Maple Leafs @ Senators (Feb 28, 2009)

Tommy GCorrespondent IMarch 2, 2009

The game in Ottawa showed me that the Leafs seem to be creating a winning culture and that’s very important for a rebuilding team.  Especially if that organization is trying to rebuild their image as a winner.  But I’m not convinced that they’re going to make the playoffs this year because we’ve all seen this song and dance before.  In the past three seasons the Leafs have become synonymous with late season pushes to make the playoffs.


I also noticed that the Leafs don’t panic when the game is close or when they’re trailing and that’s good too.  Especially for a team that’s been in that position for the most part of the season.  I just hope they start learning how to play a full sixty minutes and win in regulation time.


I think Luke Schenn played a quiet but solid defensive game but that’s not a surprise.  He’s been playing with great poise all season and hasn’t looked out place.  Considering that he’s only 19 years old and can handle some of best players in the game I would say this kid has a bright future ahead of him. 


I can’t say the same for Kaberle.  On the first Senators goal by Ryan Shannon he left the front of the Leafs net to chase down the player with the puck behind the net.  There were already a couple of Toronto players that were taking care of the Senator behind the net.  This left the front of the Leafs net clear for Shannon to receive a pass from that team mate behind the Leafs net.  I guess you already know what Shannon did with that opportunity.


On the second goal by the Ottawa Senators Kaberle let Jarkko Ruutu get behind him because he was too busy watching the player with the puck and consequentially Ruutu scored.  There was another Leafs player taking care of the Senators player with the puck.  Kaberle should have trusted his team mates and worry about Ruutu.     


Yes, Kaberle is a great offensive defenseman and ice flows through his veins but his defence is flawed.  And that should be his main concern considering he’s a DEFENSEMAN.  Put him on a great team like Boston, Detroit, New Jersey, or San Jose and he’ll shine.  There’s no doubt about that and no one will complain but that’s because teams like that have the structure and players that will pick up the slack for his LACK of defensive abilities.  Seven to ten years ago so did the Leafs to a certain degree.


Other than that I think this game went well and Curtis Joseph played really well too.  He allowed three goals but the first two weren’t his fault and he didn’t let in any weak goals.  The third goal against by Daniel Alfredsson’s was a tough shot to stop because it was hard and accurate.  Plus Cujo made some really big saves that he had no business making at his age.