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Follow Me on TwitterSteve Minakakis is a Toronto Maple Leafs correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Steve's passion for hockey, especially the Maple Leafs, brings the hockey world alive with his unique style of writing. He is the creator and editor of TMLhockey.com. If you have any questions or wish to contact Steve, you can email him at sminakakis@ourhometown.ca
Refs help Sens to a 3-2 win over the Leafs
Steve Minakakis
OurHometown.ca

Refs help Sens to a 3-2 win over the Leafs
The Ottawa Senators played last night and have to come into Toronto to play the Maple Leafs. They obviously must be tired. The Leafs need to take advantage of that. They started off strong but as the third period came around the Leafs were exhausted. Why? Because Jay Rosehill gets to play. So that he can watch Mike Brown and Dion Phaneuf fight. That's some great coaching!
PHOTO CREDIT - MapleLeafs.com

North York - January 17, 2012 - The Ottawa Senators played last night and have to come into Toronto to play the Maple Leafs. They obviously must be tired. The Leafs need to take advantage of that. They started off strong but as the third period came around the Leafs were exhausted. Why? Because Jay Rosehill gets to play. So that he can watch Mike Brown and Dion Phaneuf fight. That's some great coaching!

Matthew Lombardi got the Leafs to a 1-0 lead after his shot deflected off the defender. Then on an awful giveaway by Jared Cowan the leafs scored on a two-on-one, Joffrey Lupul put it away on a pass from Phil Kessel. The Leafs were all over the Senators, but the defensive mistakes began. With 10 seconds left in the period Keith Aulie chases a man behind the net with no chance of catching him. Stupid, stupid, stupid... I can't figure out how someone decides to do that. A professional NHL hockey player. So the pass goes in front and Lupul, the back-checking Leaf, takes down a player wide open in front of James Reimer. As the player goes down he hits Reimer, throws him off position and the Sens score in the dying seconds of the period.

In the second period all goes to hell... The Leafs still have tons of energy, and are all over the Senators. Craig Anderson made some huge saves, and gets some lucky bounces and the Leafs are unable to get their third goal of the game. As the second period goes on Jason Spezza, who apparently bribed the referee in the first intermission, decides to go to the net, bump into Reimer, and then stand on his left pad for about 10 seconds. The puck then deflects wide to Daugavins who whiffs on it and kicks it towards the net. The puck is about an inch or two from the goal-line and Spezza, who is STILL standing on Reimer's pad, reaches over top of Toronto's goaltender and pokes the puck into the net. They would go upstairs to review if it was kicked it but because Spezza touched it just before it went it the goal counts... So now we have a tie game...

Next up, cue the awful goal that the Leafs goalie, despite who it is, will inevitably let in. This time it was Reimer going down early and letting in a shot that flew over his glove... A really bad goal to let in but then again it's not like we would've had much better. Gustavsson's bad goal of the game is simply missing a shot that almost any goalie that's ever played an NHL game could save, excluding Patrick Lalime obviously. The Leafs blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2, in regulation to make matters worse.

Other notes from the game include Nick Foligno going low to clip Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf would then fight him a few minutes later after the Leafs failed to score on the power play.

On the plus side it was nice to see Tyler Bozak and Jake Gardiner back on the ice. They both played well for most of the game. Bozak definitely helps the Leafs first line, they don't seem to work as well with Tim Connolly. On the injury front, Leafs expect both John Michael Liles and Colby Armstrong to make their way back into the line-up in a week or so. The Leafs defense and powerplay have struggled with the absence of Liles, they're definitely looking forward to having him back.

Bottom line, story of NHL referees are missed calls and make-up calls. I know its a fast game, but with four of them on the ice they should be able to get the call right.

Next question for the Leafs is who do you start in net Thursday night? I prefer Reimer, but either way I don't think it matters much. What matters is being able to play four lines.


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