The sky isn’t falling. It is preseason.
However, there are STILL obvious issues with team as it is assembled and it really all stems back to being able (or having desire) to engage in puck battles.
Last night the Toronto Maple Leafs took on the Ottawa Senators at Mile One in St. John’s Newfoundland.
Frederik Andersen started between the pipes for the Leafs and looked to be in mid-season form by stretching out to make an incredible save less than five minutes into the game.
Kasimir Kaskisuo came in for a relief appearance in the third period and neither goalie was at fault for the goals scored against.
Mitch Marner fed Kasperi Kapanen with a beautiful pass for the Leafs only goal. Great to see, but maybe just important was the fact that Mason Marchment started the entire sequence off of a heavy forecheck that caused a turnover.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) September 17, 2019
All was not great for Marner as he made an errant pass attempt in the third period that led to the eventual game winner. It was a bad pass, having said that he clearly expected a bit more speed from Jason Spezza and put the puck in a spot where a guy like Tavares turns into it. Spezza either didn’t turn properly or have the speed. Mitch still wants that attempted pass back.
Standouts for me were Freddy Gauthier (still cannot finish), Mason Marchment, Tyson Barrie calmed down after a sloppy start and looked ok and both Leafs goalies were solid.
The Sens had a simple game plan. Take the body, and capitalize on turnovers. Bend but do not break, and lean HEAVILY on goaltending.
It will be their mantra for the season.
Final Score: Sens 3 Leafs 1.
Leafs are back at it this evening versus the Sens for preseason game #2. Time to see Matthews and Nylander.
And a myriad of other subplots. Should be fun.
I missed hockey.
Go Leafs Go !
ps Sparks had a shutout last night.