TORONTO — Maple Leafs defenceman Stephane Robidas expressed remorse for an elbow to the head of Shawn Matthias that knocked the Canucks forward out of Saturday night’s game.
Robidas hit Matthias with his right elbow or forearm 16:50 into the second period of Toronto’s 5-2 victory over Vancouver. Matthias, from nearby Mississauga, Ont., left the game immediately and did not return.
"I didn’t mean to hurt the guy," Robidas said. "I just hope he’s fine. They called (me) for elbowing. I didn’t mean to hurt him, and I just hope he’s OK."
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Robidas doesn’t have a reputation as a dirty player, though he was suspended a game in October 2010 for boarding Matt Beleskey of Anaheim when he was with Dallas. The previous season he was given a game misconduct for boarding Ryane Clowe of San Jose.
"I try to play physical," Robidas said. "I don’t try to hurt people, that’s not what I’m trying to do. The play happened fast and I tried to close on him. … It’s one of those where I just felt awful."
Canucks coach Willie Desjardins did not have an update on Matthias after the game. If Matthias can not play Sunday night at the Ottawa Senators, Nicklas Jensen figures to enter the lineup.
Asked about Robidas’ hit on Matthias, Desjardins said only: "That’s the refs’ call, that’s not my call. Those guys do a great job out there. It’s not my call."
Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said he hadn’t seen the replay. Robidas also said he didn’t see it but insisted their was no ill intent on his part.
"It’s one of those, I don’t want to hit him in the head," the 37-year-old said. "I don’t want to put him out of the game like that."