Perhaps the biggest thing working in the Leafs' favor heading in to this Saturday's game is the motivation that comes from an 8-1 win. Just last night, Mats Sundin also surpassed the club records for most goals and most points, 390 and 917 respectively. Tell me how you can slow a guy down after a feat like that on top of a monstrous win. I'd like to know.
Let's hope, for the sake of Pens fans, that Toskala gets the start in net. He's 1-2 on the season, giving up nearly 4 goals a game. Last night's win saw Raycroft in net, so perhaps they'll switch duties come Saturday.
With that being said, let's talk about how the Pens have to stop the offense.
Oddly enough, I feel the biggest threat comes from the blueline. McCabe and Kaberle both possess huge shots. As long as they put it on net, it may be in Fleury's best interest to either freeze the puck or at the least kick it to the corner so as not to unleash the animal within Sundin, Stajan or Steen on the rebound.
I predict this game to also be relatively high scoring, similar to the home opener against the Ducks. Neither team really has a solid netminder, despite Raycroft setting aside 30 of 31 shots against the Islanders. So far this season, Fleury has let in a minimum of 3 goals a game. If he does get the start this Saturday night against the Leafs, then he's going to have to do better than that. I think the fans, especially Coach Therrien, wants to see this guy step up and stop the puck. Sabourin has my vote for tomorrow's game, but should he not start then it's a definite must-win situation for MA Fleury. Teams around the league has unveiled quality backups, why can't the Pens consider?
Another concern of mine comes, again, in the defense. The Pens have allowed far too many shots, and even though Eaton has taken more than a few to the chest and shins in attempts to block, they're going to have to do a better job if they want to keep the puck out. Let's hope the Leafs don't unleash another barage of shots similar to last night, whereby they sent 42 shots on nets with 8 finding the mark.
Now the Leafs' powerplay is also pretty hot, converting at 30% last night; or 2 on 6 attempts. Not to mention, they also netted a shorthanded goal. With three goals coming from their special teams, it's no doubt something to keep the Pens on their toes, but more importantly out of the box.
Which leads me to my final point. Less penalties means less goals, and by that I mean, coming from the opposition. Keep out of the box and keep the puck out. This also means they should draw that penalty from Tucker, and refrain from retribution on his cheap shots. He's an instigator and a dirty player, the Pens can't allow themselves to fall in to that trap. At least in the worst case scenario, Roberts gives him a lesson in fighting and they each get five.
Pens are on their way to Toronto, so my game of the night: Capitals vs Rangers. 7pm EST.
At least we have somethin on Leafs fans - like, a sense of style and interest in women...ZING
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Sundin set club records, not tied club records. You have to be crazy to think hat Raycroft is better than Toskala. Toskala was hung out to dry in the 7-1 loss besides that he's been solid. I stopped reading after that.
Yeah but when you guys lost, who was the first person Leafs fan blamed? Toskala. If I remember correctly, I even saw a blog on here saying the team was crazy to think a 30 year old could come and be a savior in the net.
Tucker is married to Robert's sister. That would be really funny if they fought.
strong blogyeah i agree that raycroft would get the start in net...however, look at this point:now that the team is on a roll, wouldn't JFJ want Toskala to carry the torch so it makes him look better?
Hey the Lindros' threw a few blows back in the day and their related by blood. I'd love to see a nice brother-in-law-brawl.
Maple Leaf...do you think the Leafs can keep rolling with Tosk in net? I mean, I've always been a firm believer a team shouldn't chance a thing if they're rolling. Prime example? Playoff beards. ;-)
Tucker is not married to roberts sister?????LMFAO..........He's married to Corson's sister, or the other way around LOL...........Tucker and Corson are brother-in-laws...........
Maybe they're each married to their own sisters, and this whole situation is even more screwed up then we could even imagine...
First off you say pens fans should pray for toskala? He was the lone bright spot in the 7-1 lost as he was hung out to dry MANY times. Next, Darcy Tucker isnt the player he once was he isnt "Sideshow Bob" anymore. He has learned to control himself and it has benefited them team and himself. Man watch a leaf game before you talk about them cuz you obviously have no business analyzing a team you know nothing about
goleafsgo84, are you serious?! FrankD basically praised the Leafs over top the Pens and you reply in a matter that is totally disrespectful. FrankD, thankfully he doesn't represent Leafs Nation in the smallest percentage. I'm embarrassed. The Leafs are not playing the same way with Toskala in net as they are with Raycroft. Perhaps they are just used to Razor and haven't adapted to Vesa yet, but this is not about who is being the "better" goalie or who has out performed the other (as Vesa has showed more talent that Razor has in my humble opinion), but how the team plays in front of him. And because of that, FrankD was referring that the Pens fans pray that Vesa starts.