Leafs Postgame- Battle of ClarksOntario

Sunday at 6 p.m. is certainly an odd time for a hockey game between the Leafs and the Senators, though it’s certainly excusable considering the circumstances that forced the game to be rescheduled. In the first matchup of the year between to Ontario teams, fans were treated to an entertaining, if sloppy, hockey game of two teams both playing two games in two days.

The Rundown 

After giving up a goal by Mike Hoffman early in the first period, the Leafs appeared to settle down.The Leafs then found the back off the net with a weird tip off a Peter Holland shot that got stuck in the top of the net, for his second goal in as many games.


Ottawa regained the lead again on a Kyle Turris goal to take the lead in the first intermission, but it lasted just under four minutes in hockey time.

Not to be outdone in weirdness, Robin Lehner got fooled by a shot that hit his shoulder, went way up in the air, which JVR then went behind him and tucked into the net for his sixth of the year to tie the game at two.

Mark Stone gave the Senators their final lead of the night, before Josh Leivo found himself in a good spot to tie the game at 3.

Holland and Mike Santorelli combined for a nice shorthanded rush that culminated in the game winner.  

Morgan Rielly then fired a shot on net which David Clarkson tipped in for the final goal of the night.

Puck possession wasn’t great for the Leafs, with shot attempts at 52-33 (via war-on-ice.com) in favour of Ottawa at even strength. However, it’s always better to come out with a win than a loss, as the Leafs made the most of their opportunities to earn their second win in as many nights. Don’t look now, but the Leafs are currently tied with the Bruins at 18 points in 15 games, good enough for a wild card spot in the current standings. Seriously, don’t look. There’s 67 games left in the year, which is quite a bit of time. 67. 67. 67.    

Blue Warrior

Josh Leivo. As a guy who’s playing in just his second game of the year, contributing a goal in a key situation during limited playing time is always a positive. While he had just three shifts past the first period (only 12 seconds of ice time in the third!!!), Leivo posted a 50% CF at 5 on 5. While not the biggest impact on the game, it’s good to see some secondary scoring from a guy who’s not likely to be a Leafs regular this season.


  • Early goals against continue to be a problem for the Leafs, for whatever reason. Perhaps it’s just bad luck, but it’s time for the coaching staff to analyze what’s going wrong to start off the game. 
  • David Clarkson continues to appear in a good spot in front of the net, tipping in a Morgan Rielly for his fourth goal of the year. 
  • James Reimer’s record in Ottawa improved to 8-0-1. While perhaps there weren’t many highlight reel saves, Reimer made 38 of them on 41 shots, for a .927 save percentage. Even on a night when it felt like Toronto didn’t have to rely on their goaltending, even an average performance from Reimer could’ve been a much different story.  
  • Leo Komarov just keeps getting points, officially surpassing his total from his rookie half-season of nine points with an assist on Peter Holland’s goal. He also sits second in the league in hits, with 63. 
  • Ottawa-born Trevor Smith had his first assist of the year. 
  • Toronto blocked 17 shots on the night. That’s both impressive and alarming at the same time.

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  • Dawgfan1980

    Tape to tape passes, an impressive cycle in the ottawa zone and great Reimer goaltending.

    This version of the Leafs is great fun to watch.
    They are really crushing it!!

    Scoring up and down the lineup.

    The forth line even got 6 mins of ice-he says with a slight air of sarcasm.

    Will I get shouted down if I say this looks like a playoff team?

  • Dawgfan1980

    WAY TO GO REIMS AND THE TEAM, great to see the team actually come to play back to back games and win them both…..
    Reims was a bit out of sorts in the first few minutes but came back in the 2nd and never looked back….way to go big guy…

    It was also nice to see the young guys get some actual play time….all and all a much better team these last few games…but its way to early to get excited…

    still ti many SOG for my liking….38 saves for REIMS OUT OF 41 is still more than we want to see….

    Come on guys yu have to find a wat to tone those SOG down by at least 10 that;s being nice..


  • Dawgfan1980

    I am just waiting for the return of Booth, Lupul, Kozun and Winnik. I want these lines so badly –

    Lupul – Kadri – Kessel

    JVR – Bozie – Kozun

    Winnik – Holland – Mike

    Booth – Uncle Leo – Clarkson

    Why put leo on the fourth line? Because he will provide that line with a great centre and clarkson needs someone that can put pucks to the net. Third and fourth line are great grind you down lines. First and second will be provided with both speed and great possession.

  • Jeremy Ian

    I’d vote for Peter Holland over Josh Leivo for Blue Warrior. He’s getting better with each game. (Needs a little work on the dot, though) Much as I disagree with Carlyle on basics, he’s handling Holland well so far.

  • jasken

    A few things first it was good see the Leafs win on back to back games for the second consecutive week. The defencemen really need to get back to basics and get their stuff together from top to bottom. Then their is a lack of production from Kadri news flash it dont matter what his fancystats are or who he plays with if things dont change quickly the end wont bold well. Producing in 5 of 14 games is not acceptable by any means its about results and if your not getting them you dont try to justify it with some bogus excuse. Last Komarov last year the Leafs truly missed him and now he is getting his due which is great to see.

  • mjayar

    Leivo scores a nice one but only gets 12 sec in the 3rd? I understand your protecting a lead but give the kid and the 4th line some reward!! Who am I to complain after a win but if I’m Nonis or Shanahan I make a mental note of that.

    As for the slow start to games, there’s nothing to analyze on the white board or from the stats grinder. It’s about being prepared to play… that’s leadership from within the team.

    My two cents…