Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Penguins Gameday #30 (Maple Leafs)

Penguins (19-8-2, 40 pts) (1st Atlantic, 1st East)

Maple Leafs (10-12-4, 24 pts) (5th Northeast, 13th East)

Where: Consol Energy Center

When: 7:00 ET


After a great start, the Leafs' season went South in a hurry and continues to go that way. But they did bring their A game when they played the Pens earlier in the season and walked out of CEC with 2 points. They are also coming off a dramatic 5-4 OT comeback win vs the Caps (they were down 4-1). As for the Pens, just about everyone knows what they have been doing.

Opponents to Watch:

Clarke MacArthur- Everyone (myself included) thought it was a fluke when he put a deuce up against the Pens in October, but he has since followed up on that strong play and his stats are reflecting it.

Kris Versteeg- Decent stats line with the potential to go huge on any given night.

Phil Kessel- Toronto's other major scoring threat. Wicked shot and pretty good stick skills.

Keys to Victory:

-Keep the traffic away from Fleury. The Leafs were very good at converging on the net and agitating Fleury back in October. Get the big bodies like Rupp and Engelland in there to clean up the crease.

-Obviously the Leafs will be keeping a close eye on Sid and Kunitz. The third line shouldn't have much of a problem getting shots on goal, and converting will be key.

-Trying to pick what defense pairing to go with each line is difficult, but one thing that is universal is that all defensemen should keep track of their man. Surprise goals have been a specialty of the Leafs.


-Geno's status is still uncertain. Staal and Comrie out.

-Leafs will be without Phaneuf and Mike Brown.

-With Giguere maybe out, the Leafs will probably start "monster" Gustavsson.

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