Preseason Post Game #6: Senators 3 at Leafs 2

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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.

1st Period

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.

2nd Period

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.

3rd Period

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.

  • Komas Taberle

    They needed to taste a regulation loss before the pre-season ends, but a 4-1-1 is still good in my books.

  • Xxxxxnew

    I hope JVR is a leaf for a long time.

  • WendelGilmour

    JVR looked good tonight, Naz was also flying, I agree on Colborne, the more vets playing in these games the more it looks like he isn’t ready.

  • Conis

    when do you think we’ll see the opening night line-ups? saturday?

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Need Franson and his right handedness on this team.

  • Optimustic

    @Conis No Kessel until opening night.  So it won’t be exactly the same lineup.  More cuts should be coming very soon though.

  • wiski

    Optimustic 4 games in 6 nights we might have a few extra bodies for a bit

  • Zep2

    I hate Niel but hell play 82 games this year 
    Devane did the spade work in his own end on the Dion goal.  He’s proving he can play a little. We should hope he ends up up as effective as Niel

  • Zep2

    Alec Brownscombe Oh yeah

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Alec Brownscombe man this is really dragging on, at this point, both play and team dont even know why they are holding out

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Dangle_My_Berries Alec Brownscombe I know why – we do not have the cap space.

  • Cameron19

    Dangle_My_Berries Alec Brownscombe Yes they do.  Liles.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Cameron19 Dangle_My_Berries Alec Brownscombe hmmm so its basically waiting on liles to be moved

  • reenergized

    we need franson signed and in the lineup opening day! … I hope they can do it

    Dion Gunner
    Franson Gardiner
    Ranger Fraser
    X

    Then up front
    JVR Bozak Kessel
    Lupul Kadri Raymond
    Ashton Bolland Kuli
    Devane MacC Orr
    X – X

  • GreekGod

    Gilbey93 
    Well, just keep in mind that players sometimes take time to adjust to a new team. Thought Clarkson played well and looked dangers at times.

  • GreekGod

    Alec Brownscombe Dangle_My_Berries 
    We did have cap… just not the term that either side wanted to sign on

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/SWhynohttps://twitter.com/SWhyno/status/382686942174793728
    Carlyle on Kessel: he’s not going to play anymore, “so he’s going to practice realllllly hard.”

  • Zep2

    Gilbey93 If Kuli had Clarksons hands  Nonis wouldnt of chased Clarkson
    Im not that big of a fan of the Clarkson deal, but thats the best  he’s been this preseason
    Im a big fan of Kulis , he needs to and will start asserting himself and he will . Its just those hands have gone numb

  • Alec Brownscombe

    GreekGod Alec Brownscombe Dangle_My_Berries We might have before. Now, with Clarkson’s suspension and Raymond signing, we do not.

  • Xxxxxnew

    I like Clarkson a lot. So many elements to his game we’ve been missing. I don’t care if he scores 10 goals this year.

  • Thedoor29

    Alec Brownscombe GreekGod Dangle_My_Berries need to run with min players bench no extras. if demot liles 3.4 in space

  • gunner_36

    Prediction: 3-2 Ottawa with Greening getting the winner.
    Where’s my prize?

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    gunner_36 BS, you did not! lol

  • Alec Brownscombe

    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).

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Alec Brownscombe gunner_36 not a bad idea

  • peterbleafs

    Only D on our depth chart that shoot right are Franson and Holzer.

  • Cameron19

    peterbleafs And Blacker and Granberg.

  • gunner_36

    Contest didn’t say when the predictions had to be in, just the first 5 to guess 😉
    But yes, your idea sounds better.

  • peterbleafs

    Cameron19 peterbleafs In the minors yes.

  • Reversethecurse67

    Burtonboy how’s that, a cookie on a string?

  • Tim Horton

    peterbleafs Cameron19 Thats usually what depth chart implies.

  • HHT

    I can’t believe our inability to manage cap – Franson just sitting there.  What a waste!

  • HHT

    Are we really going to have to include a prospect to trade Liles … if so, fook!

  • FloorHockeyFlopper

    Reversethecurse67 Burtonboy hahaha  Seems to me these cookie jokes never get old   lol

  • Biltmore

    @Alec Brownscombe

    There were three picks for the Senators to win:
    supercilious – Sens 5-0
    Lonsmos2 – Sens 3-2
    Biltmore – Sens 4-2

  • mcloki

    Colburne needs to go down. But Devane has surprised me. The Detroit games should be a wake up call for us

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    man canucks have looked awful in the pre season

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Biltmore We’ll give those 3 the tickets and draw the final 2.
    (Congrats).

  • Xxxxxnew

    Dangle_My_Berries Torts’ system must be a shock..

  • Malkincookies

    Dangle_My_Berries John Torterella trying to preach his blocking shots and tight defensive system to a heavily offensive team.

  • LeafsGuru

    it’s time to do a sweet package to move JML, package Holzer or Colburne and a draft pick

  • Malkincookies

    LeafsGuru Trade Kulemin to the Pens please XD

  • 27leafs99

    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.

  • 27leafs99

    Dangle_My_Berries And why do we care?

  • 27leafs99

    Malkincookies LeafsGuru You’re right, trade Kulie but not to Pens — to a team that wants to give us something.

  • 27leafs99

    Zep2 Gilbey93 Kulie should be gone, he’s not needed anymore – we have cheaper options.

  • Mattmark

    So Kessel doesn’t get to suit up for any more preseason and has to save his goals for games in which they count.  Bet he’s really sorry.

  • Mattmark

    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.

  • Diggler_69

    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.

  • KING KLIMAS

    do you fellows have a ginger