The NHL is set up with a great slate of games throughout Saturday. Twelve games are up on the board throughout January 30. One of these games will be between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers. These two teams have had opposite starts to this season, but will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on NHL Network.
The Maple Leafs have been able to earn a record of 7-2 throughout the early part of this season, which has them sitting in the top spot in the North Division. Toronto is entering this game on a four game winning streak. The Maple Leafs will look to keep it going in this one. I expect Toronto to keep up the quick starts in this one.
Edmonton has opened up the new campaign with a record 3-6, which has them sitting in fifth place of the North Division. The Oilers have lost back to back games entering this one and will look to get back in the win column. Edmonton has been playing from behind too much this season and will look to set the pace with a couple goals.
These two teams are sitting in opposite sides of the division, but I expect a good matchup on Saturday night. These two teams have already met up three times this season, which should lead to an exciting back and forth game once again. If either team can set the pace early in this one, it should be enough to propel them to the win.
The Maple Leafs and the Oilers have met up three times so far this season. Toronto hosted the first game on January 20. Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, but it was not enough in this one. Kailer Yamamoto, Leon Draisaitl and Josh Archibald all scored for Edmonton. Mikko Koskinen stopped 25 of 26 shots as the Oilers won 3-1.
The second game stayed in Toronto on January 22. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid both scored for the Oilers, but this time it was not enough. Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist, while William Nylander had two assists on the night. Frederik Andersen finished with 30 saves on 32 shots, which was good enough to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 win.
The third game of this season series shifted to Edmonton on January 28. Leon Draisaitl scored twice and Connor McDavid had two assists, but the Oilers once again came up short. Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist in this one. Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Wayne Simmonds all scored as well to help lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win.
Toronto is coming into this matchup on a two game winning streak against Edmonton. The Oilers will look to finally get back over the hump against the Maple Leafs. Edmonton kept it close throughout Thursday’s matchup, but could not finish off the win. I expect the Oilers to come out stronger as they try to split the series with Toronto on Saturday night.
The Maple Leafs power play has been stellar this season, while their penalty kill has struggled a bit. Toronto has been able to score on 11 of their 28 power play opportunities, which is good for a 39.3 percent power play. The Maple Leafs have given up 8 goals on 37 penalties against, which is a 78.4 percent kill rate.
Edmonton power play has been solid this season, while their penalty kill has struggled as well. The Oilers have capitalized on 7 of their 35 power play chances, which is a 20 percent success rate. Edmonton has killed off 22 of their opponents 29 power play attempts, which is a 75.9 percent penalty kill. The Oilers will look to bounce back in this one on the penalty kill.
The Oilers have picked up their play on the power play in their last couple of games and will look to keep it going in this one. Edmonton’s penalty kill will need to step up as well if they want to slow down the Maple Leafs power play. Toronto’s power play was the difference on Thursday night, so I expect the Oilers to change things up in this one.
Frederick Andersen will likely get the start in the crease for Toronto in this one. Andersen has started off this season with a record of 5-2 through his seven starts. He has put up a .896 save percentage and a 2.87 GAA. Andersen stopped 26 of 29 shots for the Maple Leafs in Thursday nights win over the Oilers. Toronto will look for him to improve a bit in this one.
I expect Mikko Koskinen to get the nod in the net for the Oilers on Saturday night. Koskinen has posted a record of 3-6 through nine starts this season. He has earned a save percentage of .895 and a GAA of 3.50 in those starts. Koskinen turned away 23 of 27 shots for Edmonton in their loss to the Maple Leafs on Thursday. Koskinen will look to step up in this one.
These two goalies could have better numbers early in this season. Andersen’s stats are slightly better, but Koskinen has played in all nine games. Koskinen will likely try to get into a groove early in this one as he starts his tenth straight game. If either goalie can come out hot in this one, it could help lead their team to a much needed win on Saturday night.
The Maple Leafs and the Oilers will meet up for the fourth time this season in this one. Edmonton could not pull off the comeback on Thursday night, but I expect them to come out much quicker in this one. The Oilers will look to put together a more complete performance in this one. I think Edmonton will be able to pull off a big win in this one to split their home series with Toronto.
BetOnline has the Maple Leafs listed as a -121 against the money line in this one. This implies that Toronto will win this game around 54.8 percent of the time. I think that the Maple Leafs should be favored based on their start, but the Oilers are stronger than their record implies. I think that Edmonton can bounce back with a victory in this one and as underdogs, they have a lot of value.