Game Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Toronto Maple Leafs 11/11/2022 – Lines, How to Watch
Who: The Pittsburgh Penguins (5-6-2, 12 points, 7th place Metropolitan Division) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (7-4-3, 17 dots, 4th place Atlantic Division)
when: 19.00 Eastern time
How to look: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, TSN4 and TVAS in Canada (why, how many TSNs have you uploaded there), Sling TV
Track the opponent: Coach Sheldon Keefe’s seat appeared to be warming up before the Leafs won their first three games in November to turn around a frustrating start to the season. Toronto blew a third-period lead and ended up losing at home in Las Vegas on Monday in its final game on Tuesday and has had a couple of days off to prepare for tonight.
Trail of feathers ahead: It’s another blow to the back, with the Pens in Montreal tomorrow night. Then they get the rare game in Pittsburgh next Tuesday when they see these same Maple Leafs. After that, the Pens hit the road again in Minnesota, Winnipeg and Chicago next week for another road trip.
Series Season: The NHL schedule can often be quirky, and the PIT/TOR season series is one of Pittsburgh’s quirkiest this year. The teams play their three matches over just the next 15 days. There’s tonight’s game, and as mentioned earlier, the Leafs are coming to Pittsburgh in a few days. Then Toronto will return to the ‘Burgh the following week on Saturday, November 26th (two days after Thanksgiving) and that’s how we’ll end the entire Pens and Leafs season.
Getting to know the Maple Leafs
SB Nation counterpart: Pension plan puppets
Alex Kerfoot – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Nick Robertson – John Tavares – William Nylander
Zach Aston-Reese – David Kampf – Denis Malgin
Michael Bunting – Pierre Engvall – Wayne Simmonds
Morgan Rielly / Timothy Liljegren
TJ Brodie / Justin Holl
Mark Giordano / Rasmus Sandin
Goalkeepers: Erik Kallgren (Keith Petruzzelli)
Scratches: Calle Jarnkrok (ill), Jordie Benn, Kyle Clifford
And: Kyle Clifford, Ilya Samsonov, Jake Muzzin, Matt Murray
—It’s never a good sign when both NHL goaltenders are on IR this early in the season. Murray’s return looks imminent, perhaps as soon as this weekend, although it doesn’t look like he’ll play tonight. The 23-year-old Petruzzelli doesn’t look like much of a viable NHL option right now (he played more in the ECHL than the AHL last year), so it’s been up to Kallgren to play the minutes until that Murray can come back. Kallgren was excellent earlier in the week against Carolina (29/30 saves in Toronto win) but less so than in Las Vegas last game (16/20 in OTL).
—The sophomore slump for Michael Bunting? After tallying 63 points in 79 games last season, he has just two goals and six points in 14 starts this season and has found himself (probably temporarily) shuffling the lines in practice as he tries to regain his form.
—Is Mitch Marner just building a fascinating reputation? legacy? I’m not sure of the right word, but his career is one of the most interesting stories going around these days. Only 25 years old, he has more than a point per game in his career, but as a primarily playmaking winger he seems to be a magnet for criticism and the perfect illustration of how skilled the Leafs team somehow always sums less than the sum. of their parts. As a restricted free agent, Marner’s agent also somehow took a cap hit of $10.9 million, currently the seventh-highest in the league and only Artemi Panarin has a bigger one as a winger . I don’t even suspect it’s gotten a bad reputation, but it’s just something about the situation and playstyle that sometimes drives people crazy.
—Poor Matt Murray was injured in the first game of the season. Speaking of unique career trajectories and conflicting perspectives on legacy, Murray’s journey in just about six years has been almost unbelievable all around with ups and downs and a trip to purgatory (Ottawa) in between.
—Nice to see Zach Aston-Reese off to a typical, predictable Astonian-Reese start of two points in 14 games and good play away from the puck.
head to head
— It’s early in the year, but a completely contrasting image is forming between these two teams. The Pens are strong with their offense on offense, weaker on defense. The Leafs aren’t performing well offensively, but they’ve been very strong with limited chances against them. Neither team has a good penalty kill, and both completely underperform on finishing chances, which is pretty surprising given the talent levels of both groups.
And now for Pens…
Potential lines of play
Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker – Evgeni Malkin – Rickard Rakell
Brock McGinn – Jeff Carter – Danton Heinen
Filip Hallander – Ryan Poehling – Josh Archibald
Marcus Pettersson / Kris Letang
PO Joseph? / Jeff Petry
Brian Dumoulin / Jan Rutta?
Goalkeepers: Casey DeSmith (Tristan Jarry)
Scratches: Chad Ruhwedel, Sam Poulin, Kasperi Kapanen
And: Teddy Blueger
—No starting goalie has been announced, and Mike Sullivan surprised when he used Casey DeSmith last game. After stopping 24/25 and being very good, especially early against the Capitals when the Pens needed goaltending, there are good reasons to go back to DeSmith tonight.
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