7PM ET: TSN
Sidney Crosby: 33 points in his last 16 games. 9 goals in his last five. Gulp. Side note: Versus asked "what was the most points scored in 16 games?" last night on their Bruins - Sabres broadcast and the answer was obviously Wayne Gretzky's FIFTY EIGHT points in 16 games in 81-82. I've seen a few "Will Crosby catch Gretzky?" articles in the past year and the answer is "obviously not". Reminder: in 82GP in 81-82 Gretzky scored 92 goals and added 120 assists to finish with 212 points.
Can you even imagine if someone scored 58 points in 16 games in this NHL? Since the lockout we've seen a player crack the 100pt barrier 23 times. Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Backstrom, Sidney Crosby (4X), Dany Heatley (2X), Marian Hossa, Jaromir Jagr, Vincent Lecavalier, Evgeni Malkin (2X), Alex Ovechkin (4X), Joe Sakic, Henrik Sedin, Martin St. Louis, Eric Staal, and Joe Thornton (2X). Gretzky beats all but three of those performances with his assists alone. Crazy.
I wouldn't expect any big lineup changes; John Mitchell and Brett Lebda have sat two straight and those games went pretty well all things considered. We all understand the constantly winning in the shootout is statistically unlikely and also "regular unlikely" because we're fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs but against the best in the Eastern Conference we'll take anything we can get. Pittsburgh's number one and though we've played them well in the past few seasons there's a reason this is called Doom Week. Hold on to your butts Leafs fans.
Update: Jordan Staal remains out and Evgeni Malkin is unlikely for tonight.