Kyle Dubas and Jason Spezza have emotional reactions in loss to Leafs

Ryan Smitheram
April 9, 2024  (9:57)

Penguins President and GM Kyle Dubas
Photo credit: NHL

Former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas and his assistant GM, ex-Leaf Jason Spezza, were disgusted in the Pittsburgh Penguins' overtime loss to the Leafs last night.

After battling back to tie the game at 2-2 late in the third and securing a very important point, the Penguins failed to vault themselves ahead of the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card spot thanks to a Jake McCabe overtime goal. McCabe took a fantastic pass from Auston Matthews, who scored goal number 65 earlier in the game, and beat an exhausted Lars Eller to the front of the net before going five-hole on Alex Nedeljkovic.
Immediately, Sportsnet's cameras panned up to Dubas and Spezza, who were less than thrilled about the loss. Dubas looked frustrated but did a much better job keeping his emotions contained, likely knowing the camera was on him, while Spezza was not nearly as aware. He let out a "f***" before they picked up their things and left the suite.
This is the second game back in Toronto that ended in a loss for Dubas and Spezza following their departures from the organization last off-season. In December, the Leafs demolished the Penguins in Dubas' first trip back to Toronto by a score of 7-0.
The Leafs parted ways with Dubas following a tense contract negotiation that reportedly became a power struggle that could not be resolved. Just hours before Dubas was fired, Spezza resigned from his position as special assistant to the GM, likely knowing what was coming.
If the Penguins end up missing the playoffs by a point, Dubas can blame himself as he was the one who swung the deal to bring McCabe over from Chicago in 2023. It was one of the final moves that he made for the Leafs' playoff push last season.
The Penguins have now gone 9 straight games collecting at least one point in their unbelievable late-season push to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For Dubas and company, there's on four games remaining on their schedule. They currently sit tied with the Detroit Red Wings with 84 points. The Wings currently hold down the final Wild Card spot. The Pens are also just 1 point back of the New York Islanders for 3rd in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins have two very important swing games against both the Red Wings and the Islanders remaining on the schedule. They play the Wings on Thursday and the Isles next Wednesday to close out their season.
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Kyle Dubas and Jason Spezza have emotional reactions in loss to Leafs

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