Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin may have been looking to send a message on Saturday night.
Muzzin and the Maple Leafs were on the road in preseason action on Saturday, taking on a Buffalo Sabres squad that featured a large number of players that will play in the National Hockey League this season. The Leafs roster also boasted a number of NHL regulars and as a result fans in attendance at the KeyBank Center were treated to a pretty exciting back and forth affair between their home team and the speedy Maple Leafs.
The highlight of the night however will belong to the visiting team thanks to a punishing hit that was delivered by the aforementioned Jake Muzzin. Muzzin spotted Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson streaking through the neutral zone and line him up perfectly for a huge hit as the Sabres forward crossed the blue line into enemy territory. The hit was enough to send Olofsson, who had just stopped dead prior to contact to dump the puck deep into the Leafs' zone, up and over the boards. Unfortunately for Olofsson he once again found himself in enemy territory as he upended onto the Leafs bench, where he got very little help getting back to his feet and into the play.
Muzzin even made sure that the Buffalo Sabres hopeful got a little extra help making it all the way down to the bottom of the bench when he gave the Swedish forward a couple of extra shoves for good measure. Not only was the play notable for its rather obvious highlight potential but it also took Olofsson out of the play, if only momentarily, and allowed the Leafs to turn the momentum. That would quickly lead to a goal going back the other way for the Maple Leafs, something that the Leafs no doubt value more than the hit itself.