Canadian Tire Centre; Ottawa, ON 7:00 PM ET; CBC (National)
SBN's Don't Go Here; They'll Ban You: Silver Seven
The Leafs travel to Ottawa to dunk on their little brother at 1-on-1 play the Senators. The teams last played one another on October 10, the Leafs' third game of the season; Ottawa won 5-4 in a shootout. That game, however, was in Toronto; this will be the Leafs' first visit to some vacant parking lot pretty much in the middle of nowhere Ottawa. The Leafs will get to play in front of more Leafs fans than their own arena Senators fans who can only be described as crybaby losers who can't deal with the fact the Leafs are more popular everywhere, including their own city passionate, knowledgeable hockey fans.
The Leafs, despite a 1-7-2 tailspin prior to the All-Star break, have booked points in 5 of their last 7 games (3-2-2 record). James Reimer has looked to recover from a groin injury seamlessly, and is a .932 SV% on the season. Despite the obvious talent deficiencies, the Leafs look good for at least a loser point most nights that they can score even two goals. Problem is, the team isn't good enough to do that consistently
except against the Sens because their defense would make Roman Polak look good.
Meanwhile, the Sens have struggled, going 11-17-1 since December 1; they've lost five of their last six and seven of their last ten t
o no one's surprise because regression is a bitch. Goaltending has been an issue as it has every other year for Craig Anderson all season because they entrusted the net to a guy who had 24 games despite being mediocre at best in the AHL.
The Sens leading scorer is Erik Karlsson t
o no one's surprise because he's the only Senator most people can name with 55 points, while their highest-scoring forward is noted Trump supporter, Cam Newton-hater, and probable mayonnaise-chugger Bobby Ryan with 44. You should also watch out for Mike Hoffman, who is probably the most underrated forward in the NHL because he plays for a team even more irrelevant than Winnipeg.
Probable Leafs Lineup
Okay, let's set up some line combos....*spins wheel*. Reimer gets the start, because he is very good what with stopping the pucks and whatnot.
Holland - Kadri - Komarov
Grabner - Bozak - Parenteau
Matthias - Spaling - Winnik
Lupul - Froese - Boyes
Hunwick - Rielly
Phaneuf - Corrado
Gardiner - Polak
Probable Ottawa Lineup
Kyle Turris, who is injured, remains a gametime decision. Apparently our old pal Clarke MacArthur is also injured, too? Man, I've paid a lot of attention to Ottawa this year, obviously. The Sens have called up two AHL forwards
as opposed to their defense, in which everyone not named Erik Karlsson is from the AHL to handle injuries.
Per Bruce Garrioch of the Sens Pom Pom Waving Fanboy Club Ottawa Sun, here are the combos at today's morning skate:
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Some of this:
Or, y'know, Leafs win 3-2 in OT. Something like that.
Which playoff series do you remind Sens fans of to make them the maddest?