Saturday, February 26, 2011

Game #64 - at Toronto Maple Leafs

Game 64
Penguins (36-21-6, 78 points) at Maple Leafs (27-27-7, 61 points)

Why does it matter?
The Leafs are hot right now, with an 8-2-2 record in their past 12 games. They have dreams of making the playoffs. They also have a hot goalie. This will be another good test for the Pens, who badly need two points.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - The lunch pails and hard hats keep showing up, but the payoff at the end just isn't there right now.
  • Maple Leafs - Hot play recently has them back to .500 hockey for the first time since November 6th.
Questions to be answered
  • Will the effort level be maintained given the short turnaround from the game last night? It needs to be, because the way the Leafs are playing right now, they'll blow the Pens out of the building.
  • Who will sit with the probable return of Mark Letestu? I'm guessing Vitale, which is unfortunate, because I like what I've seen from him so far.
  • Which power play will shot up for the Leafs? One that was 5-10 in two of their previous eight games, or the one that was 0-26 in the other six games?
Keys to the game
  • Get to the power play. The Leafs PK has been porous all season long. Some extended time with the man-advantage would give us a chance to see what Kovy can do.
  • Use the (relative) depth at center and roll four lines all night. With Letestu back, the Pens will have four solid guys down the middle.
  • Crash the net and get bodies in front of Reimer.

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