Preview and GDT: Penguins at Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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MLHS_0101_oct_26_pens_draftstreet

Team Records: Leafs – 7-4-0 vs. Penguins – 7-3-0
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Lineup Update: No Bozak tonight, who didn’t finish last night’s game due to a lower back injury. The Leafs four centers will be Kadri, Bolland, McClement and Smith. Big chance for the Leafs’ real number one center next to Kessel tonight.

 

Three losses in their last four, and only about 40 minutes of good hockey (versus Anaheim) in that stretch, has left me uneasy going into tonight’s tilt against the 7-3 Pittsburgh Penguins.

What would be magnificent is if the Leafs came out with a decent first 20 minutes as a starting point. The Leafs have been outshot 121 to 92 and outscored 10-7 in first periods. They’ve been out shot 58-25 in the first period of their last five games. This habit is something that could sink the Leafs early against a team with the offensive repertoire of the Penguins.

Last night’s loss again had Carlyle referring to team identity and his group straying from what he liked about last season in terms of the team’s physicality and work rate. It’s something that is clearly eating at the coach, and Jay McClement echoed Carlyle’s sentiment that there hasn’t been that same consistency to their game yet;  in seeing Clarkson play last night, even if he didn’t get much accomplished, the team should take a refresher course from his determined pursuit to be first to pucks.

The Leafs were 1-1-1 against the Penguins last season, and save for a 3-1 loss in March, had success producing offence against the Penguins with 10 goals in three games. The Leafs didn’t have Lupul for any of those games except the first 9 minutes of the 5-2 win in January before he left the game with a broken forearm.

There is very little chance Lupul plays tonight; it sounds like Lupul has to get his foot checked out again now that the swelling has gone down to find out if the injury is something more serious.

Josh Leivo was returned to the Marlies after playing only 7 minutes last night. Carter Ashton, who has two goals in two games in the AHL, has been called up in his place.

James Reimer’s first game since October 15 vs. Minnesota will come in this second half of a back to back against one of the league’s consistently great offenses. He’s probably going to have to be great for the Leafs to win tonight.

Lastly, there is nothing that takes the fun out of watching the Leafs on Saturday night than the Leafs getting soundly beat while Hughson, Healy and Simpson excitedly spout verbal diarrhea about all of the team’s problems. Making matters worse, tonight’s broadcast will include long raptures about the wonderful way in which Sidney Crosby ties his skates. Please, Leafs, put on a good showing tonight.

 LeafsPenguins
Record7-4-07-3-0
GF/G3.18 (9th)3.30 (3rd)
GA/G2.64 (14th)2.40 (7th)
SF/G26.6 (27th)32.5 (5th)
SA/G34.5 (27th)25.5 (3rd)
PP26.2% (5th)18.9% (16th)
PK86.4% (6th)77.8% (24th)
5 on 5 F/A1.05 (13th)1.22 (10th)
Sh%11.9% (2nd)10.2% (8th)
Sv%92.4% (6th)90.6% (21st)
FO%43.7 (29th) (lol)56.4 (2nd)
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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • Alec Brownscombe

    I’ll convert this into the GDT for game time. Same thread

  • Scarb

    Yeah, the HNIC commentators have to go. I have been watching games online from US feeds and their commentators are far more balanced and realistic. As well, they don’t go on and on with usless ‘insights’. Healey was a 2nd rate goalie and is a 3rd rate commentator.

  • lieffan

    Thanks. Penguins a better team in every category except special teams. We might not win a faceoff tonight either.

  • Optimustic

    Clarkson is used to playing the Pens.   He is our hope to a victory tonight, but the rest of the team has to join him.   Even though we’ve had success against them, I don’t feel confident except in what Clarkson brings.  We haven’t played well enough to foster any confidence lately.
    Go Clarkson Go – Go Leafs Go!

  • Burtonboy

    I have a bad feeling about this one :(

  • NotInsane

    Burtonboy 
    That frown will be turned upside down when the Leafs get off to a great start tonight

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Whatever happened with the CBC bid for saturday night games that was due at the end of September??  Is CBC keeping the games or has it yet to be decided??  Everything was up for renewal.

