Game Preview: Leafs at Pens

 

 Leafs_logo_medium

Pens_logo_medium

Record

2-0-0, 4 points

1-2-0, 2 points

PP %

10%, 25th

11.8%, 19th

PK %

100%, 1st

88.9%, 11th

Goals For

8

7

Goals Against

3

7

The first game of the Post-Jeff Finger Era goes tonight in Pittsburgh as the unbeaten Toronto Maple Leafs (God I love writing that) take on the Penguins. The Penguins are off to a bad start with their ‘star’ goaltender posting terrible numbers: .889 sv* and 3.08 GAA.

Offensively they have been led by Paul Martin and Alex Goligoski with four and three points respectively. On the other hand, big guns Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby have only a goal and an assist to their name respectively.

What does this mean for the Leafs?

Well, any good fan knows that ther are a varitety of droughts that traditionally end against the Leafs including star players’ struggling to score. Despite that, the Penguins are coming off of a win over a pathetically understaffed New Jersey Devils squad.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are firing on all cylinders. An opening night win against the Montreal Canadiens was followed by a 5-1 shellacking of the Ottawa Senators. It was enough to get local rags like the National Post cautioning fans to ‘not plan the parade’ as if we ever discarded our plans and had to draw up new ones.

There are numerous theories about why the Leafs have accomplished in two games what it took them fourteen games to do last year. The biggest reason: Jean-Sebastien Giguere who has a .935 sv%.

Remembering back to Vesa Toskala might cause post-traumatic stress disorder but it’s incredible what competent goaltending can do for a team. At the other end of the rink the Leafs’ offence has been led by Phil Kessel (no surprise), Kris Versteeg (no surprise), Tim Brent (major surprise) and Clarke MacArthur (mild surprise).

Who is Tim Brent?

Well, it’s not a mystery anymore: he’s the goal scoring machine leading the team’s third line.

So yeah, this is a good start.

Last year’s terrible start snowballed into an 0-7-1 run that ended the Leafs’ season before it had a chance to get going. Hopefully this year a strong start will have the same effect. Feel free to use this as your game day thread. Toss in any links about the game that you come across and if you feel adventurous head over to join us during the game at PPP.

Until then, marvel at the reach of Leafdom.