The NHL has another great Wednesday night of action this week. Six games are up on the board throughout March 3. One of these games will be a great game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers. These two teams have been solid to start out this season and will look to get the win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
The Maple Leafs have started out this season with a record of 17-4-2, which has them sitting in the top spot of the North Division. Toronto has won three games in a row and ten of their last thirteen. The Maple Leafs will look to keep it going with a win in this one. Toronto has been hot to this point in the season and will look to sweep the Oilers on the road.
Edmonton has put up a record of 14-10 throughout this season, which has them in second place of the North Division. The Oilers have a one point lead on the Winnipeg Jets and will look to further that with a win in this one. Edmonton has lost back to back games, which ended a five game winning streak. The Oilers will look to get back out to even with a win in this one.
These two teams have both been great so far this season. Toronto has grabbed the top spot in the division, while Edmonton is right behind them. The Maple Leafs are coming off back to back wins against the Oilers, and will look to keep it up in this one. I expect Edmonton to look to turn things around as they try to get back into the race for the top spot.
The Maple Leafs and the Oilers have met up six times throughout this season. The first two game set was on January 20 and 22 in Toronto. Josh Archibald, Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto each scored in the first game as Edmonton won 3-1. Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist in the second game to lift the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 win at home.
The second two game set shifted to Edmonton on January 28 and 30. Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist in the third game of the season series to help lead Toronto to a 4-3 win on the road. Connor McDavid had two goals and an assist in the fourth game. McDavid scored the winner in overtime to lift the Oilers to a 4-3 win of their own.
The fifth game of this season series shifted to Edmonton on February 27. Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist on the night, while John Tavares grabbed two assists. Zach Hyman, William Nylander and Jason Spezza all scored on the night as well. Jack Campbell stopped all 30 shots he faced to lift the Maple Leafs to a 4-0 win on the road.
Edmonton also hosted the sixth and most recent game on March 1. William Nylander and Morgan Rielly both had a goal and an assist on the night. Zach Hyman scored as well as the Maple Leafs were able to take a 3-0 lead in the first. The Oilers put pressure on to get back, but could not break through. Michael Hutchinson stopped all 31 shots he faced as Toronto earned a 3-0 win.
Toronto’s special teams unit has been really strong on both sides in the early part of this season. The Maple Leafs have scored on 23 of their 72 power play chances, which is a 31.9 percent power play. Toronto has killed off 58 of their opponents 72 power play attempts, which is an 80.6 percent kill rate. The Maple Leafs will look to keep the special teams buzzing in this one.
The Oilers have had a strong power play throughout this season so far. Edmonton has capitalized on 22 of their 85 power play opportunities, which is a 25.9 percent success rate. The Oilers have not found quite as much success on the penalty kill this season. Edmonton has given up 17 power play goals on 75 penalties against, which is a 77.3 percent penalty kill.
The Maple Leafs have the edge on special teams in this one. Toronto’s power play and penalty kill has been better so far this season. The Maple Leafs shut down Edmonton’s power play in the first two games of this three game series, but I think the Oilers will break through in this one. Edmonton has a dangerous power play that can get going in an instant. If the Oilers can get it going in this one, they could earn the win.
I expect Frederik Andersen will be back starting in the crease for the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. Andersen has earned a record of 11-3-2 through his 16 starts this season. He has posted a .905 save percentage and a GAA of 2.69 in his games played. Andersen’s last start was against the Montreal Canadiens on February 20, where he stopped 30 of 33 shots in the win.
Mike Smith will likely get the nod between the pipes for Edmonton in this one. Smith has started in 8 games this season, going 6-1 in his starts. He has put up a save percentage of .938 and a 1.87 GAA in his starts this season. Smith’s last start was against Toronto on February 27, where he stopped 25 of 29 shots in the losing effort.
Smith has put up the better numbers this season, but Andersen is coming back after a nice week of rest. Smith stepped into Monday night’s game as well, stopping all 13 shots he faced in relief or Koskinen. I expect both teams to come out quickly in this one as they look to grab a win. If either offense can break through early, it could be enough for the win.
Edmonton is coming off back to back shutouts to the Maple Leafs and I expect them to turn it around in this one. The Oilers are very talented offensively and I think they will break through in this one. Edmonton will look for their power play to come alive and Smith to build off his performance against Toronto on Monday night.
BetOnline has the Maple Leafs listed as a -108 against the money line in this one. This implies that Toronto will win this game around 51.9 percent of the time. I agree with this line being close to even, but as underdogs, the Oilers seem like a great pick to me. Edmonton will look for some revenge in this one as they try to knock off Toronto on Wednesday night.