Coming off a 2-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens in their season opener, the Toronto Maple Leafs found themselves in a dogfight with the Ottawa Senators, eventually emerging with a 6-5 victory.
The Sens beat sophmore goaltender James Reimer five times in the third period, giving the Maple Leafs a scare and bringing Reimer—who had been flawless through five periods—back to reality.
Phil Kessel showed his value, scoring three goals and looking very much like an all-star at both ends of the ice.
Kessel leads the Maple Leafs in scoring through two games, lighting the lamp three times and adding two helpers for a toal of five points.
Captain Dion Phaneuf absolutely crushed Senators rookie Stephane Da Costa at the Blueline, serving notice to all that he he still very capable of laying out a player or two.
It was a clean hit, but Sens tough guy didn’t see it that way as Chris Neil chose to go after Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn in an act of retribution. It was a onesided fight with Schenn emerging with a few bruises.
Without question, Phaneuf’s hit was clean. The fact Neil went after Schenn is another example of what is wrong with the NHL these days as there was no reason to go after a guy (especially not the guy who made the hit) when the hit was as clean as they come.
Of note: After a terrible 2010-11 campaign which saw him emerge with a -29 rating, Tyler Bozak is a plus three through two games. Colton Orr had his first goal of the season last night, while Phaneuf leads Leafs defensemen with three points on the season and is tied with Kessel with a plus four rating. Rookies Matt Frattin and Jake Gardiner are still looking for their first points—neither has looked at of place thus far.
For the Leafs, they start the season 2-0 and now turn their focus on the Calgary Flames, whom they will play next Saturday, followed by four games in six nights the following week—who made this schedule?
Until next time,