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[GIF] In Which Michael Grabner Tells Kris Letang He's Back

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Seems Grabner was scratched for lack of scoring, not for not lack of hitting. But okay, here's a hit just in case.

"Did I teach you that?"
"Did I teach you that?"
USA TODAY Sports

Michael Grabner is known for his speed, not so much for his hitting.

Generally, you don't want a speedster like him beating his body up too much for the sake of crash derby. But you want any hockey player to be able to do it now and then. In the playoffs in mandatory scenarios, for example.

And perhaps upon returning to the lineup after a healthy scratch.

After going 18 games without a goal -- not since he scored a pair in the season opener -- Grabner had such a scratch this week, taking the much-debated (among fans) move in stride, even professing to expect it.

So he was back in the lineup Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Frighteningly, he blocked a shot early on that sent him off in the kind of pain that makes a fan think, "I don't want my Ferrari being used for such gritty, utilitarian pursuits like hauling brush and pulling stumps."

But he came back, and early in the second period he also added this highlight with Kris Letang, which probably made the Isles coaching staff smile:

Grabner-letang_medium

As a special hockey-strategy bonus, he also drew a retaliation penalty by Matt Niskanen on the play. (The Isles didn't take advantage on the ensuing power play. Because the Islanders power play had difficulty doing that these days.)