I guess if any of us were really hoping that the Blue and White were going to go undefeated during the pre-season exhibition season, we were all sadly, sadly mistaken.
Everything seemed to be going great guns in favour of the Leafs this pre-season, well almost everything
(Hint, hint, Sunday night). Just went it was still okay to say the Leafs were undefeated in regulation time, they finally lost one in regulation time, and what worse a team to lose it to than our cross-province rivals, the Ottawa Senators.
It was close, but the visitors left town with a 3-2 win. James Reimer was pulled, Leafs nearly tied it, but didn’t.
I missed most of the first period, but apparently that wasn’t a bad thing, the teams headed to the second period deadlocked at 0-0, where I heard James Reimer was the Great Wall of China (again).
James van Riemsdyk and Ottawa’s Zack Smith exchanged goals early in the second frame, while Jim O’Brien and Colin Greening tallied for the Sens in the third.
As has been a bit of a trend over the past half year (the shortened season), Leafs made things very interesting halfway through the third, when Captain Dion Phaneuf scored a nice goal to bring Leafs to within one goal.
With time running down, Toronto pressed for the equalizer but Smith came up big for Ottawa again and cleared the puck out of the Sens’ zone.
Ottawa did not dress their Captain, Jason Spezza or defencemen Bobby Ryan or Erik Karlsson.
Reimer stopped 34 pucks while Ottawa counterpart Robin Lehner made 26 stops for the win.
The Senators outshot the Leafs 37-28.
The game was the first for Toronto since Sunday’s brawl with Buffalo that everybody still seems to want to talk about. It has no doubt resulted in suspensions for the Maple Leafs’ David Clarkson and Phil Kessel. Buffalo head coach Ron Rolston was the lone member of the Sabre organization to be slapped with something. He was handed a monetary charge for failing to control his idiot players as well as for putting the 6’8” 258-lb John Scott out on the ice so he could go after Toronto’s ‘mini-me’ Phil Kessel. Kessel weighs 202-lbs at 6’0”.
For defending himself while being attacked by a gorilla, Kessel has to sit the rest of the exhibition season (back-to-back games with Detroit this weekend).
Scott’s teammate Corey Tropp also targeted Toronto’s Jamie Devane, which got the entire thing going one play earlier; for Tropp’s efforts, Devane clocked him and sent him to get stitches and apparently is now concussed.
Good job Mr. Rolston.
We will see you on Nov. 15-16!