Leafs-Oilers Preview – TheOilKnight.ca
 

Leafs-Oilers Preview

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Connor McDavid vs. Auston Matthews. Oh, TSN & Sportsnet must be drooling as we speak over this matchup. Last year the Leafs swept the 2 game series over the Oilers on a controversial goal by Kadri in OT on McDavid. I know cuz I was at that game with my son. Great building, great atmosphere crappy result….What hold?

 

 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

 

After a shaky performance against Arizona, Edmonton desperately needs to keep racking up the points here to have any shot of getting back into things. It still appeared some guys had lingering effects from the flu against the Coyotes. I would hope by now everyone is good to go on all cyclinders against a very tough opponent. But wait, how is Talbot feeling after tweeking something Tuesday?

Damn. By putting Talbot on Injured Reserve it does allow the Oilers to keep Puljujarvi and Slepyshev up but Talbot has to be on IR minimum of 7 days so will miss 3 or 4 games at least looks like. Well, it’s Brossoit time now at least in the short term. If Vegas can do it why can’t Edmonton? Oilers fans have been all over the map in their opinions of Brossoit over the last couple years. He’s had several up and down performances but now gets the chance to prove he can be a legitimate goalie in the NHL. I personally prefer Nick Ellis but hope Brossoit shuts the door starting tonight vs. Toronto. Speaking of that….

 

What to look out for:

The Leafs come into this game 4-1 against Canadian teams having outscored them 24-13. Fredrik Andersen is 7-1-1 in his last 9 starts and Toronto is 8-4-1 on the road this year. They roll 4 lines, they attack you with speed, they hit, they forecheck and can score a pile of goals thanks to great depth at the center position. They lead the NHL in Goals for with 91.

If the Oilers are going to have a chance they need LB to have a good game obviously but they need to match the Leafs forechecking by getting pucks deep and making their D-men cough up the puck. Toronto gives up a lot of shots and give up the 4th more giveaways in the league. Cute plays at the blueline won’t cut against this team. Play with speed, forecheck hard and get traffic in front of Andersen. Defensively, the Oilers need to get the puck out of their zone efficiently and effectively or the Leafs will make them pay.

These teams are actually very similar in how they are constructed. Toronto is obviously scoring at a much higher rate right now but the Oilers do have the talent on paper to match them. I think everyone would love to see the McDavid and Matthews line go toe to toe though knowing Babcock he’ll probably try and get Kadri’s line out there as much as possible versus 97. Should be a great game the Oilers desperately need this one for their own confidence and if they want to stay in the playoff hunt. Get your popcorn ready. Gametime 9:00 EST.

 

All stats provided are courtesy of NHL.com 


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