January 23rd Pregame TOR vs PIT.
Toronto Maple Leafs (1-1-0) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-0)
Arena: Consol Energy Center
Puck Drop: 7:00pm EST
TV: TSN Radio: TSN 1050
Last Season: (2-2-0)
Whenever Pittsburgh and Toronto face off it promises to be a high scoring affair. However, this year, with Toronto’s newly found dedication to defense, it may be a different story. The game will be Pittsburgh’s home opener, and having already won their first 2 games, the Peguins will be looking to start the season 3-0-0 for the first time since 1994-95 (incidentally that was also the last lockout shortened season). One thing that may swing in Toronto’s favour is that in their first two games, both have been home openers, and twice the road team won.
While he has yet to score this year, registering only an assist in his first two games, Crosby is the Leaf Killer. In 22 career games against the Leafs, Crosby has 17 goals. For those of you happy to get away from another Leaf Killer in Ryan Miller, be careful what you wish for as Crosby and company promise to be another stiff challenge.
Now, as you will have seen by reading my other posts, I am a big fan of Kadri, and I suggested he should get more ice time. It looks like Carlyle may have been listening, as he has alluded that he is looking at more ways to get Nazem on the attack. According to practise on Tuesday, one of those ways appears to be slotting him on the #1 powerplay unit between Kessel and Lupul. He boasts arguably the best set of hands on the Leafs, so giving him more time on the powerplay (he already has 2 PP goals) should benefit the team.
The good part about the first two games is that their defense looks to be steadily improving. The bad news, their offense – Kadri aside – has gone MIA. 3 goals in 2 games is nothing to boast about, and when you face an offensive juggernaut like the Penguins, you are likely going to need to score multiple goals if you hope to win the game. It’s time for our skilled forwards to put the puck in the net.
Check out the postgame shortly after the game is completed.