Thu Dec 30 02:41pm EST
Hockey Canada was not interested in Tyler Toffoli, but the Los Angeles Kings prospect had his way to almost comical extent in his first post-Christmas game on Wednesday.
It almost seemed like Ridiculous Day as Toffoli scored five goals in the first two periods against a short-staffed Kingston Frontenacs team. That included a four-goal opening period and a natural hat trick, giving him a Canadian Hockey League-high 34 goals through 36 games. While it's early yet, it might be time to look up the last time an OHLer not named John Tavares had a 60-goal season.
Toffoli, were he not playing against a divisional opponent, probably could have the first six-goal game in the Ontario league in 22 seasons. However, 67's head coach Chris Byrne shut down his star since the game was obviously decided.
That did not stop Kingston coach Doug Gilmour, the former Toronto Maple Leafs captain, from inferring the 67's ran up the score. The above video shows Gilmour, who showed little reaction while the Eastern Division-leading 67's were scoring in bunches in the first period, doing that sarcastic exaggerated applause after Toffoli's sixth goal.
On his career night, though, Toffoli had a succinct response:
"Gilmour exited the ice doing some finger-pointing at 67's counterpart Chris Byrne over the top line playing the power play with the home team up by five goals.
" 'I'm sure (Gilmour) had some nights like I did (Wednesday night) and his coach still put him on the ice,' Toffoli said. 'But obviously we were really clicking.' " (Ottawa Citizen)
It was the second period when that happened. Kingston was short-handed with Erik Gudbranson with Team Canada, his brother Alex Gudbranson off at the world under-17 challenge and starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer also at the world junior tournament with Germany. There is always a chance for games at this time of the season to get silly. Still, it was only the second period when the RST Line — centre Ryan Martindale, left wing Shane Prince and Toffoli — was getting power-play time. Gilmour doesn't have much of a case.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. (Photo: OHL Images.)