Shark Club Game Day: Senators at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

Shark Club Game Day: Senators at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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A point of pride the past two seasons for Leafs fans has been the domination of the Ottawa Senators, save for one loss in Ottawa last February when the Senators scored the winner with just seconds remaining on the clock. The Leafs are winners of five straight against their provincial rivals and six of the last seven. The reason is simple: The Senators have had no answer for the Leaf attack.

The Leafs have scored 21 goals in their five straight wins over Ottawa, including eight points each from Kessel and JvR. Nazem Kadri has ten points in his last six games against the team who wanted to draft him (as seen in a draft floor exchange that was one of Burke’s finer moments as Leafs GM). Joffrey Lupul has 15 points in his last nine against Ottawa. All four of these players enter this game hot.

The Senators can score too, sitting just inside the top 10 in goal scoring, and the Leafs have been in some shootouts with this team  the past two seasons (literally and figuratively). The Senators are in Sabres and Leafs territory in terms of shots allowed (and were right down there with the Leafs last season, as well), which has been a bad recipe against a Leafs offense that can strike quick and, when hot, make a lot out of little.

Both of these teams are on a positive trajectory in the tightly packed Eastern Conference. While the Senators aren’t as hot as the Leafs of late, they are 9-2-3 in their last 14. They trail the Leafs by six points with a game in hand. A Montreal OT loss earlier this afternoon puts them even with the Leafs for the third and final divisional playoff spot in the Atlantic.

Greg McKegg is expected to make his Leaf debut tonight in the place of Peter Holland, who is dealing with a pretty serious case of lace bite, from the sounds of things. Carter Ashton also looks doubtful. McKegg would likely step in between Raymond and Bodie while McLaren will join McClement and Orr on line four.  None of this is confirmed yet, and we won’t know for sure until game time.

Jonathan Bernier will start for the Leafs; Craig Anderson for Ottawa.

TML LINEUP

JvR – Bozak – Kessel
Lupul – Kadri – Kulemin
Raymond – McKegg – Bodie
McLaren – McClement – Orr

Gunnarsson – Phaneuf
Gleason – Rielly
Gardiner – Franson

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
1412 comments
Optimustic
Optimustic

Nice goal by Galliardi.   Do I care?  Not really, I'd rather watch a replay of Kadri's EN goal.

juliesucks
juliesucks

Anyone else liking Gleason and Rielly together?

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

is Fenton going to criticize Kessel for being inconsistent still?  Over the last year, two, three?  or that he is inconsistent because he doesnt get 4 pts every night?  Phil is ELITE   No one can deny anymore

WendelGilmour
WendelGilmour

When did a solid shoulder to chest hit become boarding?

deedrag
deedrag

Wait a sec, I thought i heard Kessel likes fishing in shark infested waters?

deedrag
deedrag

Please refrain from mentioning Bolland coming back I might JIZZ in my pants just at the thought of what type of team they would be!

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

Kadri just giving props to McClement for his professionalism and teaching him how to play.

Get him resigned Nonis.

Wilbur
Wilbur

Post Olympics let's leave JVR/Bozie/Kess and Lups/Kadri/Kule alone and throw MayRay/Bolland/Clarkson together for the 3rd line.

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

Awesome win boys, Kessel is a tank 

juliesucks
juliesucks

I think Rielly is already quite a ways ahead of Gardiner in terms of developement

TuckerForPunishment
TuckerForPunishment

@juliesucks  You could see from Gleason's reaction when he lost the puck late cause of the loose helmet he was calling himself an idiot.  At least he puts pressure on himself like that.  Got right back into the play though.

Jordan29
Jordan29

@CanuckUKinToronto  hes not inconsistent, but nobody here can say hes not streaky. I wish he was more of an evened out scorer then the big ups and downs. Never the less for 5.4 mil is a joke to score 61 pts in 57 games

Jay31
Jay31

@CanuckUKinToronto  4th in pts if you count last 2 yrs, 1st if you count last 3.


If anyone thinks thats inconsistent, they're a moron

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

Real time that hit looked really bad. Let's be honest here

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

@ingy56   awwwwwwww a cake...........and..................participation ribbons all around

DJBrianBurke
DJBrianBurke

@juliesucks I like Gards, but the amount of times he's pinched this year and ended up in the back of our own net is rising. He needs to learn to either eat that puck or slam it down the boards.

Late in the 3rd a Sens dman pinched and he did everything possible to keep the puck in, he even went to his knees and worked hard (dirty minds)  and kept the puck in, Gards should watch that tape over and over again.

TuckerForPunishment
TuckerForPunishment

@Jay_Berg  Good thing Shanny likes to be thorough cause he will eventually come to the conclusion it wasn't suspendable.

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

Psh he's faking it cause he knows he's going to get demoted

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

Well then.... As you were...lol