Senators vs. Maple Leafs: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of the Leafs' Latest Loss
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On Saturday night, the Leafs failed in their bid for a two-game winning streak and suffered just their third loss of the year at home, though, they are now on a three-game losing streak at the Air Canada Centre.
Let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong in their game against the rival Ottawa Senators.
Lupul Pulls the Leafs to Whithin a Goal
Ben Scrivens looks like he is adjusting well to the NHL. He made 24 saves on the night, including 10 in each the second and third periods. Twice he was left facing the Sens' forwards with no defence, which led to two goals. Overall, Scrivens looks like he could be making a case to be the backup goalie upon James Reimer’s return.
Also, the top line of Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak played well. All night they gave Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson trouble, which led to them being able to score two goals and go a combined plus-one with three accumulated points. Not the greatest of stats, but when you look at the rest of the roster, no other Leafs forwards were able to pick up any points.
The defence did their part, helping the offence as well. Every defencemen except for Mike Komisarek and Jake Gardiner got at least three shots in on Anderson. The Leafs were able to put pressure in the offensive zone for most of the night and although it only led to two goals, this is the kind of play you should expect from them every game. However, one of the reasons they were able to do so was because of all the penalty trouble that the Senators were having, which leads us to the next slide.
Gonchar ties the game, with six men on the ice
The Power play and the penalty kill were just not clicking. They had five opportunities with a man advantage and couldn’t cash in on any of them, while the Senators had two of their goals coming with the man advantage (although one goal was scored before anyone could get into the penalty box, but the Sens still had six guys on the ice compared to the Leafs' five).
The Maple Leafs got just six shots on all five penalties, while the Sens took just three shots and scored on one of those. The Maple Leafs need to start converting on their power play chances and need to help out their goaltender when they are down by a man. The special teams has been one of the biggest issues facing the Leafs the last couple of years and judging by their play last night, it is still a work in progress.
Bad two way play by the Maple Leafs leads to a fast break and a goal by the Senators
Two-way play. Although earlier I stated that the defence was doing their job by helping out the offence and generating a lot of chances, they also gave up too many odd-man rushes. At one point in a five-on-three for the Senators, the Maple Leafs tried to make a line change and ended up giving Senators forward Nick Foligno a clear breakaway chance that he didn’t miss.
Too many times the Senators were able to go into the Leafs' zone with more attackers than defenders, and Scrivens could only hold the fort down so many times. Even if it was Reimer in net, I still could see the Senators capitalizing on those opportunities, as the defence left Scrivens out to dry.
It is great to see the defence getting the puck on net and controlling the play at the point, but they need to hustle back and help out the goalie, and that goes for the guys playing forward as well. Even if they are deep in the offensive zone, you need to get back and help out on defence when the time comes.
Leafs Nation are hoping to see more of this scene Tuesday night against Phoenix
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Overall, the Maple Leafs hung around until the Senators were able to score two empty-net goals. But with the amount of offensive chances they were getting, they should have been able to put a few more pucks in the net.
In a game like this, you just have to give credit to Craig Anderson and hope the Leafs can respond with some more goals against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night at home.