James Reimer stood on his head but a plethora of turnovers proved deadly for the Toronto Maple Leafs , as they fell 3 – 2 to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. Reimer made 34 saves while Senators starter Robin Lehner made 25 in defeat. James van Riemsdyk scored an absolute beauty and Dion Phaneuf collected the other tally for the Leafs who are now 4 – 1 – 1 in the preseason.
Because the league is hilarious, Phil Kessel served the first game of his suspension for his Paul Bunyan antics on Sunday while David Clarkson took his spot on the top line, as he waits for his 10-game suspension to begin on October 1.
Taking a cue from Sunday’s pugilistic proceedings, both Randy Carlyle and Paul MacLean chose to keep their rosters littered with tough guys. Both Chris Neil and Dave Dziurzynski suited up for Ottawa, while the Leafs countered with Troy Bodie and Jamie Devane.
Dion Phaneuf took a penalty less than five minutes into the first period, high-sticking Ottawa’s Mark Stone. The Leafs 2013-approved penalty kill continued it’s perfect run through the preseason, though they did give up a fairly ugly breakaway to Sens forward Corey Cowick. Reimer, fresh off a 15-save performance in Saturday’s shootout, was up to the task and turned the chance aside.
In earnest, the Leafs were guilty of a lot of turnovers through 20, none more egregious than Joe Colborne’s at the 10 minute mark. Colborne had his head down skating out of the zone as the Senators were completing a change, and had his pocket picked by the forechecking Sens forward, Andre Petterson. Petterson charged in alone, but was stoned by Reimer’s left hand. Colborne also committed two fairly notable turnovers at the tail end of the period (the 13:00 and 19:00 minute marks). If he’s still auditioning for a fourth line spot… Yikes.
After Jake Gardiner turned the puck over in the neutral zone, Stephan Da Costa snuck in and had a great chance on James Reimer, who responded with one of his many terrific saves through the period. As has often been the case since arriving in Toronto, Reimer was the best player on the ice for either team through 20.
The Leafs were outshot 11-6 in the first frame, and didn’t record a shot for about 10 minutes in the first. The excuse “it’s only preseason” notwithstanding, the Leafs are falling into familiar bad habits.
After Morgan Rielly keeps the puck alive on the right wing half boards, Tyler Bozak drops a pass down to James van Riemsdyk off to the right wing side of the net. JvR used his patented spin-and-flick shot in close (here it is against the Flyers last season) to make it 1 – 0 for the Leafs. Though JvR’s goal was a thing of beauty, the play wouldn’t have happened without the determination and offensive instincts of Rielly. He led the initial rush that brought the puck into the Senators zone, and kept the play alive twice to prolong the Leafs attack before van Riemsdyk potted that beauty.
Jay McClement took a penalty on the ensuing faceoff, and just as in the first frame, Reimer and the PKers got the job done. Reimer in particular was superb, making two terrific saves to keep the Leafs up on the Senators.
After receiving a terrific stretch, Ottawa’s Zack Smith blows past Paul Ranger at the Leafs blueline, cuts toward the middle and scores five-hole shortly after the Leafs penalty expired. The play started after the Leafs – surprise, surprise – turned the puck over just inside the Senators blueline.
The Leafs weren’t moving their legs by the middle of the second, and the Sens were able to attack the zone with a couple 2-on-1s. Reimer was up to the task.
With a 1:34 remaining in the period, Patrick Weircioch held up David Broll. 41 seconds into the Leafs ensuing power play, Lupul grabs onto his checker and the Leafs go to 4-on-4. That isn’t so bad, as the Leafs power play has gone only 1 for 18 in the preseason thus far.
It also led to a tremendous 3 on 1 rush led by Kadri. Clarkson fired a terrific shot, but Sens goalie Robin Lehner made a tremendous windmill glove save with 11.7 seconds left to keep the score knotted at 1 – 1.
