Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Game #51 - at Toronto Maple Leafs

2011-12 Game 51

Pittsburgh Penguins (29-17-4, 62 points) at Toronto Maple Leafs (25-19-6, 56 points)

With two goals in the previous game, Grabovski is moving dangerously close to "Penguin Killer" territory.

Why does it matter?

Another game against one of the top 9 in the East.  The Pens will be looking to show that their slow start in the previous game was a fluke.  The Leafs will be looking to show that the ending was one.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Eight wins in a row, but you can't count on the third period comebacks very often at all.
  • Leafs - I wouldn't call it a crushing meltdown, but to have a three goal lead in the third and blow it has to be disappointing.
Questions to be answered
  • How will both teams respond to start the game?  Will we see a fast start?  Will we see an attempt to play physically?
  • Will anyone show tired legs?  The Leafs had three D at or over 27 minutes.  That's a pretty heavy load.
  • Can Geno's line shore things up?  Despite scoring the tying goal, Malkin's line was a -2.  That means they were on the ice for all three even-strength goals against last game.
Keys to the game
  • Get to the power play.  The Pens earned just one power play chance last game.  The refs won't hand it to you - you have to keep the legs driving and out work the opponent to get there.
  • Be ready early.  The Air Canada Centre will be rocking, even more so if the Leafs get a lead.
  • Huge in net.  The Pens will need a top notch performance from whoever is between the pipes with the way the Leafs can fire the puck.

No comments: