REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS Senators: 42-22-10-6, 102 points. *3rd Place in NorthEast Division, 5th Place in Eastern Conference.* vs. Leafs: 45-24-10-3, 103 points. *2nd Place in Northeast Division, 4th Place in Eastern Conference.*
(***Please note that some links will only work on GAME DAY***)
*Centers Mats Sundin (lower body) and Joe Nieuwendyk (back) are questionable for Game 5 Friday against Ottawa.
Right wing Owen Nolan (knee) is expected to be sidelined until at least late April.
No significant injuries.
The Senators have the league’s best offence, thanks in large part to the 30-goal trio of Marian Hossa, Daniel Alfredsson and Martin Havlat. With sniper Peter Bondra added via trade and youngster Jason Spezza contributing nicely, Ottawa’s offence could be lethal in the playoffs. Expect key goals from the secondary scorers, too. Peter Schaefer, Brian Smolinski and Radek Bonk are all capable of finding the net. But can this physically unimposing group take a playoff pounding?
The Maple Leafs have battled injuries up front all season and will be without Owen Nolan for at least the opening round of the playoffs. Alexander Mogilny, however, is healthy after missing much of the season. Toronto will rely on several veterans for offence, including top scorer Mats Sundin, Gary Roberts, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ron Francis as well as Darcy Tucker Antropov and Poni Even
The Senators depth on defence is a team strength. Adding Greg deVries to a group that already included Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden and Chris Phillips was a real coup for Ottawa. And Todd Simpson can provide muscle when and if it’s needed.
Toronto spent much of the season trying to improve it’s defence corps, and did so with the acquisition of powerplay specialist Brian Leetch. With Bryan McCabe also on the point, Toronto gets a lot of pop from the back-end. The rest of the unit is solid, headed by Tomas Kaberle, Ken Klee and Bryan Marchment. Problems do appear in the defensive zone on occasion, however, and that remains a concern heading into the postseason. Edge Toronto
Another concern for Toronto is the health of top goaltender Ed Belfour. His back has bothered him in recent weeks. If Belfour is unable to go, the Leafs would have to choose between Trevor Kidd and Mikael Tellqvist. Kidd has more experience, but Tellqvist has been the better player this season. Edge Toronto
Ottawa's Patrick Lalime heads into the playoffs battling a knee injury and playoff demons. Although he has been terrific at times in the past, Lalime has been inconsistent. Martin Prusek has played well in Lalime’s absence but lacks playoff experience.
Statistical Keys to the Series
Toronto's Joe Nieuwendyk won 60.4% of his draws this season; the third-best percentage in the league.
The Leafs' power play ranked fourth in the league at 20.1%.
With a 23-10-7-1 (.658) mark away from home, the Leafs ranked third in the NHL.
Bryan McCabe had eight points in six games to lead the Leafs in scoring against the Senators this season.
Ottawa's top faceoff man is Todd White, whose 52.0% ranked 53rd.
The Senators' power play was successful a league-best 21.5% of the time.
Ottawa is 18-6-3 (.722) without goaltender Patrick Lalime this season. He's expecting to return from a knee injury in time for the first game of the series.
Martin Havlat scored six points in five games to lead the Senators in scoring against the Maple Leafs this season.
Quote to Note
Maple Leafs' winger Alexander Mogilny: "Who said age is a handicap? (Ed Belfour) is unbelievable. It comes down to preparation and dedication to the game. I've never seen anybody in his position work as hard as he does. The team is so confident when he's in the net."
Last edited by Leaf Lander: 04-17-2004 at 04:28 PM.