As was the case with Friday night’s loss to the Buffalo Sabres, they didn’t wake up until it was too late. The Maple Leafs came at them in waves, posting an insurmountable 3-0 lead through 40 minutes and cruising to a 5-1 win. Ottawa once again played like a collection of confused individuals, relying on puck-hogging dipsy doodles and low percentage passes in the offensive zone. The end result was plenty of rushes the other way and an 0-2 start to the season. Things don’t get any easier with a trip to Washington Monday.
Clarke MacArthur, Leafs
He seemed to teleport around the ice, popping up wherever he could do the most damage. MacArthur forced a Jason Spezza turnover and dished the puck out front to Nikolai Kulemin to open the scoring, then banged the final nail in Ottawa’s coffin with his own tally midway through the second period.
Erik Karlsson, Senators
The diminutive defender’s start has been nothing short of nightmarish. A supposed super sophomore, Karlsson is struggling through that proverbial second-year jinx. Case-in-point: The first period. First, Karlsson misplayed the puck at the opposing blue line, leading directly to the Leafs’ second goal. Minutes later, he took a dumb interference penalty and followed that up with another giveaway that almost wound up in his net.
Toronto’s start. The Senators needed to show some passion in the opening minutes and build a little confidence after generating very little offence against the Sabres. They sat down in front of a blue and white steamroller instead, giving up the lead just 1:38 in and never finding their legs. This one was almost over before it started.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Eugene Melnyk standing on the Ottawa players’ bench during warm-ups and getting the latest update on whether or not Jason Spezza would be in the lineup against the Leafs. CBC cameras spotted the owner mouthing the words, “are you good?” The owner’s big smile after the encounter showed he got the answer he wanted.
- Shots by Toronto: 38
- Consecutive Leaf wins over Senators: 5
- Consecutive games Phil Kessel has scored vs. Ottawa: 8
- Worst plus-minus: -3 (Sergei Gonchar)
- Ottawa’s power play in first two games: 0-for-10
- Third period fights: 3
WE’D BE REMISS…
…if we didn’t mention another stellar outing by Pascal Leclaire. Coach Cory Clouston spent much of last season begging for more saves and better outings from his netminders. Now he’s getting them, and the Senators are frittering them away. The saves Leclaire is making are anything but routine. They’re breakaways, they’re through traffic, they’re low tips with plenty of movement. In short, Ottawa’s goal differential would probably be about minus-15 if not for him.