The Battle of Ontario is so back.
This was a perfect rivalry game. Lots of scoring chances, changes in momentum, no defense whatsoever, and a whole lot of shenanigans. It even delivered a new iconic Battle of Ontario moment. And of course, a Sens win. What a game.
The Sens got off to an absolutely atrocious start, which some might attribute to the long break they had before the game, but I personally believe was caused by the decision to skate out to a song other than Danger Flutes. You don’t mess with Danger Flutes.
Anyways, Toronto scored pretty much as soon as the game started, and then a few minutes later it looked like they had scored again. Thankfully, that one was called back because it was offside. I have famously always liked that rule.
Even with that lucky break, it was already feeling like a blowout in the making. The team wasn’t back from vacation yet. Time to turn off the TV and try again in a few days.
Not so fast! Korpisalo made a big save, the Sens got a few scoring chances, and just like that, we were so back. Claude Giroux scored toward the end of the first period to tie the game and restore our hopes.
The artist sometimes known as Terry MF Stinko put the Sens up by one at the very start of the second period, off a breakaway. Defense did not generally play much of a role in this game at all, as both teams got good chances.
The Leafs did eventually tie the game, but Ottawa soon shot back, when Pinto tipped in an absolutely amazing shot from the point by Parker Kelly.
Then Norris pulled off a beautiful move to make the score 4-2, and the Sens ended the period with a dangerous-looking powerplay that unfortunately did not find the back of the net.
The trend of goals being scored at the beginning of each period continued, as the Leafs scored again at the start of the third period to draw within one. The two teams battled for the rest of the period, but nothing noteworthy happened until there were about 6 minutes left, when Tim Stützle got tripped and Leafs fans were predictably Normal about it.
If I had a nickel for every time Tim Stützle got booed by opposing fans in his own building after drawing a penalty, I’d have two nickels, etc etc.
The Sens ran out the clock long enough for Ridly Greig to go on a breakaway with an empty net, and do the funniest possible thing: score with a slapshot from maybe two feet away. Morgan Rielly took issue with the move, and jumped him.
That ended up being the story of the night, as the Sportsnet panel couldn't stop debating Greig's antics, and Rielly's reaction. Personally, I am Team Greig 100%. Not only was that play acceptable, but it was absolutely hilarious and he's an icon for it.
Daniel Alfredsson watching Ridly Grieg do something that completely unravels the Leaf fan base pic.twitter.com/93FmmkwAhN— LochSens Monster (@SensMonster) February 11, 2024
- The Sens’ forward depth was really on display here. All four lines looked dangerous, although I personally thought Greig-Pinto-Tarasenko was the most noticeable. It makes a big difference, having all their centres in the lineup.
- I don’t know how to evaluate Korpisalo’s game. He made some big saves, but it felt like he was doing that thing where he gives up so many heart-stopping chances and ends up making every save look really difficult.
- Sanderson was injured, leaving the rest of the defense to pick up the slack, and they did well enough. Chabot had a noticeably good game, and none of the other players were bad enough to stand out.
- Josh Norris broke out of a long slump with his goal, and generally looked very good all game. It’s nice to see him looking like himself.