Man I am sick of the other Canadian teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs played the Ottawa Senators what feels like dozens of times last season while stuck in the North Division, and for some reason the NHL decided we hadn’t had enough of the Canadian teams and had the Leafs open the season with a back to back against the Canadiens and Senators.
Anyway, after beating the reigning Stanley Cup Final losers, the Maple Leafs headed east, and then a bit north to Ottawa, their home away from home. Petr Mrázek got his first Maple Leafs start, and we got to see former Maple Leaf and perennial #5 in the Top 25, Connor Brown.
Wild how every Canadian team’s best player was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs— ⭐Dan⭐ (@265Kilometres) October 14, 2021
Ottawa: Connor Brown
Edmonton: Zachary Hyman
Montreal: Adam Brooks
Vancouver: Luke Schenn
Winnipeg: Dominic Toninato
Calgary: no one lol
Truly Canada’s team 🇨🇦
It was a raging crowd for the Senators home opener:
Plenty of empty seats for the Sens home opener … #leafs pic.twitter.com/TlpdcCI3yn— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) October 14, 2021
The Maple Leafs took it easy on Ottawa at first, letting them have a couple shots to get warmed up and feel like they’re an NHL team, and to give their new goalie a confidence boost. Mrázek makes all the saves.
The Maple Leafs took a shot at offense, and David Kämpf worked to keep the puck in the zone, which ended with a scrum around the net as Michael Bunting did his greasy rat thing.
Quick steal by David Kampf to keep the puck in the Sens zone pic.twitter.com/QiT7YnCXkn— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 14, 2021
Michael Bunting fights until he hears a whistle pic.twitter.com/YOJdLjAEk5— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 14, 2021
The Senators bring the game back to the Leafs zone, and Chris Tierney is left alone in front of the net, with Mrázek on the opposite side. Tierney gets a pass after Pierre Engvall gives the puck away and kicks the puck into the net. It’s cool, that’s allowed now. 1-0 Ottawa.
Started with an Engvall turnover pic.twitter.com/E8bdrAXhTU— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 14, 2021
A whole lot of bad in this sequence— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 14, 2021
Not the best decision made by Engvall pic.twitter.com/Q2GRye1lbs
Well, he scored last night, so it evens out, right?
Logan Shaw gets called for hooking William Nylander, and the Maple Leafs got the first power play of the game. Sadly, the Ottawa Senators penalty kill is very good, lots of puck time, and the Leafs couldn’t even the game up with the man advantage.
Forsberg completely robs Michael Bunting pic.twitter.com/e1crwVHCQ5— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 14, 2021
The Maple Leafs continued to push as the clock ticked down to end the first period, shot after shot, save after save, nothing was getting by Anton Forsberg.
With less than two minutes left, Wayne Simmonds is called for slashing and Ottawa got their first power play of the game, where they score their second goal of the game after less than a minute of time with the man advantage. Second goal of the game came from former Maple Leaf Tyler Ennis.
Tyler Ennis scores— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 14, 2021
The shot goes off Holl's leg and then off Ennis' shoulder pic.twitter.com/dYRKnpdreq
With 0.6 seconds left in the game, the Senators get their third of the game as the puck bounces off Nick Ritchie, to Alex Formenton.
Alex Formenton scores with 0.6 seconds left pic.twitter.com/BAxLemysAt— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 14, 2021
The first period ended with a score of 3-0 Ottawa.
At the start of the second period Artem Zub gets called for hooking Engvall, and the Maple Leafs were handed their second power play of the game, but weren’t able to score once again. Still 3-0 Ottawa.
Are you kidding me? Forsberg robs Nylander off the Marner cross-ice pass pic.twitter.com/jCDM9LdsLU— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Michael Bunting gets a breakaway, really working hard to become this years fan favourite, but is stopped by Forsberg. The Leafs try again, keeping the offense going, but hit the post, then Nylander shoots again, and finally Forsberg grabs the puck to stop the onslaught.
The Senators try their hand at offense again, Mrazek is put to the test.
