Edmonton Oilers (26-29-7) (6th, Pacific)
Toronto Maple Leafs (38-20-4) (3rd, Atlantic)
5 PM MST
TV: CBC, Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
MAKING IT HAPPEN OUT THERE
The Edmonton Oilers picked up a point after taking the Nashville Predators to a shootout on Monday night. Leon Draisaitl would score his 37th (a shorty) and 38th (on the power play) goals of the season to give the Oilers a couple of goals, but Colton Scissons and P.K. Subban would have goals of their own for the Predators. Brian Boyle would be the difference maker for the Predators in the shootout. The Predators pick up a pair of points on their way to the playoffs. The Oilers stay afloat with one point, but just barely.
The Oilers visit the Maple Leafs to take on the playoff bound Toronto club. With Connor McDavid rejoining the club fresh from a two game suspension, can the Oilers trip up the Leafs?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
“He’s playing 25 minutes a night, winning draws, doing the details of the game, scoring goals. He’s playing up and down the ice, super hard minutes against the other team’s best line, best defensive pairing. I hope he takes this and runs forward.”
That’s Oilers forward Alex Chiasson on Leon Draisaitl, who quietly is putting together a spectacular season.
Draisaitl’s 37th and 38th goals put him on pace for 50 this year. Having a possible 100 point player in McDavid and a possible 50 goals from Draisaitl sure makes it sound like the club is ramping up for a long playoff run. Maybe next year?
The Maple Leafs are saying
“We like our team, but we still think there’s a ton of growth from within...We think we can play a lot better and we look forward to that. We really feel we can play a lot better.”
That’s Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock after his club’s 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
The win is Toronto’s 38th of the year. Do they have another gear?
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- The Oilers have Connor McDavid back in the lineup, and not a minute too soon. The club went 1-1 without McDavid, but there’s no replacing the game’s best player.
- SOME GOOD: Leon Draisaitl was quite effective in McDavid’s absence with three points (2-1-3) in two games.
- ACTUALLY GOOD: The Leafs are fourth in the league in goals per game (3.56 GPG), which is pretty darn good. They’re tenth (2.84 GA/G) in defence, which is also pretty good. The Oilers are 26th in scoring (2.74 GPG), while they’re 24th in goals allowed (3.27 GA/G).
- WINNER! / GAGNANT!: Sam Gagner has two goals since rejoining the Oilers. He had a shootout goal in Edmonton’s shootout loss to the Predators on Monday. Wind him up, let him go out there. Give me a line with Gagner next to McDavid tonight.
- NET GAINS: Look for Mikko Koskinen to get the nod for Edmonton tonight (16-14-4, .909 SV% / 2.78 GAA / 3 SO). The Oilers are on the first night of a back-to-back, perhaps we’ll see Anthony Stolarz tomorrow? The Maple Leafs are likely to go with Frederik Andersen (29-13-3, .922 SV% / 2.60 / 1 SO)
- SICK BAY: The Oilers are without Jesse Puljujarvi (undisclosed) and Jujhar Khaira (undisclosed). Jake Gardiner (undisclosed) and Nazem Kadri (concussion) are day-to-day for the Maple Leafs.