Despite being outshot 27 – 17 through 40, the Leafs rallied back and started out the third with a lot more jump. Jay McClement nearly made it 2-1 for the Leafs, but Lehner pulled a fairly old school kick save to keep the game even.
James van Riemsdyk was the Leafs best forward by far tonight, scoring a goal and adding another 3-4 great chances, most of which came in the third period. It’ll be really interesting to see how he progresses this season, but he could challenge for 30 goals this season if he plays like he did tonight.
Jim O’Brien makes it 2 – 1 Senators on a very unlucky play. The Senators attacked the zone 3 on 2, and Corey Cowick redirected a shot from Patrick Weircioch. The puck rebounded off Reimer’s pad, and caromed off O’Brien’s right foot, then caromed off his left foot and trickled over the goal line.
Shortly after Colin Greening makes it 3 – 1 Ottawa, pouncing on the loose puck and wiring a shot past Riemer. The Senators clearing pass deflected off Joe Colborne and bounced right onto the stick of Colin Greening, who had just come off the bench, in the slot.
Shortly thereafter, Joffrey Lupul collects a turnover in the neutral zone. Lupul feeds Dion Phaneuf on the 2 on 1, and the captain makes no mistake one-timing the puck past a sprawling Lehner. Lupul displayed impeccable patience on the pass, forcing the Senators’ defender to commit to him before chipping it to Phaneuf.
Phaneuf’s marker made for some excitement, and despite a spirited effort in the remaining seven seconds of play, the Leafs couldn’t overcome the hole they dug themselves in the middle portion of the period, and ultimately fell to the Senators 3 – 2.
The Maple Leafs will be back at it on Friday in Detroit as they start the first half of a home and home series with the Red Wings to close out the preseason. Minus Kessel, we should see a lineup very close to the the opening night roster this weekend.
@hoolihan I don't believe that Ryan O'Rielly had to clear waivers when Colorado matched the offer sheet from Calgary last year. Why would this be different?
Poulin will be on the Fan 590 at 8 if anyones interested in listening
@Burtonboy Tanks dude. Listening now. Talking about JVR and his consistency.
So Friedman says the Leafs and Kess are in negotiations for a long term deal eh . Ok whats he gonna get? I say it winds up at 8.1mil x 8 but I really hope he signs for 7.5 x 8 TBH. Either way I'm happy to hear this is being worked on
@Burtonboy I posted 7.5m x 8 years or 8 m x 7 years . Some writer speculated 9.0 M salary.
Great to see them negotiating
I like the 7.5 but could live with the 8.1. Phil could live nicely off either. : )
@Burtonboy @Zep2 @CanuckUKinToronto Talking about the room, theres a french MTL blogger on EKS site who stated thst kessel is not liked in the room. I dont get that, I know hes shy and quiet , but from all accounts he seems to be a good team mate.
This from a blogger who's team had the Tits, Turtleneck, Maxi Pad and Soupcan in the same room .Oh what bliss and harmony there
I think Kessel will get 8 years, but I just do not see justification to pay him over $7 per. I would like to think $6.5.
Ok . I'm seeing a lot of posts saying we should trade Colborne. I agree he's been something of a disappointment this pre-season but here's my problem with that idea right now. Where is our center depth if we trade Big Joe.? Smith ,McKegg ? We need some depth to cover for the inevitable injuries and frankly I don't see very much at center beyond Joe Colborne
100% agree but what is equally annoying as the "trade Colborne" comments is that we should send him down. Send him down where? He will never clear waivers and we will lose him for nothing. Especially with the Clarkson suspension, he's an extremely cheap filler that can play winger or center.
@Burtonboy Joe has not shown well in this preseason at all and really has no history of performing well in the NHL. Sure he showed OK in the playoffs last season in the 2 games he got into, but overall he has not translated his game to the NHL. I would not be surprised if he passed through waivers unclaimed.
I could see Nonis making a move for further depth at center at some point as Big Joe is just not getting it done.
