Good evening ladies and gentlemen! It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh and a hockey night in Canada as your Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Toronto Maple Leafs!
Penguins are 16-8-0 for 32 points (2nd in the East). Leafs are 15-10-0 for 30 points (5th in the East).
Leafs real projected lines: JVR-Bozak-Kessel McClement-Grabo-Kulemin MacArthur-Kadri-Frattin Orr-Steckel-Komarov
Phaneuf-Holzer Gunnarsson-Kostka Fraser-Franson
- Mikey's keys to victories: - Establish the forecheck early, the Leafs don't have a ton of great puck-movers on their backline if it's accurate that John-Michael Liles remains out and Jake Gardiner remains in the minors. Pressure these guys into mistakes!
- Careful of that Leafs "third line", it's not really a third line...Matt Frattin returns to the lineup tonight and Nazem Kadri is red hot. Randy Carlyle has been sending Kadri out against third pairings and fourth lines to try to get easier matchups for him/them...we have to be aware when those shifty players are on the ice. Don't look now, but Kadri leads the team in points!
- In n' Out, In n' Out around the front of the net. Utilize the area behind the net to our advantage because the Leafs defense isn't terribly mobile...cut in through their zone and go to the front of the net on the fly, if it's not there, go behind the net and try to pull them apart a little bit...our forwards are faster than their D, we can win a lot of puck battles tonight with good timing...
Note: Carlyle speculated that there might be changes to the lineup too...could see Frazer McLaren tonight, could even see John Michael-Liles on D...we'll know soon enough!
Fun fact: Crosby career vs. Leafs: 23 GP - 18 goals, 19 assists, 37 points...let's double those totals tonight!
This is one of those games where I catch the 1st period at home , part of the game driving to work and finish watching it at work. I guess DB doesn't care how p*ssed I am at seeing the marshmellow man replace Vitale at the 4th line center. Let's take a 64% faceoff guy and replace him with a 37% guy who's as slow as Adams and Glass and who hasn't thrown a hard check this season.