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Toronto Maple Leafs v. Atlanta Thrashers

I have to post two game day threads today because I am making the pilgrimage to Montreal to see the game this weekend and I am not sure if I'll have access to the internet or not so better safe than sorry.

The table of stats will feature both the Thrashers and Canadiens and be accurate as of today.

Road/Home/Home Maple Leafs Thrashers Canadiens
Powerplay 12.7% - 26th 15.8% - 19th 21.6% - 8th
Penalty Kill 82.7% - 13th 76.8% - 27th 75.4% - 29th
GF / GA (GP) 38/38 (13) 36/43 (13) 40/40 (15)
Record 6-6-1 6-7-0 5-6-4

The Leafs will be facing two horrible home penalty killing units so theoretically it's a great chance for their top unit, now with 100% more Kazakh, to gel and add another weapon to the team's arsenal. The Thrashers will be featuring a rejuvenated Mark Recchi alongside MVP candidate Ilya Kovalchuk which should give the Leafs' defence fits unless you know the forwards keep backchecking like demons and the defencemen keep things simple and just chip the puck out of the zone and Toskala makes timely saves. That strategy has worked pretty well for the past seven games so you would hope to see it continued. Of course, with the Leafs it's all theory until it happens. And even then you better double check just to make sure you aren't hallucinating.

On to the inspirational speech for the game (current record:5-1-0 with the only loss pinned on the pacifist Ghandi). For the Thrasher's game it is courtesy of Sir Winston Churchill:

What some have called the Battle of MLSE supremacy is over (for the time being). I expect that the Battle of The Road Trip is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of this season. Upon it depends our hopes and dreams and the long continuity of our playoff aspirations. The whole fury and might of the NHL will very soon be turned on us.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the Toronto Maple Leafs and its fanbase last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was a pretty good hour.'

Go Leafs Go!

You guys voted Mats Sundin for Player of the Game even though I tried to gently nudge you towards Boyd Devereaux or Hal Gill. Democracy has spoken but expect a post about why Hal Gill is a Norris Candidate next week. (note: unless he sucks this weekend) Remember to put your guesses for who will take the first shot, get the first penalty, and score the first goal in the comments. I'll keep a running tally of the results in the right sidebar. We've doubled the number of participants but no one has been able to rack up many points so join in now before everyone's guessing abilities improve. Join now to get in some practice because I'm thinking of having a competition for a prize after the all-star break with wonderful prizes. No idea what they will be but they'll be awesome.

As always, the comment section is a wonderful place to vent and rage between periods or make hopeful predictions that you can tout in the future if they happen to come to pass. Each period and overtime/shootout gets their own section so just reply to the relevant section's main post and question how the team can look so good one night and so bad the next. Whatever you want to say all that you need to say it is to set up an account to comment so register and share your thoughts.