Simply unbeLeafable

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

If last night's game was a final checklist for Senators GM Bryan Murray heading into today's 3 p.m. trade deadline ... well, let's put it this way:

There's not enough time left for him to fix everything that is wrong with his team as the hours drain down.

He can't trade 'em all, can he?

The Senators were soundly thumped -- embarrassed, really -- 5-0 last night, the thir straight time they've lost to the Leafs this season. That hasn't happened since 1992, the modern Senators' first year in the NHL.

Special teams are crowding the hunt for a No. 1 goaltender at the top of the list of concerns -- oh, yeah, there's that team defence thing, too -- as the Leafs scored three times on the power play and the Senators were blanked on four power-play attempts and hardly threatened Toronto goaltender Vesa Toskala.

"Playing like that was a total embarrassment," said coach John Paddock. "We've got to get to the core of playing hard and playing right."

The three power-play goals on the road for the Leafs is remarkable given they had scored only 15 away from home this season and were ranked 28th on the power play on the road going into the game. The Senators were shut out for the third time this season, twice now by the Leafs.

The Leafs got a pair of goals from Darcy Tucker and singles by Pavel Kubina, captain Mats Sundin and Dominic Moore. Senators goaltender Ray Emery, who was starting his fifth straight game as coaching staff has tried to all but hand him the No. 1 job, gave up the five goals on 21 shots.

BRONX CHEER

He got the Bronx cheer from the Scotiabank crowd as the second period wound down. Martin Gerber replaced Emery for the third period and received a large cheer when he skated onto the ice for the final 20 minutes. Gerber is scheduled to start tonight in Boston against the Bruins.

"It was everything," said Paddock of his decision to pull Emery. "Too many pucks had gone in the net, Martin is going to play (tonight), there were a lot of factors, but (Emery)'s play was part of it."

The second-best goaltender in the building last night was Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle, who stoned Mike Fisher with seconds left to save the shutout.

Once 3 p.m. comes and goes, the last of the excuses will be removed. Maybe players were nervous or distracted by the rumours and the possibility of being traded, but you would think they could focus their minds for a game.

It will be interesting to see if the Senators will be capable of finding something close to the form they showed earlier this season. Since their 15-2 start, the Senators have won just 21-of-45. With last night's loss, they are 4-6-2 in their last dozen and have given up their grasp on first in the East.

The offence has gone MIA in those 12 games, too. They have been held to two goals or less in eight; to three or less in nine . The power play has but one goal in the last six games and is 1-for-24 in that span.

"The power play can't get us going when we need it," said captain Daniel Alfredsson. "It's become a big problem for us. We're definitely not making much happen. The way we're playing is just not good enough."


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