clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Recap: Leafs beat the Sens in a convincing manner

Anton Forsberg really tried to stop them, but he couldn’t quite do it.

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs
So, so annoying, this man.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Hello everyone, welcome to game three of the season. Which Maple Leafs will show up tonight? Will Timothy Liljegren look like a regular NHLer? Will Jack Campbell stay healthy for the whole game? Will all the ex-Leafs on the Sens make this night annoying?

These questions and more will be answered on tonight’s Maple Leafs game.

First Period

We here a PPP kitten ranch and home for hockey obsession have noticed what looks like a plan to shoot more from the points for tips at the net. Last year the Leafs rarely shot from there, this year, Sandin opens the shooting with a point shot for a tip that failed, and then, this isn’t a point shot, but....

1-0 Leafs

Bonus content:

Marner moves in very smooth and fast and tries a shot for a tip from almost the same spot Sandin used above.

Bunting with the grit, Nylander with the hands, Kerfoot with his first shot of the year:

2-0 Leafs

Weeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak Call on this penalty. Soft as a down comforter.

Leafs go on the PK, and Jack Campbell is mostly bored, which is what you want to see.

Liljegren no match for the other Tim:

The Sens take a cross-checking penalty — mildly light, but not absurd like the slashing call earlier — and it’s PP time for the Leafs!

Marner takes a high stick to the face, but never mind, that’s not on the crackdown list, and in general the five-on-five post power play is much better than the power play itself. Sandin spends this very long offensive shift with Muzzin. I won’t be surprised to see more of that as the game goes on.

Thoughts

  • Everyone has been hating on the fourth line while Keefe has been cheerfully testing them with shifts vs top lines — they answered that criticism with a great period
  • David Kämpf is fine so far
  • Nylander isn’t ever going to win an NHL award, so he wants that other silver trophy
  • Leafs gave up a couple of serious rush chances against, one on the power play, which is a weakness of their systems and overall footspeed — we just have to get used to it as the price of all that excellent net-front grind

Second Period

I miss him:

Leafs quietly dominating the start of the second.

Anton Forsberg loudly contesting that:

Muzzin gets a stick in the face, and it’s PP time.

And then it becomes a five-on-three for just over a minute as Bunting (no, really) draws a penalty. Forsberg saves the Sens’ bacon. And again the post power play is a period of heavy Leafs pressure until Stützle gets a break the other way.

Nick Ritchie takes a penalty and the Leafs respond with some absolutely dreadful PKing:

2-1 Leafs

Drake Batherson sneaks behind the entire team (somehow, you can’t really see it on the broadcast) and scores a goal on a deeply ineffective poke check attempt from Campbell.

Lucky for the Leafs it’s offside, just barely, and they close out the period with some questions to ask themselves about how they approach holding a lead.

Thoughts

  • Marner as the bumper on the PP is a much better idea than Marner on PP2, which was where I was leaning
  • Ritchie is not winning fans so far in this game:

I don’t actually agree with this, but I understand the sentiment.

  • Muzzin actually picked up shifts with Brodie as Liljegren’s ice time dwindled a little, and he’s now played about the same as Dermott — just put him on the third pair already
  • William Nylander is barely playing at five-on-five, as the Leafs decide to not defend by trying to score a third goal — not a fan

Third Period

Poll

Did Anton Forsberg know Marner would pass?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Yes
    (72 votes)
  • 20%
    Very much so
    (66 votes)
  • 56%
    Absolutely
    (182 votes)
320 votes total Vote Now

Not this time though:

Dermott comes up big defensively:

Bunting!

3-1 Leafs

The Leafs have opened a door to the Senators in this period over and above average score effects. If they do that against a real team, they will suffer.

Sens pull the goalie later than they should and try to put on some extra pressure late. Nothing comes of it and the game ends with a win!

Thoughts

  • I’m not convinced by Liljegren and I think his ardent fans are big success-ing him and ignoring a lot of slow reactions and bad passes
  • Ritchie has amazing on-ice stats and fails the eye test hard, but it’s hard to judge him until Matthews plays, although he never once shot the puck
  • The Leafs actually dominated a lot more than it seems by the numbers, but the Sens slowed them down in the neutral zone a lot — the Sens don’t get any offensive time out of all that work, though
  • Statistical trivia: Kämpf line has great Corsi and horrible xG because most of the shots for while they are on the ice were blocked.