Gameday #3: vs. Toronto Maple LeafsPosted: 23/01/2013
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Consol Energy Center, 7:00 pm
Sup. Pens take on the Leafs tonight in the CEC for the home opener. Leafs are coming off a home loss to Buffalo. Pens are coming off big wins on the road against division rivals Philly and the Rangers. CEC will be blowing up, undoubtedly. Don’t forget about those nice promo deals. Thanks Mario. More after the jump.
So the black and vegas gold have made their previous two opponents look, well…silly at point. Neal and Malkin are red hot. Tyler Kennedy looks like he’s playing for a top-line contract (which is surprising.) Sutter is winning all of the faceoffs. Fleury and Vokoun both look great. Crosby has a point, but we’ve seen him lay a few hits – an indicator that he’s ready to win some more game. Letang isn’t skating around like a moron any more. Paul Martin thinks he’s back in New Jersey. Big Dawg is on the hunt (ha). It’s fair to say that the Pens have looked good in their past two games. Not perfect, but they look good.
The Leafs, being enigmatic as they are, are enigmatic again this year. In their season opener at Montreal, Ben Scrivens stood tall to boost the Leafs, along with a smooth Nazem Kadri, to the season opener win. Apparently Ben Scrivens can put up some saves in desperation if need be. If you check out this recap video of their win, you’ll see a set of hungry Toronto forwards that grab the garbage goals. Last year, this would have been something terrifying but with the way the Pens forwards have been blocking shots and the d have been clearing pucks/bodies from the net, it should be interesting. Wayne Simmonds caused some havoc in front of the net. Hopefully, Dion Phaneuf goes back to being lazy and Phil Kessel remains in his form from the end of last season.
Some things to take away from their last game recap video against a red hot Buffalo team: Ryan Miller is a beast. Ben Scrivens make some athletic saves…again. The Leafs generate chances from traffic to the net. Kadri is quick (that backhand goal is pretty…). Late game goal shows them not giving up despite being down 2 with 1:58 left to play. These are all good qualities to have in a club.
Here’s the bottom line: the Pens are playing well. The Leafs look like they did at the beginning of their season last year…which was pretty good. They can’t be underestimated. Disco won’t let that happen, but there’s still a chance that the Pens go soft. Game 1 against Philly is still too fresh for my liking. Could be a rout, could be a good game, could be an upset. I know how dumb that sounds, but there could be a lot that happens.
See you there. Go Pens.