Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Game #50 - vs Toronto Maple Leafs

2011-12 Game 50

Toronto Maple Leafs (25-19-5, 55 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (28-17-4, 60 points)

I thought Lupul did a great job at the Fantasy Draft while getting booed by the Ottawa fans.

Why does it matter?

If the playoffs started today, the Leafs would be on the outside looking in.  That makes them a desperate team. This is the front end of a home-and-home on consecutive nights with the Leafs, so it'll have the feel of a mini playoff series.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Seven wins in a row.  Here's hoping the All-Star break didn't kill the momentum.
  • Leafs - Three wins in four games, but two of those were over the Islanders.
Questions to be answered
  • Will we see the same team from a week ago?  The one that was playing at a high level and competing with anyone?
  • Any chance of seeing Brent Johnson today or tomorrow?  The Pens have another back-to-back this weekend, so you'd have to figure we'll see him sometime soon.
Keys to the game
  • Get to the power play.  This will be tough.  For the month of January, the Leafs have allowed more than two power plays in a game just twice.  They weren't whistled for a minor infraction at all in their wins against the Isles.
  • Start strong.  Get back into the habit with some hard skating work.
  • Stick to the basics - dump the puck, dig it out and go to work in the offensive zone.  Stay away from the cute stuff until the legs come back.

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