Pittsburgh Penguins vs Toronto Maple Leafs Game Preview

Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Toronto Maple Leafs

February 17.2022

Puck Drop 6pm Est

Location:  Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario

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By The Numbers…as of Feb15.2022

Recent History: 2020-21 Covid-19 Season – Did not play vs each other due to Covid

Current: 2021-22

The Pens Won 7-1 – Oct 23 – in Pit

The Pens Won 2-0 – Nov 20 – in TO

@ Toronto Dec29th – Cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Penguins beat up on the Maple Leafs in October, with a depleted roster. No Malkin, No Letang and No Crosby, just a pure 7-1 kickin’.  This game made me stand up and take notice, that the Penguins might be for real.

Then the Pens got healthy, went into Toronto and played a beautiful road game, winning 2-0.  I called this, “a pivotal stretch of games from Nov 18th until Dec 04th, in which the Penguins played against the Canadian Teams.  They went 6-3 in that block of games, and it was this victory that made me stand up, take notice and realize the Penguins are for real.

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The Leafs are 3-3 over their last 6 games, however, they are always a tough out.  I would think this is the must win game for Toronto, a “prove we can beat the Penguins”, kind of game.  Some call these “A Statement Game”.  Especially given the Rise of the Penguins.

Toronto is having a similar season to the Penguins.  They began the season slow, hovering near .500, until they rattled off 15 wins in 17 games from October 27 until Dec01.2022.

It’s tough to make up ground in the standings, when some of the best teams in the league are in your division (Florida, TB).

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The Leafs have put together two 5-games winning streaks so far this year.  The Buds also have a 6-game wining streak, to their credit. (Jan 22.-Feb07.22).

The Penguins always look forward to these games as barometer games.  How do the Pens stack up against the Leafs?  This one is, as always, “a must compete at a high-level” game.

The Penguins have proven me wrong twice already.  I’m a believer now.

I feel the Penguins will win this game. Pens to win.

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Maple Leafs – Players to Watch

Matthews #34 -7th Tied Overall in the NHL scoring, with 57 points.

Tavaras #91 -31st  Tied Overall in the NHL scoring, with 45 points.

Campbell #36 -G -7th Overall in the NHL with a .921 save %.

The Maple Leafs lead the NHL in Power Play goals with a 31.5% conversion percentage.

The Maple Leafs are 6th overall in the NHL Penalty Kill with a 83.9% Kill Rate.

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The Dynamic Duo of Matthews #34 and Marner #16, like it or not drive this team.  The passes these two players make is simply amazing.  Their pinpoint, tape-to-tape passing is off the charts. It’s like they just know where each other will be.  Their ability to control of the puck, while working themselves into open ice or soft spots in the defense, is All-World.

Add Tavaras #91 and Nylander #88, two more All-World players and you can see why and how the Leafs are the #1 Power Play in the NHL.

Campbell #36 is having a solid year between the pipes.  Guess who is a Free Agent at the end of this year?  Yes…#36.

Pittsburgh – Players to Watch

Guentzel #59, -13th in Overall NHL scoring, with 50 points.

Crosby #87, is 1 goal shy of 500 for his career.  He also has 44 points in 37 games, since returning from injury.

Penguins Power Play is returning from the dead.  The Pens Power Play that had a 10.8% conversion rate in October, is now at 21.4%, which is ranked 11th overall in the NHL.

Jarry #35, is currently on a personal two game winning streak.

Game Analysis / Pens Scouting Report

Pittsburgh Penguins Record 30-11-8 = 68 Pts (1st in the Metropolitan)

Leafs Record 31-12-3 = 65 Pts (3rd in the Atlantic)

Pittsburgh Goals For 162

Leafs Goals For 165

Pittsburgh Goals Against 123

Leafs Goals Against 124

Pittsburgh Goal Differential +39

Leafs Goal Differential +41 

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Pittsburgh Power Play 21.4%

Leafs Power Play 31.5%

Pittsburgh Penalty Kill 87.3%

Leafs Penalty Kill 83.9%

Pittsburgh Penalty Minutes 318

Leafs Penalty Minutes 331

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Pittsburgh Shots Per Game 34.6

Leafs Shots Per Game 34.7

Pittsburgh Team Faceoff 51.0%

Leafs Team Faceoff 56.0%

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Pittsburgh Team Goals Against Average 2.51

Leafs Team Goals Against Average 2.70

Pittsburgh Team Save % .922

Leafs Team Save % .915

Pittsburgh G – Jarry #35   2.20 GAA

Leafs G- Campbell #36   2.38 GAA

Pittsburgh G – Jarry #35  .925 Save %

Leafs G- Campbell #36  .921 Save %

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Key Injuries: Toronto Maple Leafs


Key Injuries: Pittsburgh Penguins

Blueger-F Jan22.22 IR Jaw

Zucker -FJan19.22 IR Core Muscle

Domingue-G Jan19.22 ID Lower Body

O’Connor-F Jan16.22 IR Upper Body

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Pens Picks Quick View

Offense: Toronto

Defense: Pittsburgh

Special Teams: Tied

Faceoff Win%: Toronto

My View from the Cheap Seats

I picked Toronto to win in both previous games.  I was wrong both times.  Offense vs Defense.  This will be a fun game to watch.  All the numbers point to Toronto, however, in the end, Team Defense will beat Offense.

I predicted, in my article, “The Penguins vs the Eastern Conference – Part 2”, that this will be a game the Penguins will win.

In my humble opinion, comparing and analyzing the data listed above, in My Scouting Report, I still feel the same way, Penguins to Win.

Quote of the Day

“The Best Defense is a Good Offense “

George Washington – President – USA

The below Video was Posted After the Article was written.

I should have TRUSTED MY SCOUTING REPORT instead of overthinking the eye test…:)