin celebrates his game winning goal

(USA Today Sports)

MacLeod: Leafs puzzling play continues against the Penguins Add to ...

It was two days after a drab performance against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Toronto Maple Leafs were looking for a bounce-back effort in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.

Instead, it was another puzzling outing by the Leafs, who held leads of 4-1 and 5-3 but could not hold on as Toronto wound up losing 6-5 in a shootout to the Penguins.

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The Leafs earned a point by it all, but a very unsatisfying one.

No doubt the club was expecting a better outcome, especially after chasing flaky Pittsburgh starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who was yanked early in the second period after surrendering three goals on 11 shots.

Fleury made an egregious error giving up the puck behind the net on the Leafs third goal that led to his benching, and Fleury vented his frustrations on a hallway wall with his stick after his departure

But the Leafs pop-gun offence soon returned to form as the Leafs failed to generate a shot on goal against Pittsburgh in the third period or overtime before losing in the shootout.

Concussions are on the minds of many athletes, especially after a group of ex-players, including former all-star forward Gary Leeman, launched a class-action lawsuit against the NHL, claiming the league did not do enough to protect players from the injury.

Not everybody is on board with the tactic, including Jeremy Roenick, who told Bob McCown on Prime Time Sports that he was a “little disgusted” by the lawsuit.

And this from a former star who said he suffered 13 concussions over the course of his career.

"I can tell you that the teams I was with handled it very well and professionally throughout the whole ordeal," Roenick said in an earlier interview with the Associated Press

Not all players feel the same way.

Scott Thornton, who is not part of the lawsuit -- at least not yet -- said he continues to suffer everyday with the symptoms incurred after suffering multiple concussions.

Thornton doesn’t fully buy that players were ignorant to the fact that they could suffer long-term injuries, but he acknowledged that many still need help.

“They’re suffering, man,” Thornton said. “Before I cast judgment on anybody, I know there are some guys out there who are probably deserving of some kind of reimbursement. Something.”

Jason Kidd and the old spilled drink routine

Jason Kidd was known as a crafty sort during his playing days where he was regarded as one of the top point guards to patrol the hardwood.

As the coach of the Brooklyn Nets it appears that Kidd’s imagination is still as sharp as ever.

In Brooklyn’s game against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers, the Nets were down two points with mere seconds left in the game and no timeouts left to call.

So what happens?

As the Lakers were preparing to shoot a free throw, Kidd bumps into Tyshawn Taylor, one of his own players, spilling a beverage that Kidd was conveniently holding all over the floor  .

It all seems innocent enough, until you take a closer look at the video where Kidd seems to be urging Taylor to “hit me.”

During the delay to wipe up the mess the Nets were able to draw up a final play but it didn’t help as the Lakers hung on for a 99-94 victory.

Afterwards, Kidd pleaded not guilty to any gamesmanship.

“Sweaty palms,” Kidd claimed. “I was never good with the ball.”

The Globe’s Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web most weekday mornings

Follow us on Twitter: @Globe_Sports

 

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