Maple Leafs vs. Penguins: Game # 60
Time: 7:00PM EDT
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet (not on CBC because of the Olympic Games)
Opponent SBNation Site: Pensburgh
The Leafs are on a winning streak that now extends to five games. The Penguins have won eight of the last ten played. It’s a good old-fashioned clash of the titans.
We’re only about nine days away from the NHL trade deadline. The Leafs traded away Nikita Soshnikov, who wasn’t playing frequently anyway. There’s talk out there of “possibilities” but it’s becoming more likely that both the Leafs and Penguins will go forward to the playoffs with the rosters they have tonight.
Oh. Wait. There is one player the Penguins may want to get rid of...
Looking more like Matt Hunwick is on the trade block with Ian Cole playing 17-18 mins per game. Pens need cap space to acquire a forward.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 16, 2018
Matt Hunwick! LOL. His contract runs through to the end of the 2019-20 season with a salary cap impact of $2.25M. Get on the phone, Peter Chiarelli!
Here is the best available lineup information as of the time of publishing. If there are any major changes we will update this in the afternoon.
Toronto Maple Leafs (from recent practice)
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Mitch Marner
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown
Leo Komarov - Dominic Moore - Kasperi Kapanen
Not Playing: Josh Leivo, Matt Martin
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Connor Carrick
Not Playing: Roman Polak
Starting (not yet confirmed): Frederik Andersen
Backup: Curtis McElhinney
Pittsburgh Penguins (from recent morning skate)
Zach Aston-Reese - Sidney Crosby - Conor Sheary
Carl Hagelin - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Jake Guentzel - Riley Sheahan - Phil Kessel
Dominik Simon - Carter Rowney - Ryan Reaves
Injured: Patric Hornqvist
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Justin Schultz
Ian Cole - Jamie Oleksiak
Not playing: Matt Hunwick
Starting (not yet confirmed): Matt Murray
Backup: Tristan Jarry
The last time these two teams faced each other was December 9, a game which the Leafs won 4-3. Tyler Bozak scored twice in that game. That’s significant considering it’s two of only eight he has scored all season.
Since that game Bozak has scored only twice, the most recent in the game on January 6th. The Leafs have played 16 games since then. He’s now on pace for an 11 goal season.
Maybe he misses his best buddy, Phil?
Phil Kessel, asked about an Art Ross: “I got two Cups. I don’t care.”— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) February 16, 2018
You need to bring your best offence to the table against the Penguins, because you know they sure will. After a slow and disappointing start to their season, the Penguins are on a roll. You don’t need advanced stats for a comparison here, just the raw numbers.
Malkin, Kessel, and Crosby all have 66 points so far this season. The Leafs are led by Matthews with 47. Malkin is actually second in the league with 32 goals. Andersen neds to have an A+ game tonight. One key to success is if they can draw some penalties. We know Kadri loves to be a pest to Crosby, maybe that can help out tonight.
It would sure be fun if the Leafs could replicate the success of the Rochester Americans last night who clobbered the AHL Penguins by a score of 12-3.
It’s Hockey Night in Canada and a clash of the Eastern Conference titans. GO LEAFS GO!
Will Bozak break his 16 game goal-drought tonight?
This poll is closed
Yes! He wants to show up Phil.
He will get a hat trick specifically because you brought this up, Species.
Sigh. Probably not.