Don’t look now, but believe it or not, after 2 nights of NHL hockey, the Toronto Maple Leafs are 2-0. While at this rate they might have their schedule completed before Christmas, what does the quick start of the division rival do to the Ottawa Senators?
Depending on who you listen to, the Senators and Leafs will be in the mix for a playoff spot and it could conceivably come down to one or the other at season’s end. It is very early on, granted, but 2 points now is as valuable as 2 points in March or April. The Leafs putting points in the bank now, especially doing it on the road, does put some pressure on the Senators to at least keep pace out of the gate.
By the time the two clubs complete their game on Saturday night, The Leafs could conceivably have a 6 point lead on the Senators, or they could be tied, or anything in between. If Ottawa were to lose in Buffalo there would be a great deal of early season pressure on the Senators to beat the Leafs in Toronto. Even more than usual.
Hopefully the Senators can match the start they got off to last season, winning 6 of their first 7 games and getting a point in the other one. That kind of start would avoid a minor panic that would occur if the Senators were looking 6 points up on the Maple Leafs come Sunday morning. A panic that even though the season would be less than a week old, would take root nonetheless.