Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Game #66 - vs Toronto Maple Leafs

2011-12 Game 66

Toronto Maple Leafs (30-29-7, 67 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (39-21-5, 83 points)

According to his sig, Clarke spells his name "Cl McAthu", which seems like something out of Lovecraft.

Why does it matter?

The Leafs think they still have a shot at the playoffs.  I sure hope they do, because if they make it, it will likely mean that the Southeast division (where the Caps play) will only get one team in the playoffs.  That would be all kinds of awesome.  Desperation has set in for Toronto, and the feel will be similar to the past three games for the Pens.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - The team keeps rolling, and now Sid is close to returning.
  • Maple Leafs - What happened in February?  After starting the month with three straight wins, they finished the month with a 1-9-1 run.  Talk about choking... but they've changed their coach, so we'll see if that makes a difference.
Questions to be answered
  • Kessel and Lupul?  Forget about them - it's Grabovski and MacArthur the Pens need to watch, as both have had great success against the Pens this year (6 and 5 points respectively).
  • Can the Pens stop the trend of being out shot?  You know that has to be killing HCDB, who would rather control the game by keeping the puck in the offensive zone (shots are a decent indicator of that).
  • Any chance we see Thiessen or Johnson?  You have to figure the team will want to get Flower some rest as we go down the stretch.
Keys to the game
  • Play like it's a road game.  Keep things tight and don't give the playmakers from the Leafs any room to skate.
  • Work for your chances.  The power play has been short on chances the past few games.  If the refs aren't blowing the whistles, work harder and force them to do it.
  • Shut down their power play - the Leafs scored twice last night against the Bruins with the man-advantage.

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