There was a ton of bad blood on Saturday night between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs and given the way that things went down in the game's third period I have a feeling that this is one rivalry that is very far from being over. In spite of the fact that neither of these two teams is known for being particularly physical the match up between them last night saw a ton of physicality late in the game, although much of that came on plays that violate the rules of the game.
It started early on though thanks in part to the newest member of the Detroit Red Wings in Robby Fabbri who caught Toronto Maple Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot with a pretty stiff looking spear in open ice. Although the play went largely unnoticed at the time it is now clear that the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety has seen exactly what went down. On Sunday the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced that it had issued a fine to Fabbri for the infraction, a fine that will cost him $2,419.35, the maximum dollar amount allowed under the NHL's collective bargaining agreement.
That of course is barely a slap on the wrist for players making the kind of money that NHL players are pulling in, it does however come with some potentially meaningful consequences. Should Fabbri be involved in another incident that is reviewed by the NHL's Department of Player Safety he will now be considered a repeat offender as a result of this fine. The question now becomes will he be the only player from last night's game that gets a call from the NHL's Department of Player Safety?
Two other incidents stand out in my mind from this game, with the first being a huge slam on the part of Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin. Muzzin threw Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha down to the ice hard at the end of the third period, although you would be hard pressed to argue he was not provoked.
The other was an incident involving Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou. Athanasiou, perhaps in response to the injury caused by Muzzin's slam moments earlier, attempted to deliver a clear knee on knee hit to Leafs defenseman Justin Holl.
No word yet on whether or not NHL Player Safety intends to review either of these plays.