The Leafs handled the Senators 4-2 tonight. Tyler Bozak scored a pair and had an assist, Colby Armstrong had a goal and Carl Gunnarsson chipped one in. My notes:
- The Bozak – Armstrong – Kadri line was buzzing all night. Lots of chances and they dominated possession against weak opposition. This is a good sign for what should be the Leafs sheltered scoring line. They crashed the net, they moved the puck and they drew penalties.
- Dion Phaneuf’s hit on Conboy in the first period was called elbowing. Watching the video I’m not convinced any wrong doing occured. Conboy is skating with his head down and Phaneuf’s elbows are pinned to his torso. You hate to see guys get hit in the head but players have to take some responsibility out there; we don’t want to see guys skating around leaning over with their heads sticking out because they’re suddenly untouchable.
- The new Leafs goal song is kind of crummy. I guess we should hope that we hear it too many times this season.
- Jonas Gustavsson gave up a goal that came on a horrible giveaway by Matt Frattin. I’m not thrilled about Gustavsson’s role but he looked sharper in net tonight than he did last year. That may be a product of how completely awful Ottawa’s team was tonight.
- Both Ottawa goals involved our defense breaking down. Gustavsson got exposed by a pass from the corner to the slot that was undefended and a Leaf tipped a point shot by Scrivens. Both goals go to Jared Cowen which hopefully gets The Pylon an NHL job to help the Leafs in the regular season.
- Frattin looked like he was skating in cement to me. People are claiming that knock on him is oversold and that he’s an average skater; I’m watching a guy struggle to keep up against middling prospects. If you want to be an NHLer you should be skating well in games like tonight.
- Joe Bowen can’t pronounce Mika Zibenejad’s last name which included the on air gem of "Zibanejad? I hope he changes his name to Smith."
- Kenny Ryan is doing his best "Tim Brent" impression; he had two very noticeable shot blocks.
- The Grabovski – MacArthur – Kulemin line was quiet and seemed very out of sync but preseason is a lot different for rookies and bubble players than established guys. This line has nothing to worry about in terms of their jobs. They’ll likely get it going soon.
Overall it was a decent game. Both Auld and Lehner made some nice saves and the Leafs shooters seemed to have difficulty picking their spots. The shots might have been close but possession was all Toronto’s and the scoring chances likely echo that. The Senators had a ton of youngsters and rookies and it showed.
The Leafs face the Flyers tomorrow night at 7pm ET. Stay tuned for coverage.