The sixth and final chapter of this season’s Battle of Ontario gets underway tonight in another must-win game for the Leafs, who are five points back of the eighth place New York Rangers with four games left on the schedule. The 14th place Ottawa Senators willÂ look to play a spoiler role against their arch rival in hopes of putting an end to their remaining playoff aspirations. Although the Senators have struggled as of late, they have managed to stay competitive in games due to the impressive goaltending display from Craig Anderson, who was recently re-signed by the team to a four year contract. The playoff chances may be remote, but the last way we want them put to rest is at the hands of the Senators.
Tonight won’t be the matchup we’re used to between these teams without the presence of Colton Orr in the lineup to duke it out with fellow enforcerÂ Matt Carkner, however, there will be a glut of young talent on displayÂ at both ends. The Senators are expected to insert college free agent signing Stephane Da Costa into the starting rotation for his first career NHL game.
Looking at the Senators roster, you will be hard pressed to find much experience at the NHL level, but they cannot be taken lightly, especially considering the Leafs‘ provincial rivals stole the last meeting of the series on the back of Anderson, who was tremendous between the pipes. The Leafs are alive in the race until Sunday at the very least, but the team hopes to prolong that further into next week by finishing off the Battle of Ontario with a bang.
“We know every single team’s looking back and being like ‘Holy, the Leafs just keep winning’,” grinned Kadri. “We’ve just got to keep it up.”
- Nazem Kadri, courtesy of AM 640′s Jonas Siegel at his Eat, Sleep, Leafs blog
Optimus Reim beats out the likes of Skinner, Couture and Crawford to earn the league’s top rookie in March.
Jonas Siegel reports on the Leafs belief that they can still make the playoffs.
James Mirtle looks at the Leafs addition by subtraction with the departures of Versteeg, Beauchemin and Kaberle.
The Star’s Kevin McGran with a story on Wilson’s levelheadedness with his players.
Leaf players respond to Marchand’s mocking gestures on Thursday in Boston.
Down Goes Brown with his fourth annual April Fools article. Hilarious read.
Jeffler has reached wits end with the Leafs and has decided to switch allegiances. Before reading this, consider what day it was published on.
Bloge Salming and Down Goes Brown team up to createÂ a parody of Rebecca Black’s infamous ‘Friday’ tune.
Other hockey links:
Dobber Hockey runs down the fantasy MVPs of the season at Puck Daddy.
Pacioretty showing signs of progress in his quest to return to the NHL.
McCreary will ref his 1,737th in Washington; the place where it all began for him.
Last Night in Leafs Prospects:
Jerry D’Amigo recorded a goal and two assists, along with a plus-two rating, in the Kitchener Rangers’ 6-4 win over the Plymouth Whalers last night. Fellow Leaf prospect and teammate Andrew Crescenzi went pointless and was even on the night. At the other end of the night, Whalers forward Jamie Devane finished pointless with a minus-three in the game. In the Erie Otters 6-5 win over Windsor, Greg McKegg and Kenny Ryan both went pointless.