  • Burtonboy

    NotInsane Burtonboy Phookism lol

  • Doorman

    We Got Pitts Number!!!!  5-0 Leafs!!!  Book it!!!

  • PeterZeroOne

    Optimustic count me in as also feeling trepidation heading into tonight’s game.  I hope Clarkson can lead a bit more through example.  Last night’s cycle game in the 1st period and 2nd period had me feeling good for a bit; it was good seeing some zone time.  Nothing much came of it, but at least the Leafs weren’t on their heels at even strength.  Hopefully it’s something to build off of.

  • Mind Bomb

    GO LEAFS GO

  • DWCMLHS

    Strange stat…
    SHOTS BY DMEN
    Rielly: 18 in 9 games
    Phaneuf: 16 in 11 games
    Franson: 16 in 11 games
    ————————————
    Ranger: 8 in 11 games
    Gardiner: 7 in 11 games
    Gunnarsson: 7 in 11 games

    Gardiner is shooting at a similar rate to Gunnarsson and Ranger, instead of Rielly, Phaneuf and Franson. Not what you’d expect from an offensive-minded guy like him. He’s more of a passer than a shooter, but he needs to be a little more assertive when he has the puck, imo.

  • NotInsane

    how can the Leafs’ face-offs be so bad?  It was a big problem against Boston in the playoffs and is (if anything) worse.

  • Optimustic

    PeterZeroOne Optimustic Yeah, I think that, and the previous game inspire a bit of hope.   Once we scored the two quick goals, we looked like a differnet team.

  • Doorman

    Yaknowwhat Start Drinking!!!  NOW!!!   lol

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Shit feeling about it here, too.

  • PeterZeroOne

    For anyone who’s into fancy stats, I’m just trying my hand at learning them myself.  For last night’s game in Columbus, the Leafs had a Fenwick Close rate of 47.2 %.  (That means, I think, that the Leafs had 47.2% of the shot attempts in last nights game, excluding blocked shots, when the score was close at even strength)
    Including this game, this season we’re averaging only 42.2% Fenwick Close.  So along with what we could all see in terms of a better attacking zone time and cycle play, the stats showed that last night we definitely improved in terms of possession play.  It’s at least a bit of a reason for optimism.

  • peterbleafs

    Another elite team….we don’t put out a total effort tonight we get spanked even worse than last night.  Leafs better smarten up again….they are starting to remind me of Wilsons team efforts.

  • Jordan29

    Ok so I hope we win tonight…….i have nothing else to say

  • peterbleafs

    These damn Leafs better play well enough to drown out a Gospel Concert.

  • docyqx

    Yaknowwhat Doorman Hope you got a bowl or a joint, always good for what ails you, lol,
    GO LEAFS GO !!!! (smoke’em if you got’em)

  • Doorman

    Tank Nation Here We Come!!!  Lol

  • peterbleafs

    Doorman Not tank nation, but the last 4 games have been sissy efforts, we have a cup contending team IMO if they play the system they are supposed too.

  • DWCMLHS

    Yaknowwhat DWCMLHS Yes, so Phaneuf and Franson should have more shots than Gardiner, because they are on the top PP unit, and he’s on the 2nd. But Gardiner should have more than Ranger and Gunnarsson. Rielly’s total is incredibly impressive, given that he wasn’t even put on the PP until a few games ago.

  • Doorman

    peterbleafs Doorman Its Early;  they will figure it out!!!

  • wiski

    peterbleafs How many Robins today, I had a bunch here

  • wiski

    Doorman peterbleafs Haven’t even had a full team yet.

  • Doorman

    wiski Doorman peterbleafs Yea; And 14 points to show for it!!!  I still remember 3 years ago!!!  Now that was Scarey!!!  lol

  • docyqx

    Doorman That’s IT, Doorman, I’m training the dogs  to bite at the words “Tank Nation”……LOL

  • Jordan29

    by far the biggest game so far this year by a mile. We lose tonight and we are 1-4 in last 5 with some poor efforts

  • phaneufoundlander

    I can see the headlights of 18 wheeler…….this team had lost its identity of beng hard working, tenacious and tough. Far too many lazy back check, turnovers and. Defensive zoe breakdowns. I don’t like our chances tonight and losing four of five games is not good.

