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Recap: Leafs blow commanding lead to the Senators, who take it in OT

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The Sens beat the Leafs and Frederik Andersen while playing the worst goalie in the NHL.

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s Leafs vs Sens on monitor one and Marlies vs Moose on monitor two. This is your dual-purpose recap.

First Period

We open with a very nice high-tempo scrum around the Senators net by the Matthews and the Old Man line.

Hit stats! Did you know the Leafs got outhit by the Canadiens? Where’s Kevin Bieksa to explain how possession time and hitting works?

(Meanwhile Joey Anderson has already scored for the Marlies.)

Jimmy Vesey, who should feel the hot breath of fellow American Alex Galchenyuk, just does nothing with the puck at the net.

These guys, though:

1-0 Leafs

The best bit is where Marner dekes around letting Jumbo catch up.

Yeah, baby. That was pretty! Travis Boyd with a two-on-one with Vesey makes the right choice and his defensive-forward-stick shot is a thing of beauty, a work of art. Maybe even a Garfunkel.

There is zero flex there. Zero.

2-0 Leafs

Marcus Hogberg proves he can make saves, with a very good one on William Nylander.

Zach Bogosian with a turnover and the Sens are on the board:

2-1 Leafs

Okay, you know it’s the Sens when... Zach Hyman does the big circle of the zone with the puck on his stick.

Just noticed Nylander coming out to take most of Thornton’s shift with the top line in the offensive zone. Thornton looked pretty gassed. He might need a few games to get his wind back. (I don’t know how he has any wind at his age, so who knows.)

The Leafs finish the period almost entirely in the Ottawa zone.

Thoughts

Bogo was nogo so far:

Marlies goal:

It is 2-1 Moose, however, since the Marlies are a little challenged in the goalie department, they need to score a lot more than one per period.

Meanwhile the Leafs allowed the game to get dull late in the first:

Which plays into the Senators’ hands. They can do a dull system-defence game, so you want to keep them from remembering that and let them try to run and gun. Where they will splutter and fall.

A quick look at NST’s shift chart shows me that Nylander is taking the last few seconds of every Thornton shift. So that’s partly why Jumbo is on the top line, not the lower ice-time second line. It allows either winder on that second line to eat those minutes, and Nylander with Matthews is no bad thing.

Second Period

Whoo hoo. I know it’s just the Sens, but tell me this isn’t a nice goal:

3-1 Leafs

As you may have seen, Pierre Engvall is no longer waiver exempt after this game, and he just showed that he can so add offensive value and is absolutely ahead of Vesey on the depth chart.

Andersen with a good stop, and then Hogberg with a shaky one on Hyman.

Alex Kerfoot leads an odd-man rush and again the puck-carrier shoots. I feel like I’m looking at something from goalie scouting here, not random choices.

Oh, hello, just when this was getting boring. Freddie Andersen is maaaaaaaaaad.

Brady “the nice one” Tkachuk goes to the box with Jake Muzzin. And while I’m glad Freddie backed off, Mr Tkachuk should be even happier.

But seriously. This game is not even half over and there’s two more! And who cares? Why is this a thing that we’re wasting our lives playing a team this bad?

Bogo goes off for hooking, and the Leafs are on the PK. No pressure, Holl, you can play the full thing.

A coach in the NHL put Artem Anisimov on a power play. Okay. Sure. It’s as good as you figure it would be.

Joe Thornton has scores off his foot, and thank goodness they clarified that rule a little, so we don’t get an interminable review:

4-1 Leafs

(Ray just called the replay and noted the “bad turnover by Reilly”. It’s amazing how much the order of vowels matters.)

Leafs go to the power play because the ref is also bored and thought that might be fun.

Senators are also bored, so they make it a five-on-three for a few seconds...

This happens:

5-1 Leafs

Then before this period is over, this happens:

5-2 Leafs

Thoughts

Marlies goal and they are tied up at 2-2:

The Senators played a much better period, even accounting for score effects, and they’d maybe be able to go toe-to-toe with the Red Wings with that game. There’s a lot of good players on the ice, but there’s really no cohesive whole here, and I was expecting a better team this year, instead I’m getting a strong Buffalo vibe. Is Time Stützle a German Jack Eichel?

Third Period

We open the period with Travis Boyd playing bumper on the power play because it’s that kind of game now.

Good lord. Artem Zub gets his first NHL goal on a breakaway as he exits the penalty box. Good stick work from Zub:

5-3 Leafs

Zub is a defenceman. The Leafs are the Leafs.

And of course, Toronto, being who they are (lazy with sticks), Hyman goes off for a high stick. Oh, and it’s a four-minute one. Genius timing.

On the other hand, Jason Spezza gets the best shot on the first two minutes of that power play. The Sens PP is terrible.

Matthews is out on the PK for a few seconds, and then Ilya Mikheyev just takes it over, controls the puck, peppers (and salts) the Sens with shots. God, he’s good at this.

But then.... ominous music plays.... as the long and very successful PK ends... this happens:

5-4 Leafs

Stützle nearly scores, and since the midpoint of this game, the Senators have been in charge here. What looked a little lazy in the second, is now dangerously close to an implosion from the Leafs. Guess I wasn’t the only one bored when it was all too easy.

Leafs with some panic-determination get a couple of good cycles with some pressure going.

Nikita Zaitsev takes a shot off the face, and Mitch Marner hollers for the trainer because that’s how you play the game. Zaitsev looks like he took the shot below the eye, but only just.

Erik Gudbranson trips John Tavares, but it’s no penalty time in a close game, so stop your sobbing that it wasn’t called!

Sens pull the goalie and... more ominous music... this happens:

Tie Game! Isn’t Hockey Stupid?

Not a lot of Leafs greatness on this goal against, and the Sens used their timeout to plan their attack.

Suddenly Hogberg can make a good save. And then Marner nearly ends this game, but we’re going to overtime.

Thoughts

Tyler Gaudet has been in on every goal for the Marlies, and he made it 3-2, the final score. Prospects are nice, but you need guys like Gaudet too. They’re just a lot easier to find in the AHL than the NHL. Marlies did a good job of holding down the shots their new goalie faced.

The Senators aren’t just a bad team. I said that after the second, but they aren’t. The difference in this game is their non-NHL-calibre goalie, because without Hogberg, the Leafs would be in the dressing room as losers by now.

What’s up with the Leafs? They stopped playing, and let the Senators control the ice, the game, the shot clock and the score.

Overtime

Matthews hands the puck over easy as you like on the opening OT shift. What is that?

Tavares breaks up a dangerous play that would have left the Sens with an open net.

Wow.

Sens score on a stupid giveaway and then a breakaway.

Leafs are bad now.