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Ryan Reaves Backs Morgan Rielly Hit, Criticizes Changed NHL

Ryan Reaves is being quite vocal about Morgan Rielly’s cross-check to Ridly Greig. He’s saying the game has changed and Rielly was right.

In response to Ridly Greig‘s controversial empty-net slapshot, Toronto Maple Leafs veteran Ryan Reaves expressed support for Morgan Rielly‘s reaction. A cross-check that is going to result in a suspension of at least five games, Reaves contends the NHL has changed. And, he hinted it’s not in a positive way. He’s not the only member of the Maple Leafs thinking the upcoming punishment is likely to be too harsh. At the same time, he’s gone a bit further with his critique of the NHL.

Reaves stated, “If you rewind to when I came into the league, he’s probably still laying on the ice.” Reaves, known for his physical style, deemed Rielly’s response appropriate, emphasizing that Greig’s action was inappropriate for a young player. Greig is taking heat for taking a slap shot on an empty net with the game out of reach in the dying seconds.

Reaves, reflecting on the incident, remarked on the changing dynamics of hockey. He stated, “Kids these days, they’re playing a different brand of hockey than I’m used to. The code’s changed a little bit.” He expressed disappointment that a player like Greig could seemingly get away with such actions while one of the team’s best players, presumably Rielly, faces a potential suspension.

When questioned about the possibility of Rielly taking a less aggressive approach, Reaves defended the defenseman’s reaction. He asserts, “Guy takes a clapper on an empty net … you don’t play patty-cake with him.”

Fans Are Being Critical Of Reaves For Talking a Big Game After Rielly Hit

Despite Reaves’ strong opinions on the incident, he was unable to intervene as he was mostly benched during the third period. His lack of playing time and often ineffectiveness has been an interesting twist coming off of his comments. In other words, some fans, (in Toronto and outside of Leafs Nation) are suggesting he’s talking a big game for someone who does little about it.

Ryan Reaves Maple Leafs scratched

He acknowledged that the league has evolved significantly since his entry and even more so compared to the early ’90s. Reaves expressed respect for the tough enforcers of that era, recognizing the challenges they faced with formidable opponents. At the same time, he was brought in to be that enforcer. The Leafs are still widely viewed as a soft roster.

Next: Tarasenko Says He’s Open to Multiple Trade Deadline Options



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