Tim Leiweke’s old team, the one that won the Stanley Cup two years ago, showed up at the Air Canada Centre to remind the new chief magistrate of the Toronto Maple Leafs just how good he had it back in Los Angeles.
And despite one of the Leafs best efforts in recent weeks, it was not enough to derail the Los Angeles Kings who earned a 3-1 victory over Toronto.
Curiously, the Leafs for once managed to direct more pucks at the opposition net, out-shooting the Kings 39-23.
But this was a simple matter of our goalie (Kings rookie Martin Jones) playing better than your goalie (Toronto’s Jonathan Bernier) as L.A. extended its winning streak to five.
Taking it all in was Leiweke, who was the chief executive of Kings owner AEG before bolting earlier this year to become president and chief executive of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Leafs and pretty much every other professional sporting entity in Toronto.
While admitting he would be a bit wistful watching his old charges in action, Leiweke said it will also be a reminder to just how much work there is left to do to mold the Leafs into a championship-calibre unit.
The Vancouver Canucks had the night off and it provided an opportunity for several of the team rookies to enjoy an ultimate karaoke moment with west coast songstress Sarah McLachlan.
Collisions at the plate about to be thrown out
Under a new rule change proposal, Pete Rose’s epic home plate collision with catcher Ray Fosse during the 1970 all-star game will become illegal.
So too will the rather gruesome moment two years ago when San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey gets clobbered by Scott Cousins, suffering a broken leg in the process.
If Major League Baseball gets its way, home plate collisions, long a part of the game as the brush-back pitch and the spitball, will no longer be tolerated, perhaps as early as next season.
“The hitters wear more armour than the Humvees in Afghanistan,” said Rose, who is in disbelief that MLB is even considering such a rule change. “Now you’re not allowed to try to be safe at home plate. What’s the game coming to? Evidently the guys making all these rules never played the game of baseball.”
Around the game, reaction was mixed over the proposal, which still requires approval from the player’s union before it is etched in stone.
“I am a little bit old school in the sense that I don’t want to turn home plate into just another tag play,” said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus, a former major league catcher. “This is a run. This is the difference between possibly making the playoffs and not making the playoffs. It should matter a little bit more. In my mind, I’d love to see something that if there’s a collision, any hit above the shoulders, maybe the runner is out. I don’t know how it’s going to pan out.”
''No more home plate collisions?! What is this? NFL quarterbacks are catchers now?'' Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick tweeted.
Others in the game were a bit more introspective about the proposed ban.
"I'm proud of the league for taking a step forward," said another former catcher, Mike Matheny, now the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. "I just believe it's something that we can't turn a blind eye to, what's going on in these other sports. Let's learn from what's going on there and see if we can't make our sport better."
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is used to performing before large crowds.
So perhaps it should not be surprising when McCutchen went on the daytime talk show of Ellen DeGeneres and proposed to girlfriend Maria Hanslovan .
Merriman sacks TV appearance
Former NFL all-pro linebacker Shawne Merriman obviously did appreciate the line of questioning during an appearance on ESPN2’s ‘Highly Questionable’ TV show, so he up and left
The reaction of Dan Le Batard and Bomani Jones, who were doing the interrogating, is priceless.
The Globe’s Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web most weekday mornings.Report Typo/Error
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