Sunday, September 18, 2005

Mixed Results - Ottawa 5 Toronto 2

Toronto got off to a strong start, with a 2-0 lead over the Senators after one period, but eventually tailed off, losing by a final score of 5-2. I didn't actually watch, but was able to listen to the game on Mojo Radio. I'm hoping that TSN will put up some video highlights from the game, but I don't see anything yet.

On the positive side, it sounded like several Leaf players, including Antropov, Ponikarovsky, Steen and Kronwall had strong performances. This bodes well for the future of the Maple Leafs. On the negative side, Toronto had eight penalties to kill, including three minor penalties called against Wade Belak, plus a couple Too Many Men on the Ice calls.

On the plus side, the Leafs were able to come out with a minor moral victory, as they won the shootout 2-0. Both Mats Sundin and Eric Lindros scored for the Leafs, while Alfreddson and Heatly were both stopped by J.S. Aubin.

I was a somewhat torn watching this game, as my former hometown goalie, Ray Emery, was between the pipes for Ottawa. I was a huge fan of Emery while watching him develop playing for the Sault Greyhounds a few years back. Emery has done everything asked of him while playing for Binghampton, and is slotted to be the backup goaltender behind Hasek as the season begins. In tonight's game, Emery stopped 19 of 21 shots, before giving up the two goals in the post-game shootout. Emery is an incredibly athletic goaltender, with a mean streak, and a penchant for getting into a few altercations a year, which is a little unusual for a goaltender, although the NHL has had it's share of chippy goaltenders in the past (Ron Hextall and Billy Smith come to mind) In any case, I wish the best of luck to Emery, but all bets are off when he's up against the Leafs.