The Montreal Canadiens-Toronto Maple Leafs rivalry has always been heated, and it is easily one of the best ones in sports. On Saturday night, during the Toronto Maple Leafs rout of the Canadiens, 6-0, things got a bit out of hand and there were quite a few altercations. One of which happened between Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski and Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty during this third period scrum.
Pacioretty had lost his glove during this scrum, and put Grabovski in a headlock, which is not uncommon in these instances. His bare hand/wrist was over Grabovski’s mouth, and then almost as soon as he put it there, Pacioretty pulled his arm away and looked at his wrist as if he had just been bitten. The fact that Pacioretty made a disgusted face when he looked at his wrist and then seemed more incensed with rage as he went after Grabovski makes me believe his claim that he was bitten. Pacioretty was even seen complaining to the referees about the incident and showing them his wrist.
It’s tough to get any conclusive proof from this video, and so it wouldn’t surprise me if Grabovski escaped a suspension during his hearing with Brendan Shanahan on Sunday. It does look as though he did do something extra to Pacioretty here, but there isn’t any evidence. This unfortunately is not the first biting incident in the NHL, nor will it be the last.
Quite honestly, biting is gross, but I can’t say that players should expect something different when they put their hand in someones mouth or near their mouth during a heated disagreement.