Thoughts On Last Night
The Toronto Maple Leafs did something last night that just about never works in the NHL. They tried to play twenty minutes and win the hockey game, and you just can't do that. Hopefully this is something they can learn right now, and keep it in the back of their minds going forward.
Bit of a dull game really, but the group played fantastic in the third, scoring two goals and outshooting the Pens 17-3. A glimpse of perhaps what could have been if they would have played hard for a full sixty minutes.
How about Luke Schenn? It appears the first round pick did indeed break his nose last night, and didn't even miss a shift. That's exactly what Leafs fans want to see from Schenn (not the breaking nose, but the grit for sure.)
Justin Pogge played well too. If it weren't for him, who knows what the score could have been last night. Two own man deflections, and one shorthanded 3-on-1. The young netminder could hardly be blamed for that.
Toskala Starts Friday, New Lines
Toronto's incumbent starter Vesa Toskala is slated to make his pre season debut this Friday night when the Maple Leafs tangle with the Penguins in a rematch of last night's game. Toskala is slated to play the full sixty minutes.
With the Leafs down 3-0 in the third, coach Ron Wilson switched up his lines, and apparently liked what he saw. Here are the lines he used in practice today, which could be a pre cursor to Friday's lineup.
Mikhail Grabovski - Nik Antropov - Nikolai Kulemin
Alex Steen - Niklas Hagman - Alexei Ponikarovsky
Matt Stajan - Jason Blake - Jiri Tlusty
Dominic Moore - Jamal Mayers - Ryan Hollweg
Mark Bell - Boyd Devereaux - John Mitchell
No word yet on the defensive pairings, but it is confirmed that Pavel Kubina will make his pre season debut this Friday in Toronto.