Toronto Maple Leafs Try to Stop Late-Season Rise of the Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs
Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third and final time tonight, with big playoff hopes on the line.

As we all know, the Toronto Maple Leafs are locked into another playoff berth, but their opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins, are fighting for their lives. It was only a few weeks ago that many thought the team should trade Sidney Crosby away because the team was dead in the waters, but they have a chance to make the playoffs and desperately need a win tonight.

When the Leafs last faced the Penguins, it was a humbling experience for former GM Kyle Dubas, as his new team lost 7-0 in his Toronto return. After turning this franchise around and giving this city it's best chance at a Stanley Cup in 20 years, his team was embarrassed by the Leafs.

Leafs Look To Stop Pittsburgh's Playoff Hopes Tonight

The Penguins are a much different team since that loss back in December and there's some interesting storylines ahead of tonight.

As previously mentioned, whenever Dubas returns to town, it's a big news story, but it's the superstars who are the main attraction. Crosby is continuing to show he's one of the best player's in the league, as he currently has 45 goals and 85 points, putting the Penguins on his back. Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic has also been awesome as of late, but Crosby is the main reason why this team has any playoff life.

As for the other superstar in this game, Auston Matthews will continue to chase history, as he looks to get one goal closer to that illustrious 70-goal mark. After scoring again on Saturday night, Matthews has 64 goals on the season, so he's six goals away with six games to play to reach that mark.

This game doesn't mean as much to Toronto as it does to Pittsburgh, so I would expect a letdown game from the home team, but if Sheldon Keefe wants things to be different in the playoffs this year, he needs to motivate his team to be ready.


The Leafs always seem to have sleepy games on Mondays at home, so don't be shocked if they lose handedly tonight, but there's always something to watch with Matthews chasing history.