Game Preview: Maple Leafs v. Senators

    

 

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Senators_logo_medium

 
Record

5-4-1, 11 points

4-6-1, 9 points

PP %

11.9%, 24th

15.0%,18th

PK %

84.8%, 13th

85.1%, 9th

Goals For

23

26

Goals Against

23

35

In a perfect world, the Maple Leafs would have staggered their wins to start the year and paced out the media’s expectations. Last year the Leafs finished with 74 points after compiling a 30-38-4 record. That’s 45.1% of the available points. So far this year the Leafs have collected a modest 55% of the points available to them. Over an entire year, that’s worth 90 points which would have been good enough for seventh in the Eastern Conference last year. That’s a 16 point increase and a decent improvement year over year. It would represent progress in the rebuild and give hope that the team was on the right path.

Now, it’s still unknown if the team can maintain even this modest pace. With only seven goals in their last six games the team has to be pretty worried about their ability to score goals. Of course, the season started with 16 goals in four games so maybe it’s just a matter of the team not getting the bounces. Included in that run to start the season was a 5-1 shellacking of the Ottawa Senators. This could be the game to get the team back on track.

Some light reading ahead of the game:

The Leafs are in a rich vein of form against the Ottawa Senators. They have won the last five meetings between the two clubs and are 9-3-1 since the start of the 2008-2009 season. In addition, as a Leaf, Phil Kessel has enjoyed facing the Buds’ poor provincial relation with 7 goals and 2 assists in 6 games.

As a flashback, here’s Phil Kessel notching a game winner in a game that I was lucky enough to attend: