If you’re going to play the Toronto Maple Leafs, you’re going to have to drop your gloves. The Maple Leafs are a tough team to play against. They lead the NHL in fighting, and their skilled players — backed by the brawn around — find themselves with a bit more room. Now the logic doesn’t quite work that if you fight you automatically win. The Columbus Blue Jackets are also among the league leaders in fisticuffs and are at the bottom of the standings. The fights there are more out of the frustration of losing, or to at least give the fans something to cheer about. But heavyweights Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren and light-heavyweight Mark Fraser (as well as middleweight Mike Brown until he was traded) are an intricate part of the Leafs’ success at this point of the season. Nazem Kadri said as much against Florida — after he notched a two-point night in a Leaf win. Orr had been put on his line for a few games and he felt — there’s no other word for it — safe. “He’s patrolling everyone out there,” Kadri said of Orr. “Me and Clarke (MacArthur) are freewheeling and making plays and finishing hits because we know no one is going to come and talk to us with him on the ice.” It was what Brian Burke envisioned when he took over the Maple Leafs in 2008. It’s not what Ron Wilson envisioned, and maybe that disconnect between the two is part of the reason neither is here today.
Maple Leafs see role of enforcer growing
Toronto Star | Mar 6