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Maple Leafs @ Oilers Game 70 Preview

Get your lotto tickets ready.

(6-6-12) in his last 15.
(6-6-12) in his last 15.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

leafs logo


oilers logo black text
27-37-6, 60 points, .858 p/g Ranks 18-39-12, 48 points, .696 p/g
Eastern Conference - 13th Western Conference - 14th
27th P/G 29th
27th ST 22nd
25th ES 29th
25th Goal 30th
7:30 PM  MDT - SNW
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Pension Plan Puppets

Road To Nowhere

Edmonton's 5-4 shootout loss to Columbus had absolutely everything that a game with playoff draft lottery implications could. The Oilers fell behind two goals by the end of the first period, but came back to tie it up with seven minutes remaining in the second. This coveted tie was short-lived, as the powerhouse Blue Jackets would again take the lead just minutes later on a goal by Artem Anisimov.  Captain Andrew Ference (!) tied this absolute barn burner of a game with less than a minute remaining in the second period.  The Oilers actually took the lead in the third period on a power play goal by Nail Yakupov, but headed into overtime after Scott Hartnell scored his twentieth of the season.  Alexander Wennberg scored Columbus' only goal in the shootout, and the Oilers gained a point in an entertaining yet utterly meaningless contest.

The Oilers might get Taylor Hall back this week, which is a great thing for fans of the Edmonton Oilers.  Let's see who's saying what.

The Oilers are saying

"The last month has been really good for me.  I'm just working hard and sticking with it."

That's Oilers forward Nail Yakupov on his recent point streak.  Yakupov has twelve points (6-6-12) over his last fifteen games.

I've written about how Derek Roy has been a positive impact on Nail Yakupov (perhaps pairing Yakupov with Leon Draisaitl wasn't the best idea ever, eh gov'nuh?), but this point scoring thing has made it to the Oilers power play as well.  This is a good thing for Nail Yakupov, because nearly his entire 2013-14 campaign (and the first half of this year) was completely forgettable for certain circumstances beyond his control.  As for Derek Roy, I think it's fairly safe for him to sign that lease into the 2015-16 season.

The Opponent is saying

"You need your power play to get us going and get us back into that game.  The power play instead of scoring gives up one, whether it's a second after or not it's still a shorthanded goal to me"
That's Maple Leafs interim head coach Peter Horachek on his team's 4-1 performance in Vancouver.

Oh, Toronto.  How the mighty have, that's not right.  Oh, Toronto, it's no fun when you're chasing lotto picks, is it?  Trust us, we're experts on the concept.  Here's how you do it:  select the best player available, then light his entry level contract on fire as soon as humanly possible.  No, it doesn't matter if they're going to be eaten alive if paired up with another early draft pick.  Come on, Toronto.  You've got your work cut out for you here.

Have some of this
  • Expect Ben Scrivens to get the start tonight (12-22-9, .896 SV%, 3.00).  Jonathan Bernier (20-22-6, .914 SV% / 2.81) would be my selection to get the start for Toronto, as James Reimer's SV% (.901) looks like it's been hanging out with Ondrej Pavelec as of late.
  • The Oilers could use Taylor Hall in the lineup.  Hall is scheduled to practice with the team this week, which is great news.  The Oilers could also use a couple of useful defenceman in the lineup, but I'm not asking for much in the wake of MacTavish's comments about how he's satisfied with five of six current Oiler defencemen.  The Oilers need Taylor Hall to win games.  On the other hand, I'm not sure if that's what they're trying to do at this stanza.
  • Remember when Nikita Nikitin was projected to be in the lineup against Columbus?  He's close. Close to playing again, that is. Maybe he came to camp in shape, maybe he didn't.  Whatever.