Clutch pad save by Mrazek pic.twitter.com/O4N7tvEoDo— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Petr Mrazek made Ray do the thing pic.twitter.com/pehYoSPxGS— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Jake Muzzin gets called for cross checking Drake Batherson, and we get nervous as the Senators are on another power play, but it’s all for naught as the Leafs are able to keep the Senators from scoring, despite for quality shots.
Muzzin called for cross-checking pic.twitter.com/A6HbukrxnM— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Rielly gets in the way of the one-timer attempt pic.twitter.com/nvN7IlEiKw— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Brown left wide-open— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Mrazek makes a pair of big stops pic.twitter.com/Syo4OD18PT
The Maple Leafs get chippy, which makes sense being down 3 halfway through the game to the got dang Ottawa Senators.
John Tavares: No my children! Stop! Violence isn't the answer! pic.twitter.com/UnYqxbbdIQ— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
This game isn’t going great. Here’s some GIF’s.
He's good pic.twitter.com/QFQ3raZulA— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Pierre Engvall lost his powers pic.twitter.com/KO0VlHCaxn— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Mrazek is still in it pic.twitter.com/ye5KSUrr9s— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Oh good, the goalies hurt? Someone call Hutchinson.
Please be okay Petr pic.twitter.com/0G1LF73cae— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Well, the Senators didn’t score in the second.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Jack Campbell in goal to start the third period.— David Alter (@dalter) October 15, 2021
Goaltender Petr Mrázek will not return to tonight’s game due to injury (groin).— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) October 15, 2021
Alright. Jack Campbell’s back.
Out old friend Nikita Zaitsev takes down David Kämpf, giving the Leafs another power play. Could this one possibly do their job and score? Oh my God, they did! Jason Spezza scores against his old team to end Forsberg’s shutout.
Jason Spezza 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Dad power activate! pic.twitter.com/a21t2dZobv
Josh Brown also gets called for cross-checking and the Maple Leafs are back on the powerplay after ending their previous one. Then Pierre Engvall ends it within seconds as he’s called for hooking. Thanks Pierre.
Engvall called for hooking pic.twitter.com/z87rNPWbnn— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
The Leafs do very well at 4 on 4, getting some shots off, William Nylander comes close to scoring the second goal, but no goal as the Senators begin their power play.
Can't beat ‘em on the scoreboard, beat ‘em on the ice.
Wayne Simmonds is starting to buzz pic.twitter.com/g6JwIaJlOp— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Michael Bunting draws a penalty against Chris Tierney and William Nylander scores the Leafs second power play goal of the game. 3-2 Senators.
Michael Bunting being annoying and drawing more penalties pic.twitter.com/hwzYP8ebkf— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
WILLIAM NYLANDER 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
TOP SHELF! pic.twitter.com/eyyRAQdflo
The Maple Leafs are making the fans in the crowd go nuts with an offensive attack on Forsberg, but the Senators goalie is standing on his head, stopping 19 of 21 shots so far in the third period.
Chaos pic.twitter.com/5jVzTxiWWI— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
The Senators don’t back down either.
Nice move by Parker Kelly— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
Jack Campbell makes the save pic.twitter.com/w9NAtnujVw
Jack Campbell keeps trying to leave the net to give the Leafs another attacker, but every time he tries it the Senators get possession of the puck. Campbell gets to the bench, but John Tavares is called for hooking Connor Brown in an attempt to stop an empty net goal. Less than one minute left and the Senators get another power play.
Keefe is going off— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 15, 2021
"Are you f--king serious!?" pic.twitter.com/Egl3iwZFQ0
The Leafs push hard for the tying goal for the final 40 seconds, but they can’t get it done and the Senators win the game 3-2.
Aside from that burst of chaos and goals midway through the third period, it’s a mostly a disappointing game from the Maple Leafs. A couple bright spots in Michael Bunting’s play, and Nylander keeping up his 82 goal pace. Mrázek wasn’t awful, and Campbell came in and played great in relief.
The worry now is that Mrázek is injured; the Leafs have Michael Hutchinson stashed on the Marlies for this scenario, but gah. Come on hockey. Give us a break.
We get to see if the Leafs can keep that late game momentum going against the Senators, since they’re our opponent in the next game!
Saturday night, CBC, 7:00PM.