@TOHockeyNut @Burtonboy I would be extremely surprised if Joe would clear waivers. I 'm not arguing he's played well at this point but 6'5' 225 lbs centers who can skate don't grow on trees. At a cap hit of 600k there are plenty of GM's who would grab this guy with the hopes of getting his game on track. Its really bad management to move Joe unless you have a replacement especially via the waiver route where we get nothing in return .
Ottawa looks like they have a lot of parts , and will contend for top spot in the east. If the Leafs play the same kind of multi turnover game , and getting outshot by a wide margin, as they so often did last year, they will be hard pressed to land a playoff spot. This team seems to have enough talent , but their penchant for shooting themselves in the foot ...by giveaways, or moves like Clarkson's leap over the boards vs Buffalo , will take a toll. Rielly has to stay. What earthly good is there in sending him back to play against 17 year olds. He already moves the puck better than anyone except maybe Gardiner. Sure, he will get beat in his own zone some , but those growing pains will decrease with playing time. He is physically strong on one on one battles, and his smarts are high end. Ranger looks fine to me, but Gunnarson looks like a guy on the bubble. If the Leafs trade a D man so they can sign Franson , maybe its Liles ...but, maybe Gunnar makes sense as he may bring better return. You have to love our goaltending . Its early, but the indications are...good in net, exciting forwards, and exciting (not always in a good way) defence corps . And yes, I agree, Colborne has to start being sharper .
Rielly may stay or he may go back to junior. If he does go back he will be playing mostly against 18, 19, 20 and some 21 years old. The only 17 year olds he will be playing against are higher skilled. That said, we don't have Franson signed because of cap issues and Rielly is not helpful from a cap perspective. Thanks Dave.
@KING KLIMAS Q: Whats the difference between a ginger and a brick? A: At least a brick gets laid
@KING KLIMAS Q: What's the difference between this joke and sex?
A: Gingers will get this joke
Liles and Coleburne packaged could get a 2nd round Draft pick and a low level prospect. I was hoping Leafs could of traded with Colorado for Jaime McGinn and a pick before they signed Raymond. Leafs need to unload Holzner too because he won't make it through waivers. Definitely Edmonton will pick him up. Might as well try to get some thing for him.
So Kessel doesn't get to suit up for any more preseason games and has to save his goals for contests in which they count. Bet he's really sorry.
@Mattmark He might not be so happy when he sees what Carlyle has planned for him lol
it's time to do a sweet package to move JML, package Holzer or Colburne and a draft pick then sign Franson Long term
@LeafsGuru Trade Kulemin to the Pens please XD
@LeafsGuru No, its time to trade Kessel because he ain't signing here long term even for 10 mil a season when the coach puts him out against guys like Mr. Scott.
@Dangle_My_Berries Torts' system must be a shock..
@Dangle_My_Berries John Torterella trying to preach his blocking shots and tight defensive system to a heavily offensive team.
@Dangle_My_Berries And why do we care?
Colburne needs to go down. But Devane has surprised me. The Detroit games should be a wake up call for us
@mcloki Colborne has been the biggest disappointment of the preseason. A third- or fourth-line job was his to lose, but Raymond now seems a third-line lock and Ashton merits a shot at the fourth, with Devane backing him up.
@peterbleafs And Blacker and Granberg.
Contest didn't say when the predictions had to be in, just the first 5 to guess ;)
But yes, your idea sounds better.
@gunner_36 BS, you did not! lol
@gunner_36 We are going to have to think of a new way to give them out. Who knew this Leafs fan site wouldn't pick the Senators to win?
Maybe we'll just enter everyone who made a prediction into a hat (a virtual hat, by using one of those programs online).
There were three picks for the Senators to win:
supercilious – Sens 5-0
Lonsmos2 – Sens 3-2
Biltmore – Sens 4-2
@Biltmore We'll give those 3 tickets and draw the final 2.