Toronto Maple Leafs: Ottawa Senators Look to Improve Playoff Position


Toronto Maple Leafs: Ottawa Senators Look to Improve Playoff Position

We have all waited patiently and now it is time to drop the puck on a new season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here at the Tip of the Tower we strive to give you as much content on your Toronto sports teams as humanly possible. This series will preview every single Toronto Maple Leafs game and what you should know for the game that night.

Jan 21, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (34) covers the puck in front of Ottawa Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) in the second period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Ottawa Senators (37-245-11) @  Toronto Maple Leafs (27-42-6) 7:00 p.m CBC

The Leafs are 1-2 against the Senators this season.

More from Tip of the Tower

Leafs Injury Report

Peter Holland is out with a lower-body injury.

Zach Sill is questionable with an undisclosed injury.

Stephane Robidas is out with a shoulder injury.

Roman Polak is out with a hernia injury.

Nathan Horton is out with a back injury.

Projected Line Combinations (Leafs)

Senators Injury Report

Craig Anderson is out with a hand injury.

Robin Lehner is out with a concussion.

Milan Michalek is questionable with a hand injury.

Matt Puempel is doubtful with a lower-body injury.

Clarke MacArthur is questionable with a concussion.

Chris Phillips is out with an undisclosed injury.

Chris Neil is out with a broken thumb.

Projected Line Combinations(Senators)

Game Preview

Mar 23, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Sam Carrick (53) celebrates a goal by defenceman Jake Gardiner (51) as Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba (55) looks on at the Air Canada Centre. Minnesota defeated Toronto 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Senators will try to forget an ugly 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. as they travel to Toronto to face the Leafs in the hope of continuing their climb up the standings. They are tied with Boston for the final wild card spot, at 85 points. They have beaten the Leafs in their past two games in the Battle of Ontario. Toronto are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers, with Sam Carrick scoring his first NHL goal. The frustration level has reached an all time high for the Leafs, with Phil Kessel and David Booth getting into a grappling match during practice yesterday. 

Oct 5, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri (43) celebrates his goal in the first period against the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs will try to end a seven-game losing streak, but it will not come easy. Ottawa has gone 8-2 in their past 10 games, with one of the those wins coming last week against the Leafs in Ottawa. Nazem Kadri will return from his four game suspension on a line with Booth and Joffrey Lupul.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Phil Kessel career vs OTT: 49 GP- 25 goals- 22 assists- 47 PTS

Tyler Bozak career vs OTT: 26 GP- 9 goals- 10 assists- 19 PTS

James van Riemsdyk career vs OTT: 22 GP- 10 goals- 9 assists- 19 PTS

Nazem Kadri career vs OTT: 13 GP- 9 goals- 5 assists- 14 PTS

Morgan Rielly career vs OTT: 6 GP- 0 goals- 3 assists- 3 PTS

James Reimer career vs OTT: 16 GP- Record: 10-3-1, 2.33 GAA- .934 SV%

Ottawa Senators

Mar 21, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Mike Hoffman (68) controls the puck in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Erik Karlsson’s career vs TOR: 21 GP- 5 goals- 10 assists- 15 PTS

Kyle Turris career vs TOR: 17 GP- 5 goals- 4 assists- 9 PTS

Bobby Ryan career vs TOR: 9 GP- 1 goals- 5 assists- 6 PTS

Mark Stone career vs TOR: 5 GP- 1 goal- 2 assist-  3 PTS

Mike Hoffman career vs TOR: 6 GP- 3 goals- 1 assist- 4 PTS

Andrew Hammond career vs TOR: 1 GP- Record: 1-0, 3.00 GAA- .880 SV%

Keys to Victory

Kadri will return from his suspension and it will be important to see how he responds. Will he be able to mature and show Brendan Shanahan that he can be a part of this future? That will be the million dollar question heading into the summer.

Karlsson is deadly against the Leafs. If Toronto want to make it a close game, they have to find a way to slow him down offensively. That means watching plays where he joins the rush or sees a long stretch pass that puts a forward in a prime scoring position.

The Leafs were able to crack the Hamburglar, but unable to get their goaltending to bail them out. If they want any chance of a win, their goaltending has to be better – which is the task Reimer has in front of him tonight.

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