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Jonas at the top of his game; Sens struggle again; Leafs prevail

I’m not sure the Leafs were the better team last night. They gave up a lot of chances and were fortunate to give up only the one goal. There were more scoring chances at both ends than I thought we’d see, considering the Senators are fighting for playoff position.

Nonetheless, there were a lot of little things you like to see in a win:
  • Goaltending from Gustavsson that made up for a lot of giveaways
  • Wallin backchecking hard—all the way back to his crease—to protect against a dangerous Alfredsson rush in the third period
  • Phaneuf with a good stick to break up a sure goal in the third, also at the Leaf crease
  •  Kessel’s continued resurgence, and his ability to create opportunities
  • The Bozak line continuing to play with smarts and confidence
  •  Stalberg leading the Leafs in shots on goal
  •  Caputi’s continued contributions
  • Schenn being a plus player for the fourth time in five games
  • The Leafs not letting Neil get away with his antics as he rushed the crease area well after a whistle
  • Offense that was spread out, with twelve different players contributing
It’s just one game, one night, against a team (albeit a “rival”) who was playing at home in that often-difficult first game after a long road trip.

But it was a win.

The Sens are a funny team. They seem to be a well-coached club, though not the explosive offensive juggernaut they were for many years, obviously.

Ownership signed the front office folks to contract extensions during the heady mid-season days when the team was hot (the kind of emotion-driven signings that owners often regret later).

Melnyk’s move will look good if the club begins to play as they did earlier and has a nice playoff run. But I wonder what the folks in Ottawa will be thinking if this season ends sooner than they expected? 

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