Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Saucer Pass: Hit of the Night: Paul Gaustad Crushes John-Michael Liles

The Saucer Pass is where The Fan Child Talks Puck.

A pretty spirited affair between the Leafs and the Sabres in Toronto tonight, with the Leafs getting a late tally from heralded youngster Nazem Kadri in the final stanza to secure a 3-2 win which moves them into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

The game-winner was Kadri's first goal in four games this season. Kadri was the Leafs first-round pick in 2010.

Phil Kessel scored his 20th goal during the game, a beautiful tap in off a cross ice feed that put Toronto up 2-1 in the 2nd period.

All that is well and good, but check out the ferocious hit by 6'5" 212-lb Buffalo center Paul Gaustad on Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles. You don't see a guy get pummelled like this while winding up to take a slapshot very often in the NHL, which is why we're calling it the Bone-Crusher of the night.

It's pretty clear from the play that Liles wasn't seeing the ice very well on the play. He was probably seeing stars after the play, but warrior that Liles is he finished his 21 shifts without incident, helping his team to a much-needed win.