Mission Cap of the Night: Tim Stapleton.
Thanks toa Johnny Mitchell injury and the Marlies being so close to home, the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to pick up Tim Stapleton from his apartment in downtown Toronto on the way to the airport on Wednesday night. The night after, Stapleton was able to make his NHL debut. He leads the Marlies with 54 points in 51 games, and played a very energetic game. When the game went into overtime, I was surprised to see #42 (not Wellwood, not Jackie Robinson, but Stapleton!) on the ice for a late shift. But when I saw him challenging for the puck and cycling it back and forth with Ian White, he started not to look out of place. Then in the shootout, Stapleton was leaned on to take the 3rd and final shot. He crept slowly towards Joey McDonald and sniped it low glove side, ringing off the post and into the back of the net. I think the only person happier than Stapleton after the goal was Ron Wilson, who threw up his arms and fist bumped his whole coaching staff.
Here is a big kudos for Ron Wilson for sticking young Timmy with quality minutes and giving the opportunity to win the game for the Leafs.
Congratulations to Tim Stapleton to La Grange, Illinois for his first Mission Cap.