The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to visit the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the Consol Energy Arena. The Penguins have yet to win at home this season and get another opportunity to erase that stat tonight against a Leafs team that is hoping to remain undefeated. Jonas Gustavsson will get his first start between the pipes according to Sportsnet.
Ron Wilson’s decision to call Gustavsson’s number for the first time this season is interesting. Given how hot Jean Sebastien Giguere is at the moment and the three day lay off since Saturday’s game against Ottawa, it’s a bit surprising Giguere won’t get the chance to continue what he’s started. But this was always a 1A/1B situation going in, and for Gustavsson’s sake it’s probably important to get him his first taste of the regular season sooner rather than later.
A few fun stats regarding tonight’s teams:
Phil Kessel: 2GP 2G 1A 3P is on pace for 82 goals and 123 points. Perhaps something even more to smile about is knowing the Thrashers walked away from Clake MacArthur – who is scoring at the same pace as Kessel (hey, while it lasts).
Not a single Leafs player sits in the minus column regarding plus/minus.
It looks like Luke Schenn is back to his top four defence form as he averages over 22 minutes of ice-time per game and is currently a plus 2 with no registered points.
JS Giguere sits among some of the top goaltenders in the league with 2 wins and a 0.935 save percentage. His goals against average of 1.51 is certainly an improvement from the Leafs goaltending performance one season ago.
Sidney Crosby has yet to register a goal this season. Tim Brent of the Toronto Maple Leafs is already looking for his third.
Paul Martin is showing promising signs of his ability to lead the powerplay on the back end. With the loss of Sergei Gonchar over the summer, Paul Martin was signed as a free agent from the New Jersey Devils and now currently leads the Penguins in points with 4, including 1 goal in his three appearances.
Unfortunately for Pens fans, the team has been struggling in their defensive zone. Zbynek Michalek, who was brought in to aid the club with blocked shots, is currently a team worst minus 3.
Marc Andre-Fleury has struggled through his first few games posting just a 0.889 save percentage. That said, back-up goaltender Brent Johnson has a 0.968 save percentage and has stopped all 31 shots he’s faced in just under 60 minutes of action this season.
25 year-old rookie Mark Letestu is having a successful start to his professional career. He has 2 goals on the year while averaging just under 15 minutes of ice-time per game.
Hot or Not?
Toronto Maple Leafs:
Mike Komisarek is hot! 2 pts in last 2 GP
Phil Kessel is hot! 3 pts in last 2 GP
Clarke MacArthur is hot! 3 pts in last 2 GP
Nikolai Kulemin is hot! 2 pts in last 2 GP
Mikhail Grabovski is hot! 2 pts in last 2 GP
Kris Versteeg is hot! 2 pts in last 2 GP
Tim Brent is hot! 2 pts in last 2 GP
Jean-Sebastien Giguere is hot! 2-0-0, 1.51, .935 in last 2 GPI
Paul Martin is hot! 3 pts in last 2 GP
Alex Goligoski is hot! 3 pts in last 3 GP
Kris Letang is hot! 2 pts in last 3 GP
Mark Letestu is hot! 2 pts in last 2 GP
Pascal Dupuis is not! 0 pts in last 3 GP
Marc-Andre Fleury is not! 0-2-0, 3.07, .889 in last 2 GPI
Brett Lebda (D) Shoulder injury (Injured reserve) TML
Arron Asham (RW) Shoulder injury (Injured reserve) PIT
Brooks Orpik (D) Groin (Day to day) PIT
Jordan Staal (C) Foot injury (Injured reserve) PIT
For more articles by Micheal Aldred, visit The Checking Line.