Pre-Game Hits – Defensive changes, Kessel vs. Former team and of course what should we expect when the Penguins take on the Maple Leafs at 7pm.
Head Coach Mike Johnston
It’s good to see that the staff has an idea of how they want their team to play, but this comment begs to question, why are they going with a defensive lineup change tonight?
Despite the defense playing much better hockey in the last game against Ottawa, HC Mike Johnston has opted to re-insert Rob Scuderi in to the mix and scratch Clendeninng tonight against the Maple Leafs.
He then had this, obviously scripted line, to say about Scuderi.
It’s hard to imagine the rationale behind Scuderi playing tonight. If you ask me they shouldn’t mess with a winning formula. It may have only been one game, but the Pens found success….why change that?
Does Johnston even look at the advance stats?
Maybe he doesn’t look at Corsi & Fenwick numbers, but he has to see things like this.
Alright enough about Scuderi being back in the line up. Tonight’s story is all about Phil Kessel facing his former team.
HC Mike Johnston was asked about how Kessel has been playing and he had this to day.
Indeed it is Mr. Johnston, now you just have to give him some decent support on the blue-line.
Maple Leafs @ Penguins
What are we getting with the Leafs?
The leafs are 1-4-1 in their first six games of the season.
Mike Babcock has been very tough on this team, seemingly calling them out whenever possible. However the Lafs are coming in to Pittsburgh tonight after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 earning themselves their first victory of the season on Friday night.
Tyler Bozak, Maple Leafs center, suffered a lower-body injury last night against the Jackets. At this point there has been no word on whether he will be in the line-up tonight or not. More information about this is expected later today.
If Bozak is out of the game tonight that will absolutely hurt the Leafs as he is their best center-man on the team.
What to Expect from the Penguins
After securing their first victory of the season Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators, the Penguins will look to continue their winning ways tonight.
The Maple Leafs are a struggling team who are playing their second game in as many nights and could be without the services of their #1 center, Tyler Bozak.
This will be a game where the Penguins should completely control every aspect of the ice. However if Pittsburgh decides to take this game lightly tonight could become similar to the first three games of the season.
There is a defensive change up on tonight’s roster, Scuderi is back in and Clendenning is out.
Fleury is expected to start tonight.
Did I mention Scuderi is in tonight?
– Robert Slavinsky