The St. Patrickâ€™s Day Battle of Ontario. As is always the case in Ottawa, Leafs Nation was out in full force and the boys produced a Carlylelike effort (try saying it fast) to win it.
1 â€“ The Leafs are 32-32-8 and Daniel Alfredsson got booed on home ice, must be nice.
2 â€“ MacDaddy didnâ€™t took too kindly to Gonchar doing something other than passing and shooting the puck so he dumped him on his rear end in the middle of the first period. Gonchar had just one NHL fight in 13 years until that point.
3 â€“ Mike Green was 20th in league scoring in the 2009/2010 season which didnâ€™t stop the CBC color guys to keep inventing stats and salivating over the kid. Sure, heâ€™s a great young offensive defenseman, but if it isnâ€™t Subban, itâ€™s Karlsson. Itâ€™s never Gardiner because the Leafs never do anything right. Bishop for Vezina!
4 â€“ On that note, Ben Bishop and Erik Karlsson combine for the first goal of the game. Truth be told, Tim Connolly does a good job on the forecheck there and forces the issue. The issue probably being that one guy speaks Swedish, the other is so tall that he canâ€™t hear him – Ottawa problems. Shaky shaky, eggs andâ€¦
5 â€“ A fight broke out between Schenn and Foligno and then Grabo fought Chris Neil. Great shots early by Schenn but Foligno gathers himself and throws some good ones in. Grabo showed some major heart fighting Neil and standing up for a rookie. He got a game misconduct for the fight too as he didnâ€™t have his jersey tied down. Itâ€™s a rule alright, just one I donâ€™t really like. Neil and Grabo also fought while another fight was going on so they both went (a rule which is a doozie too). That was Graboâ€™s first NHL fight.
6 â€“ Phil Kessel scores a power play goal, his 35th of the season, after a great screen in front by Bozak. Kessel keeps producing against the Senators, 10 points in 6 games against Ottawa this season (5 goals).
7 â€“ A big 5 on 3 kill by the Leafs after the Kessel goal, Spezza thought he had scored but unfortunately for him this isnâ€™t soccer. The Leafs killed off a big penalty at a crucial time of the game which propelled them to a sweet victory.
8 â€“ Reimer had a big night, but (to yours truly) he still doesnâ€™t look quite comfortable playing the blocking style. That said, this was another step in the right direction. He was good on the aforementioned penalty kill too. The team lets Greening wreck yet another shutout opportunity, it was a good redirect but…
9 â€“ A 5 on 3 goal by Dion Phaneuf ended this one. It was his 1st goal in 13 games, Kessel and Gardiner drawing the assists and the captain doing some damage to the leagueâ€™s video equipment. Special teams were working.
10 â€“ Tank Nation wonâ€™t be happy about this win. Cheer up, itâ€™s the battle of Ontario, who cares about draft picks right now? Ohâ€¦ I never really told you my thoughts on tanking. Well, itâ€™s like this – Donâ€™t lose games intentionally, I wonâ€™t ever cheer for you to lose, but if you do work hard and lose Iâ€™ll be happy about getting a high draft pick. I’m not arguing that planning ahead to be better in the future is the logical thing to do now, a smarter thing to do, but I donâ€™t think planning to lose should be a part of any teamâ€™s game plan, ever.