GAMETIME: 7:30 Central
TV/Radio: CSN, 720 WGN-AM
Opposition Blogs: The most excellent Pension Plan Puppets (who I think have already arrived here) and Down Goes Brown
Yep, that's Cookie Monster, because it would seem to most that if the Leafs are going to give the Hawks any trouble tonight, it would have to start with Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson. And he's blue, too! Double Trouble! Gustavsson has been wowing Leafs fans of late, though they have been so violated by Vesa Toskala the past year they're probably over-felating themselves. Jonas is big, big, big, and pretty quick for a guy his size. He tends to lose his net though with that quick movement, and is a car-crash when handling the puck. Good thing the Hawks don't have an aggressive forecheck or anything. However, Gustavsson did manage to stone Scum for a victory last Saturday, he is more than capable of stealing one.
On the front end, the Leafs have 1.5 players. You know about Phil Kessel, who will probably have upwards of 10 shots tonight, and Alex Ponikarovsky (I didn't even have to look that up, and now you once again know why I'll die alone) has been playing great hockey recently. Other than that, it's a collection of man-goo that will be swept aside once some prospects make their way through. John Mitchell is the #1 center, so there you go.
The Leafs were supposed to have a hardass defensive corps, but it hasn't worked out that way. Komisarek is hurt (and overrated anyway) and Beauchemin has been a fire drill. There's still Tomas Kaberle, who's QB-ing one of the league's best power plays (for now). But there's still a Jeff Finger lying around here, and where there's a Jeff Finger, there's a chance for hilarity. Luke Schenn will probably be a future stud, but he's had a rough go of it this year, and seeing the Hawks probably won't help that much.
The Leafs kill penalties like old people fuck, so if the Hawks PP is going to get healthy, it'll be tonight. Considering the lumbering nature of a lot of Leafs d-men, a bevy of hooking and holding penalties is not out of the question. Staying out of the box will be key too, as for reasons no one can quite figure out their PP is clicking. Always an extra buzz with an Original 6 matchup, and there will be tons of Leafs fans looking for Molson at the UC and screaming "T.O" and being rather obnoxious for a team that just straight up isn't very good. As always, buy a Committed Indian on your way down to help support the drinking problem that inspires this blog.