With the departure of our dear Poni, there remains just one Maple Leaf that's worn the uniform since before Wilson's arrival. Hard to believe, but less then two seasons later, Kaberle alone remembers playing under the Maurice/Ferguson regime - nevermind Pat Quinn, or making the playoffs. The expression usually goes "it's easier to get rid of the coach then it is to get rid of 22 players", but in this case, Fletcher and Burke have teamed up to turn over an entire line-up, including the goaltenders, but for one. And his days may be numbered. For now, consider Kaberle the winner of Survivor: Leafs Nation Edition, and if these are his final days in Toronto, let's enjoy them. 801 games played. 400 assists.
Incidentally, if Kaberle does get traded in the off-season, seniority within the team falls to John Mitchell, who's been with the organization for 6 seasons, playing his first 4 with the Marlies. Last season was his NHL debut. However, the player with the most games in a Leafs uniform would actually be Nikolai Kulemin (132) who's played 2 more games then Luke Schenn (130). (By the way, I've become convinced that John Mitchell is really terrible and useless.)
So the BoOBbB goes on with Tomas Kaberle and a bunch of guys I kinda like but barley know, though I'm sure that our guys still hate their guys all the same, and this terrific cross-provincial rivalry will be a classic nail-biter with lots of drama and bad blood, surprising everyone.
Monster in goal for Toronto, his first start since February 5th. Good to see Gustavsson again.
20:00 Kulemin-Bozak-Kessel on the ice to start up front.
19:25 Great chance. Good pressure early by the Leafs. Kulemin at the side of the goal come very close to opening the scoring.
19:00 Stalberg finds Caputi in front but he doesn't get solid wood.
18:28 Penalty. Kaberle for hooking as Kovalev cut through the slot. Not a good start for Tomas.
16:40 Hard hit by Phaneuf behind the goal on Kelly. Borderline. No call.
16:28 Penalty expires. Even-strength.
13:10 Karlsson shot from the slot stopped by Gustavsson. Not a lot of chances so far and no real hitting. And I feel like I don't know who any of these players are.
12:35 "Go Leafs Go!" chant from the Ottawa faithful.
12:10 Kulemin throws a hit in the offensive zone.
10:45 Lundmark, Sjostrom, Wallin is a weird line. Not sure I like it. Skate around really fast and meanwhile the clock ticks away.
8:35 Long stretch of not much happening. Leafs are actually checking very well with their sticks.
7:45 Orr with a backhand in the slot for a shot on goal.
6:20 Good skate work by Stalberg to keep control of the puck then he nearly gets smoked coming over the line.
5:55 Rumble! Mitchell down. Knocked down by Neil. Didn't look that bad to me. Maybe got him with the shoulder on the head.
5:52 4-on-4. Penalties to Stalberg and Winchester. Stalberg scored the Leafs first 4-on-4 goal of the season just last game.
4:34 Penalty. Sutton pushing Lundmark and Phaneuf after the whistle. Lundmark had the original penalty for holding and gets two more with Sutton for roughing. Sens powerplay. 4-on-3.
3:52 First pair of double minors end. Now 5-on-4.
3:20 Decent chance by Michlek in the slot but doesn't get a good shot away.
2:57 Goal. Ottawa scores. Point shot bounces off of Gustavsson. Neil bangs in the rebound.
1:55 Another rumble. Late hit after an icing leads to a long scrum. Orr vs. Carkner while Schenn scraps Donovan. Orr takes down Carkner. Extra penalty goes to Toronto. Sens powerplay.
1:45 Scoreboard says, "Scream if you're a Sens fan!" Absolute silence in the building.
1:15 More pushing and shoving in front of the Leafs net.
:00 Period ends without much drama.
19:00 Kovalev chance, side of the goal, stopped by Gustavsson.
18:45 Fisher hits the post.
18:10 Stalberg throws it in front through traffic, knocked away by Leclaire.
17:45 Gustavsson makes a great save on Cullen off a 3-on-1
17:35 Kessel at the other end by Leclaire.
17:10 Kessel with nifty moves and a pass to Bozak who misses wide.
14:40 Sjostrom goes down awkwardly, looks hurt, goes to the bench in pain.
13:10 GOAL!!! Kessel. Pure goal scorer's goal. Kessel comes over the line, uses traffic in front as a distraction, Sens defence backs up too far, and Kessel's wrist shot goes past Leclaire. Tie game, 1-1.