  • phaneufoundlander

    The leafs have the same makeup as they’ve had for years….slow starts…….they only play well when pressed or behind in a game. Last nights game was pitiful, I’ve been contrary all day

  • Doorman

    You guys are So depressing that I will just have to go get a Beer!!!   lol

  • phaneufoundlander

    Yip, it’ll be 2 zip before you know it

  • DWCMLHS

    Leafs’ statistical leaders, heading into game #12:

    Goals
    T-1st: Lupul (6)
    T-1st: Kessel (6)
    3rd: JVR (5)

    1st Assists
    1st: Kessel (5)
    T-2nd: Lupul (3)
    T-2nd: JVR (3)
    T-2nd: Raymond (3)
    T-2nd: Bolland (3)
    T-2nd: Kadri (3)
    T-2nd: Ranger (3)

    2nd Assists
    1st: Franson (6)
    2nd: Rielly (3)
    T-3rd: Raymond (2)
    T-3rd: Kadri (2)
    T-3rd: Phaneuf (2)
    T-3rd: Kulemin (2)

    Points
    1st: Kessel (12)
    2nd: Lupul (10)
    T-3rd: Raymond (9)
    T-3rd: JVR (9)

    Shots
    1st: Kessel (45)
    2nd: Lupul (33)
    T-3rd: Raymond (30)
    T-3rd: JVR (30)

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Shift_Disturber1 only 40 minutes eh? keeping expectations grounded?

  • phaneufoundlander

    More like 5 shots for the leafs have 2 periods

  • Alec Brownscombe

    DWCMLHS Just wait till Bozak is back from injury

  • DWCMLHS

    Kessel is a beast.

  • ConnorCrisp

    Definately gonna watch the Pittsburg stream tonight. It sounds crazy but Healy seriously makes me soooooooo unreasonably mad no matter what he says. He could be listing the ingredients to pumpkin pie and my bold pressure would rise 10 points.

  • Lescott

    Reilly gets 6 today and we win by 11.

  • docyqx

    ConnorCrisp one of those “SMART TV’s”… should be able to set a filter to get rid of that shit huh ??

  • ConnorCrisp

    Just put a piece of tape labelled “Healy” over your mute button. Amaze your friends!!

  • wiski

    ConnorCrisp hopefully it is only for the second intermission 😉

  • docyqx

    Shift_Disturber1 I Hope you have the shopping channel blocked on your tv,

  • docyqx

    Shift_Disturber1 docyqx ok….so you give her a choice….
    handcuffs & ballgag  OR  Tickets to a movie ???
    sorry, I gotta smoke another bowl….

  • loomx

    ConnorCrisp It’s too bad TSN1050, and previously AM640, don’t have their feeds lined up with the TVs. I used to mute the TV and play the radio and it was perfect.

  • wiski

    Shift_Disturber1 MikeGartner11 Show her this
    http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://i.ebayimg.com/t/I-DONT-NEED-GOOGLE-MY-WIFE-KNOWS-EVERYTHING-FUNNY-T-SHIRT-BEST-QUALITY-/00/s/MzI3WDM1MA%3D%3D/%24(KGrHqJHJ!4E-cdRbmlhBPyn!RcPk!~~60_35.GIF&imgrefurl=http://www.ebay.com/itm/I-DONT-NEED-GOOGLE-MY-WIFE-KNOWS-EVERYTHING-FUNNY-T-SHIRT-BEST-QUALITY-/221040272202&h=280&w=300&sz=13&tbnid=hHd3iCEaJpn1fM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=96&zoom=1&usg=__wLxryvpOL6mQU23tfvJxRemoTqw=&docid=EvAagmiRD3BukM&sa=X&ei=8TpsUs3TIImGkQer1YFg&ved=0CDEQ9QEwAg

  • Burtonboy

    wiski Shift_Disturber1 MikeGartner11 Now that’s a link lol

  • mlclearwater

    Hook em Stick em Fuck em, Lets start bangin bodies and scoring goals tonight. GLG