Saturday, October 26, 2013

Penguins Game 11 Preview - @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs

7:00 p.m., Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Last Penguins Game:
October 26, 2013 - New York Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]

The Penguins didn't get off to the start to this back-to-back weekend that they had hoped for with a tough loss last night to the Islanders. While the Islanders weren't going to be an "easy" team to beat they were most certainly the better chance of the two teams they played this weekend of beating, if you would have asked me (you didn't). The Leafs have some pretty good talent and despite the fact that they have about 12 guys that they have bought out over the last couple years and they still insist on playing guys like Colton Orr over guy that have, you know, real hockey talent they still are a pretty good team.

The first line features James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel who are a couple of dynamic goal scorers that are getting the job done despite the fact that Toronto thinks that Tyler Bozak is good. The Leafs have three players with five or more goals with Kessel and Joffrey Lupul each having six. Lupul was a scratch last night against Columbus with a bad foot and is not expected to play tonight so that will be a plus for the Penguins.

van Riemsdyk has four goals while the Leafs rank right in the middle of the pack giving up a little over 2.5 goals per game (2.64). They lost last night to Columbus 5-2 as the Blue Jackets scored four third period goals to really run away with it late.

The problem with the Maple Leafs this year (and last year) is that they really don't think that shooting the puck is all that big of a deal. They average less than 27 shots per game which is good for 27th in the league and in five of their 11 games they have had 25 or less shots. In eight games they have 26 or less shots and in all but two games they have had under 30 shots. In a 4-1 win over Minnesota on October 15 the Leafs had only 14 shots. They won. With 14 shots. Last season they ranked 28th in the league averaging 26.3 shots per game so this isn't really a small sample size issue. Granted, just throwing pucks randomly at the net isn't the best way to do things but shooting the puck a little more probably would help the offense. Probably. Toronto is getting outshot by an average of eight shots per game. That is 28th in the league. Man.


Probables:

Penguins (7-3-0)

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - Chuck Kobasew
Tanner Glass - Brandon Sutter - Jayson Megna
Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Deryk Engelland

Defense
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Matt Niskanen

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

Maple Leafs (7-4-0) (via Dailyfaceoff)

Forwards
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Jay McClement - Dave Bolland - David Clarkson
Mason Raymond - Nazem Kadri - Carter Ashton
Frazer McLaren - Trevor Smith - Colton Orr

Defense
Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf
Morgan Rielly - Cody Franson
Paul Ranger - Jake Gardiner

Goaltender
James Reimer


The Stats

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