DETROIT – Jake Muzzin stood in front of the blue line to open his face, wearing blue and white sweaters from his small team. On the one hand, it was a guy who lived his childhood dream in front of a small crowd at Little Caesars Arena.
"It's crazy," said Muzzin. "Obviously grow on Ontario, a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan, and you're trying to play on the pages one day, and here we are. So it's crazy to come in full circle and hopefully we can use it best."
But Muzzin has been a more subtle party for the eternal week; we couldn't see in his 497th NHL career and first with Toronto.
It has also been difficult.
From the moment he found out, he was traded with Los Angeles kings on Monday evening. His wife, Courtney, was when this message arrived to put Muzzin on her what he noted with an "interesting" call.
The couple expects their first child in April and was very populated by the rhythm of life on the picturesque Hermosa beach. This step has not come at the most appropriate moment.
"You don't want to know. Initial posts [she wasn’t happy], no, because she was so comfortable where we were and with the doctor and everything, ”said Muzzin.” I don't know, she was just not happy but now she is.
"So everyone is fine."
If something happened, the Friday game was a light part for a 29-year-old defender.
Paired with Morgan Rielly, he looked just as stable as he was advertised for 3-2 overtime losses in Detroit Red Wings. The two left-wing shots were not taken too much, as many had feared, and largely held the puck up the ice, which was an awkward thing that came from all the stars and weeks.
Getting a Muzzin before the trading deadline of February 25 was considered a Leafs bonus because they expect him to take some time to feel comfortable.
"Any time you sell, your wife's pregnancy, you've been on the spot for a long time, got two cups. I think it's a period of clarity," coach Mike Babcock said. "The greatest thing – what we will do – is not excessive for him, he will get there and play. I think he will find the game even easier than practice, just because it is not so much reversed. Just go there and do what you do. "
As the trade shock began to descend, Muzzin includes the positive aspects of the new reality. There is a chance to compete for Stanley Cup this year and next year and he has much more time with his family and friends.
Both his parents and his wife's parents made a three-hour trip from Woodstock, Ont to Detroit to watch his debut. They are surrounded by the Leafs fan army, which played visitors on Friday.
And when his family is about to grow, he will be ready to help.
"The coming of the child," said Muzzins. "It also makes it easier for a family that can be so close to help. It was the initial shock to her, but then overcoming it and realizing that there would be a lot of help, I think it would go far for her."