Toronto Maple Leafs: Dion Phaneuf Injured in Loss To Senators

Name NameCorrespondent INovember 2, 2010

Phaneuf being helped off the ice on Tuesday night, reminiscent of a wounded soldier as we approach Remembrance Day.
Phaneuf being helped off the ice on Tuesday night, reminiscent of a wounded soldier as we approach Remembrance Day.Abelimages/Getty Images

They just can't catch a break, can they?

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost 3-2 to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night in a game that brought mixed emotions among Leaf fans.

Sure, thanks to Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin, the team proved that they haven't completely lost their ability to score. However, one thing they have lost, is their captain.

Dion Phaneuf collided with the Senators' forward Peter Regin in the second period while a pileup fell into place in front of the Leafs' empty net. Phaneuf's left leg twisted awkwardly against the boards in the clash, suggesting a knee or ankle sprain, but it was Regin's skate that did the most damage.

The skate caught Phaneuf behind his left knee, leaving a deep cut. He needed assistance to get off the ice and into the team's dressing room and eventually left the arena on a stretcher with the wound heavily bandaged.

“It was deep enough that he was taken to hospital because they wanted to determine the extent of the injury,” said Maple Leaf coach Ron Wilson. "He probably won't be available for tomorrow (game at Washington)."

"You can't replace Dion and what he brings to the team but other people have to step up in a leadership role and be vocal."

Following the words of their coach, the remaining Leafs seemed to improve. In the absence of their captain, the Maple Leafs picked up their play, making a push to tie the game in the final seconds.

MacArthur scored at 19:09 of the third period on the power play to cut the Senators' lead to one goal, but the effort would prove to be too little too late.

Tuesday's game could prove to be an important one for the Leafs. The Phaneuf injury could impact the club in a big way, depending on how much time he will miss.

The game also brought upon the end of the Buds' goalless drought when Nikolai Kulemin deflected a shot from the point by Francois Beauchemin. This halted the slide at 167 minutes and 39 seconds, not far off from the team's record of 181 minutes and 45 seconds in 1927.

The Leafs squad will look to stop another skid on Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals, gunning for their first win in three games.