LGD – Game 30: Leafs @ Sens – Invasion

Leafs second home rink in Kanata

Just a short Leafs GameDay thread today. Headed out of the town to hang out with some family, and won’t be able to break down exactly what is wrong with the Ottawa Senators this year. Don’t worry, though, the Leafs still have games against the Sens throughout this season and we’ll be able to get to that at a later date. I don’t think the Sens underlying numbers are enough of an argument to think they’ll do any better this year than last. Perhaps they caught lightning in a bottle a year ago, but they were the 7th best possession club in the National Hockey League, upset the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs and made it ~somewhat~ of a series.

Problems exacerbated in the summer though. The team has no money and while they did a great job of replacing Daniel Alfredsson with Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur, both have whom have been outstanding for Ottawa, the rest of the roster is playing well-below where they were a year ago.


  Senators Maple Leafs
Corsi Close % 49.3% (17th) 42.1% (29th)
5v5 GF/60 2.45 (8th) 2.04 (19th)
5v5 GA/60 2.68 (26th) 1.99 (10th)
PDO 99.8 (19th) 102.4 (2nd)
  Senators Maple Leafs
5v4 GF/60 6.16 (16th) 8.90 (4th)
5v4 SF/60 55.1 (10th) 61.9 (4th)
4v5 GA/60 7.64 (25th) 6.57 (19th)
4v5 SA/60 50.3 (15th) 63.4 (26th)
Penalty Differential -17 (29th) -24 (30th)

via ExtraSkater and NHL

Just for you possession nuts. Ottawa is in the lower half of the league, and they’re 26th in goals against at 5-on-5 and 25th at 4-on-5. Remember a year ago where we sainted Craig Anderson and anointed him the starter for the United States at the Olympics? Well, as it turns out, goalies can go on a crazy streak one year and crash down hard the next. We’ve seen it happen with Mike Smith, Ilya Bryzgalov, Sergei Bobrovsky, and with Jonas Gustavsson in reverse.

Jason Spezza, it turns out, has become a bit of a possession liability, and his offensive ability does not outstrip how poorly he’s played on defence this year. With Spezza on the ice, the Senators get 43.7% of the shots and 39.5% of the goals. Eventually, you figure he’s bound to be supplanted by Mika Zibanejad in that department.

As for the Leafs, well, they stopped the bleeding against Dallas, and this is an important win to pick up in Ottawa before the schedule gets really tough next week. I know Joffrey Lupul was targeting tonight as his return date, so we’ll have to see if he gets into the lineup.

Presumably Jonathan Bernier gets the start. Red-hot in Dallas, and in a back-to-back with the Bruins, I think you’d like to see James Reimer get another crack against Mt. Everest over there. The Sens have had enough struggles in net that I don’t think the Leafs goalies will need to steal them this win, but maybe they will.