11:20 Neil and Orr having words.
9:55 Winchester has a great chance at the side of the Leafs goal but hit the side of the net.
9:05 Donovan scrapes Gunnarson along the glass, and then Gunnarsson goes after him?
8:44 Penalty. Ottawa. Spezza. Haha, he's so stupid. Seriously; both teams are trying to show how tough they are, lots of good bumping on that last shift, and then Orr hits Spezza and Spezza goes and slashes him in the ankle. Leafs powerplay.
7:45 Great pass, Kaberle to Kulemin, good chance, can't finish.
7:15 Now Lundmark is hurt and everyone is wrestling. Lundmark smoked by Sutton. Late hit. No call.
6:55 Penalty. Good chance for Caputi in front, puck knocked away by Leclaire, deflected over the glass by Ruutu. Delay of game. 5-on-3 for 5 seconds.
6:10 Powerplay doing nothing so far.
5:45 Kaberle shot from the point.
5:05 Weird play. Beauchemin's point shot is sky high, ping-pongs off a couple players, a glove, Kulemin's high stick, Sutton's helmet, and then drops behind Leclaire where Kessel bangs it in. NO GOAL. Waved off on account of Kulemin's highstick. I thought the puck bouncing off Sutton's helmet should've nullified the highstick.
4:55 Penalty expires.
2:30 Kaberle wrist shot from the point deflected just wide.
2:05 Good save by Gustavsson on Donavon off a 3-on-2.
1:30 Lundmark, back on the ice, has a shot on goal.
:40 Another chance for Kulemin in front. Set up by Kessel. Leclaire makes the save.
:00 Period ends. Mitchell and Sjostrom gone for the night.
20:00 Kessel line starts up front again.
18:20 Kaberle backhands a shot on goal from the Leafs side of centre. That kind of start to the period.
17:20 Ruutu and Kessel bump and shove and fall over fighting for the puck.
16:46 Penalty. A chance in front by Winchester is stopped by Gustavsson, but a penalty is being called on Ruutu for holding Finger. Heh.
16:05 Bozak's hard shot misses just wide, Kessel with some nice moves, glove save Lecalire.
15:20 Great chance in front, set up by Bozak, Caputi stopped by Leclaire. Really good save.
15:00 Beauchemin shot from the point gets through a screen, save by Leclaire.
13:44 Penalty. Beauchemin helps the refs make another delay of game call. Leafs powerplay.
12:20 Not much happening on the PP. Leafs can't set up.
11:45 Stalberg nearly gets clipped at the Sens line. Close call.
10:50 Hanson throws a big ht at the Leafs line.
9;45 Wallin with a great offensive zone steal and a backhand for a good chance and a shot on goal.
8:35 Leafs are keeping their shifts short, 30 seconds, finishing their checks. Playing like they have a 2-goal lead.
8:24 Penalty. Primeau gets caught taking a dumb penalty just when the Leafs were outhitting and outskating the Sens. Slashing.
7:45 Gustavsson stops a one-timer from the point, controls and covers the rebound.
7:25 Kulmin short-handed, good chance, shot on goal leads to a penalty by Karlsson. Sens powerplay over. Now the dreaded 4-on-4.
5:49 Penalty. Bozak flying into the Sens zone, nice moves, falls and loses the puck without getting a shot away but draws a penalty. 5-on-3 Wilson calls a timeout.
5:24 Now 5-on-4.
5:10 Kessel's shot stopped.
4:20 Leafs set up on the powerplay but then Kessel gives the puck away.
3:49 Penalty ends. Even strength. Still tied.
3:00 Wallin with a shot right on, Primeau in front of the goal, Lecalire hangs on.
1:30 Gustavsson save on a Spezza shot.
:00 Third period ends, each team gets a point. The final two minutes was really sloppy. Some good bangin' by the Leafs but no chances by either team.
5:00 Kessel and Bozak up front.
3:30 Leafs control the play for the first minute and a half of OT but no good chances.
2:40 Good play by Schenn on Fisher coming late on a 3-on2.
2:20 Gunnarsson shot misses just wide.
1:30 Nice play by Schenn on Kovalev.
1:10 Long shot by Phillips, huge rebound off Gustavsson's glove.
:00 Overtime ends without much drama.
The Shoot Out
Kovalev hits the post.
Kessel slides it in 5-hole.
Spezza stopped by Gustavsson, glove save.
Leafs win. Awesome. Just their second OT victory of the season.