Game 19: Hawks @ Leafs
Toronto may have peaked this season a little early - they beat the scum in the season opener and we all thanked them for ruining the banner raising ceremony for Detroit. After that win though, the Leafs lost the next 5. They went on one a little streak to win four of the next 5 after that but quickly went back to their losing ways by winning only 2 of the next 8.
Slow starts have been a theme for the Leafs - they've been down after the first period 7 times in the last 8 games. Scoring early should be a priority for the Hawks. This is also another game where penalties could be a huge factor. The Leafs are near the top when on the power play (6th) but the absolute worst on the kill (30th). Coach Q has made it clear against the Coyotes that he doesn't want stupid penalties and the players seemed to get the message in Dallas, taking only 3 penalties and giving up only 2 power plays.
Toskala should be starting for the Leafs and so far he's having a disappointing year. He's giving up over 3 goals a game and is ranked 35th in the league on that stat. Even worse is his save %, .878 - which puts him just above Turco (wow does he suck this year).
This is another chance for a very high scoring game for the men of four feathers - They're second in the league for goals per game and the Leafs are 27th in goals against. The over/under is 6.0 - but I'd bet the over.
The Hawks have taken 2 points the last 3 times they've played the Leafs, two of those games were in Toronto. Winning the first 3 on the road trip would be a huge boost to this team. After tonight the road trip gets much harder as they take on all of California next week.
The Leafs are honoring Wendel Clark tonight and are handing out fake moustaches to all the fans (awesome). Clark was a player every fan wants on their team and Pension Plan Puppets has all the tributes you could want on their site today so check them out if you have time.