The second edition of the Battle of Ontario. Last time these teams met (Feb. 16th), the final score was 3-0 in the ACC. Now, last time the Sens were simply missing their top line C and last year’s Norris Trophy winner. Tonight, that list included one of the season’s best goaltenders, Craig Anderson. Fair to say that this was another winnable game. Not to be as the Leafs fall 3-2.
1) The Leafs are 11-8-0 and this was disappointing.
2) 4th minute – McClement keeps the puck alive on the boards and Grabovski scores from up close as he gets some luck with the double chance for a shot… the initial one stays in his feet after a rebound. A Bishop isn’t a king (or Anderson for that matter) after all.
3) Mika Zibanejad tied things up with a good shot from the right circle with no defenceman (Kostka or his stick) in sight. Kostka needed to tighten the gap on the winger there. This completely turned the momentum in Ottawa’s favor and Scrivens had to make great saves to keep the score tied until the end of the 1st.
4) The PK was good in the middle of the game after Kulemin was called for tripping. Good to see the PK improving under Carlyle. The second period was probably too weak defensively to merit approval from coach C but hey, the crowd sure got their money’s worth – end to end hockey is fun as long as you don’t get scored on. Condra drove to the net and gets the maximum result as the puck somehow winds up in the net with Holzer driving him into Scrivens.
5) First two contrasting periods offered two different editions of the Leafs. One that can somewhat play defense and one that doesn’t care about the defense.
6) Scrivens had a decent outing. Blame him for the questionable rebound on Condra’s goal if you must, but that’s misplaced blame if you ask me. There were far worse areas of tonight’s effort than the performance in the crease. I only blame him for freezing that puck late.
7) The powerplay got its first chance during the middle of the third. And wouldn’t you know it, the Leafs tied it up. A gritty effort was rewarded by a lunch pail type MacArthur goal. Special teams are working and making a difference. However, a huge PP opportunity towards the end of the 3rd went unused.
8) Didn’t like the number of turnovers the team made throughout the entire game. Good pressure by the Sens to break the Leafs down, but passes weren’t on the tape and overall, this wasn’t a good game for the boys in Blue and White.
9) Colin Greening scored the game winner less than 30 seconds from overtime. That was crappy. Special teams were good enough to get the point, at least.
10) Basically, the Leafs had trouble against the Binghamton Senators tonight. Those same Senators won their last three games prior to this one, though, and we aren’t exactly without injuries. While it’s too early to say we’re seeing old habits creeping in, it’s important to nip this in the bud and step it up in Philly.