Its been a while since the Battle of Ontario had more than bragging rights at stake, and that is the case in this one. Reeling on a 5 game losing streak, and falling back into the pack, the Senators desperately need a win over their provincial rivals. With the Leafs being one of the teams hot on their heels, a win is of the utmost importance in this one or panic will begin throughout Hockey Country.
A playoff atmosphere early on as both teams came out ready to play early on. The Senators were the beneficiaries of the first two man advantages, but a makeshift power play unit couldn’t score. That gave the Leafs the momentum and they carried the play to Ottawa, and Phil Kessel broke this ice, sticking his own rebound past Craig Anderson. Three and a half minutes later, while on the power play Dion Phaneuf made it 2-0 on a nice cross-ice pass from Kessel. Toronto continued to press and came close, but Ottawa escaped the period, lucky to be down only 2 goals.
The Sens came out flying in the second and were outshooting the Leafs 7-0 until Zenon Konopka took a needless penalty 190 feet from his own net by knocking J-M Liles into his own net. Ottawa killed the penalty, and the power play didn’t seem to take any momentum away from the Sens. That is, until a Colin Greening turnover resulted in Tyler Bozak’s breakaway and he lifted the puck over a diving Anderson to make it 3-0 Leafs.
Any faint hopes of a(nother) Senators miracle comeback were dashed when Luke Schenn walked in all alone 6 minutes into the third and wristed one past Anderson to put the Leafs up 4-0. Frustrated Senators players and fans was the order of the night and the Senators had no answer. Cody Franson added the insult to injury and added the 5th Toronto goal with under 8 minutes left. The only thing in doubt was whether the Reimer shutout would hold, and indeed it did, probably the easiest 49 save shutout in history.
Post Game Show
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SenShot’s Three Stars
3. Tyler Bozak (TOR) – 1G, 2A for the Leafs top line centre
2. Dion Phaneuf (TOR) - Was his usual pain in the ass self to play against.
1. Phil Kessel (TOR) - Passing and shooting, the best player on the ice in this game.
Not that there was any from an Ottawa perspective (on the ice), but the DIFD night seemed to be a great success in raising awareness for youth mental health. Hopefully the conversation doesn’t end with the one night and continues to be top of mind and young people (and people of all ages for that matter) are aware of the services that are available and get the help they need. All you have to do is ask.
Here are the Leafs’ highlights from NHL.com
WHAT I SAW
Discipline was a factor, as Eric Condra’s hooking penalty late in the first was a result of his being rattled along the boards in the Leafs end. After that, it was obvious he was upset, and I saw that penalty coming a mile away. He dragged down the first leaf he could get to, and that type of play is not acceptable in this type of game. Ditto for Konopka’s interference penalty just when Ottawa had a ton of momentum early in the second. And then again Matt Carkner’s extra roughing penalty late in the third was unnecessary and resulted in the Cody Franson goal.
This game is a tipping point for the panic that is about to start among Sens fans. Twitter was abuzz about everything from getting Shea Weber to bringing up Robin Lehner. It was a terrible effort from the Senators all around, and despite the 40+ shots, if there was more than an handful of Ottawa scoring chances I would be surprised. Nobody in white showed up for this game and it is time for the leadership of this team to step up and send a message, because the season is quickly slipping away.
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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