Joey Crabb has earned some trust, again, for now.
The NHL fringe player is doing his best, so far, to help fill some voids in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup.
He scored the seventh and final goal in Tuesday’s win over Tampa Bay, holding the Lightning to just one goal.
Matt Frattin dug deep late in the third period to try to bang in a late goal, but Crabb was in a great position to shuffle the puck in.
His numbers were fantastic for the Marlies so far this year with seven goals and 15 points in nine games. His two goals and three points in 10 games is fairly adequate, considering ice time and the heightened level of play.
I’d like to see what Crabb can do on the power play, but he’s thrown on the opposite spectrum of special teams, which will only make him stronger.
He did, however, have a bad break tonight on the Vincent Lecavalier power play goal, which was spoon-fed by Steven Stamkos, who was being covered by Crabb.
But that’s all right. Crabb was trapped in a Tampa Bay triangle of offence while his three teammates pushed together on the opposite end of the net of Lecavlier’s rifle. Not the best prep work for that shot.
Regardless, if Crabb can fine-tune some of these smaller points, and exceed on being that depth winger, we should see more of him at the Air Canada Centre and less at Ricoh Coliseum.
As for Luke Schenn, he’s seen his ice time bumped back up past 18 minutes. He was on that horrendous Tampa PP goal, but is +3 in his last six games overall. (The +/- statistics means something to some people. Personally, it’s subjective, but, overall Schenn has showed improvements in more ways than the +/-.)