Edmonton Oilers (2-3-0, 5th in North) vs.
Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2-0, 2nd in North)
22 January 2021
5 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
THEY ALL COUNT
The Oilers played hockey in Toronto on Wednesday night. After sixty minutes, the scoreboard said they had more goals than the Leafs, so they’re gonna go on and give the Oilers two points in the standings. The offence continues to be a work in progress. Leon Draisaitl scored a power play goal that would turn into the game winner, Kailer Yamamoto would be credited with the game’s first goal after it bounced off of Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin and into the Leafs’ goal. Josh Archibald put in a late game empty-netter and the Oilers would take it by a 3-1 margin. It’s almost impossible to explain how bad the club is struggling 5-on-5 right now, but they’ll get another chance to right the ship as they take on the Leafs again tonight.
Will this be the game that the goals begin to come?
Let’s go to the tape.
THE OILERS ARE SAYING
“Koskinen was solid, really solid. What you want from your goalie is to give your team a chance to win, and that’s exactly what he did...He made a couple good saves late there for us after I think he’d want that one he let in back.”
That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett on goaltender Mikko Koskinen’s performance in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Toronto.
Koskinen would tell you that he wanted the goal he allowed back. After Zack Kassian got outworked in the corner, Toronto’s Auston Matthews scored what will probably be the easiest non-empty net goal of his career to tie it up at 1. Koskinen stood tall on every other shot, turning aside 25 of 26 en route to the win. Hope he’s ready for another round tonight.
THE MAPLE LEAFS ARE SAYING
“I think both teams just watched the prescout and were trying to key in on the top guys... There was not much going on. We really didn’t do a great job through the neutral zone and we couldn’t get much going and there wasn’t a whole lot of offense in this game. That was not really expected, but we definitely have to do a better job of creating offense”
That’s Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews on his club’s 3-1 loss to Edmonton on Wednesday night. Matthews is expected to miss tonight’s game with an upper body injury.
Neither team really got much going throughout the entire game. The Oilers will take an own-goal from the Leafs, and they’ll take a power play goal by Leon Draisaitl that felt like the first power play goal scored in years. Koskinen had a good game and it’s two points for the Oilers.
They’ll go here when they become available from the club.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- This goal by Leon Draisaitl is Edmonton’s first power play goal in three games. It’s a game winning goal, and the Oilers due more. The goal puts Edmonton’s power play at 3-for-21 on the year, which is less than half of where it was last season.
- STEELY NEAL: James Neal is close to returning to the Oilers lineup, which could be a boon for the power play. Alex Chiasson has been seeing lots of time on the top power play unit without any success on the score sheet, it’s likely that Neal would join the top unit upon his return.
- Zack Kassian got a gentle nudge from Coach Tippett prior to Wednesday night’s game. He’s having a tough time out there, it was magnified by his play in the corner prior to Toronto’s first goal. Things got a little better for him in the third. He hit a crossbar on a near-wide open net on a pass from McDavid that would’ve gotten some butts out of chairs, but it didn’t quite work out the way we would have wanted it to.
- FUN FACT: Jesse Puljujärvi had 9 minutes of ice and an assist on the game winner on the power play. Let’s watch and see if there’s any change to his ice time in the next few games.
- NET GAINS: For the Oilers, look for Mikko Koskinen once again tonight (2-3-0, .906 SV% / 3.24 GAA). Jack Campbell might get a look for the Leafs tonight (1-0-0, .895 SV% / 2.01 GAA) if they decide to give Freddie Andersen (2-2-0, .896 SV% / 3.01 GAA) the night off.
- SCRATCHES: We’ll find out today if James Neal is ready to return from Covid-19 protocol. Gaetan Haas is day to day, Mike Smith is on LTIR and Oscar Klefbom might see us in the fall. Joe Thornton sustained an injury for the Leafs on Wednesday night that will keep him out for the lineup for a bit, Auston Matthews is out with an upper body injury, while forward Nick Robertson’s knee will keep him out of the lineup.