The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday in the first meeting between the two Eastern Conference teams since an altercation between Tim Gleason and Nikolai Kulemin sparked a heated debate.
Kulemin, who is not known as a fighter, threw a couple of gloved punches at Gleason in a January 24th game in Raleigh before the Hurricanes' rugged defencemen dropped his gloves - and the Leafs forward - with one punch.
"I wouldn't pass up a hit on him that's for sure," Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur said ahead of Thursday's contest (TSN, 7pm et/4pm pt). "I don't think anyone will after what he did. He's a hard-nosed player and we want to play him hard."
However, MacArthur isn't ready to lose sight of the team goal in order to exact any type of revenge.
"The main thing isn't Gleason, it's the two points for us," said MacArthur. "Obviously we'd like to get some good licks on him but we want to win the game first."
Mikhail Grabovski, a linemate of Kulemin's, would like to see his team and his teammate exact revenge with a victory.
"The best message for us would be to score a goal, get the points and beat Carolina," said Grabovski. "I hope (Kulemin) scores a goal in the game."
Gleason was ejected from the January contest but further discipline was not handed out for the incident.