Senators-Maple Leafs Preview
While currently not part of the playoff picture in the Eastern
Conference, the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs have taken
on a new look recently.
Craig Anderson could make his debut in goal for the visiting
Senators as they try to prevent the Maple Leafs from a third
straight victory Saturday night.
Toronto (25-27-6) is 11th in the East and eight points out of
the final playoff spot. That’s apparently been enough reason for
general manager Brian Burke to deal veteran defensemen Francois
Beauchemin and Tomas Kaberle, and forward Kris Versteeg since Feb.
With a conference-worst 45 points, it’s also understandable why
Ottawa (18-31-9) has traded forwards Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly,
Jarkko Ruutu and most recently struggling goaltender Brian Elliott
since Feb. 10.
“We expected (changes) a little bit but I don’t think we
expected anything to happen this quick,” forward Jason Spezza told
the Senators’ official website. “We’ve put ourselves in a situation
where we have to deal with it.”
The Senators sent Elliott to Colorado on Friday for Anderson,
13-15-3 with a 3.28 goals-against average one season after posting
a career-high 36 wins to help lead the Avalanche to the
“For whatever reasons, things weren’t working out quite the same
this year,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. “Craig gets a fresh
An unrestricted free agent after this season, Anderson can use
the stretch run as an audition for a possible future with the
“The good thing about this is that we get a chance, for (24)
games, to look at and watch (Anderson),” Ottawa general manager
Bryan Murray said. “During that time period, I would think that
we’ll have discussions and we’ll see where we want to be and he
wants to be.”
Murray on Saturday could get his first look at Anderson, who has
lost five in a row overall, but is 3-1-0 with a 1.98 GAA versus
Anderson’s new club looks to avoid a third straight defeat after
falling 4-2 to Boston on Friday.
Though the Senators have lost 18 of 20 overall, they’ve split
four meetings with the Maple Leafs in 2010-11.
Phil Kessel, an All-Star for Toronto, has a goal with three
assists versus Ottawa this season, and three goals in the last two
He opened the scoring in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory at Buffalo to
help the Maple Leafs improve to 6-2-1 this month.
“We’ve got a solid work ethic through our team right now, a lot
of young legs out there and a lot of enthusiasm,” coach Ron Wilson
told the Maple Leafs’ official website. “And it shows.”
Saturday’s contest will be the Maple Leafs’ first after dealing
Kaberle to Boston for highly-touted prospect Joe Colborne on
Friday. The 32-year-old Kaberle had spent his entire career with
Toronto, and was the only player remaining from the team’s last
playoff season in 2004.
Toronto rookie James Reimer could start after stopping 14 of 15
shots Wednesday in relief of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who left with
a lower-body injury.
In his first NHL start, Reimer made 32 saves for his first
career victory in a 5-1 win at Ottawa on New Year’s Day.