The NHL is set up with a solid night of action on Monday. Four games are up on the board throughout Monday night, but there are some solid matchups in that mix. One of these games will be between the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. These two teams have a lot of young talent to make for an exciting matchup. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
Edmonton has started off this season with a record of 22-17-5, which has them in fourth place of the Pacific Division. The Oilers are only five points out of the top spot in the Pacific Division and one point behind the Vancouver Canucks who are in third place. Edmonton has a two point lead on the Calgary Flames, which shows how close the Pacific is. The Oilers have won two of their last three games and will look to build on that.
The Maple Leafs have earned a record of 24-14-5 throughout this season, which has them sitting in second place of the Atlantic Division. Toronto is only six points behind the division leading Boston Bruins. The Maple Leafs have a one point lead on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are in third. Toronto has won three in a row and is riding a ten game point streak coming into this one.
These two teams have had strong starts to this season and are currently sitting in playoff spots because of it. The Maple Leafs have put up a really strong streak coming into this game and will look to keep it going with another win. Edmonton is in a tight race for the Pacific Division and need to get going again if they want to avoid being left behind in the playoff race.
These two teams met up twice throughout last season. The first game was hosted by the Maple Leafs. Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists, while Andreas Johnsson scored twice. Toronto scored six unanswered to take a 6-2 win at home. The second game shifted to Edmonton. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both had two assists, but it was not enough. John Tavares had a goal and two assists in route to a 3-2 win for the Maple Leafs.
Edmonton and Toronto already met up once this season. The Oilers hosted the game on December 14. Pierre Engvall finished with two assists, while Alexander Kerfoot added a goal and an assist as the Maple Leafs jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Alex Chiasson cut the lead to one early in the third, but Toronto added two more to ice the game. Frederik Andersen stopped 36 of the 37 shots against him in route to a 4-1 win.
The Maple Leafs are coming into this game having won seven games in a row against the Oilers. Edmonton has not been able to find a way to figure out Toronto and will have another shot at them on Monday night. The Maple Leafs were in control of the first game of the season series from the start and the Oilers will look to find a way to capture an early lead in this one.
Edmonton’s special teams have done extremely well throughout this season. The Oilers have the league’s best power play, capitalizing on 39 of their 132 chances, which is a 29.6 percent power play. Edmonton’s penalty kill has held their opponents to 21 goals on 125 opportunities, which is an 83.2 percent kill rate.
The Maple Leafs have also found quite a bit of success on the power play, ranking sixth in the NHL. Toronto has scored 28 power play goals on 116 man advantages, which is a 24.4 percent success rate. The Maple Leafs penalty kill has struggled a bit though. Toronto has allowed opposing teams 30 goals on 123 power play attempts, which is a 75.6 percent penalty kill.
These two teams have top ranked power plays on the season. The Maple Leafs power play could meet their match in this one though as Edmonton’s penalty kill has been doing well this season. If the Oilers can score a couple power play goals against Toronto’s struggling penalty kill, it could help give them a big edge.
Mikko Koskinen will likely get the start in the crease for the Oilers in this matchup. Koskinen has posted a record of 14-8-2 through his games played this season. He has earned a .912 save percentage and a GAA of 2.85. Koskinen’s last start came against the New York Rangers, where he turned away 28 of the 33 shots he faced in a win.
I expect Frederik Andersen to get the nod in net for Toronto on Monday night. Andersen has earned a record of 21-8-4 through 33 starts on the season. He has posted a save percentage of .916 and a 2.67 GAA. Andersen’s last start was against the Winnipeg Jets. He stopped 45 of the 48 shots against him in route to a Maple Leafs win.
These two goalies have had similar stat lines on the season, with a slight advantage going to Andersen in that department. Koskinen has earned a save percentage below .900 in his last four starts. Koskinen has not played since December 31, so he will look to bounce back in this game in a big way. If Koskinen can get back on track after his week of rest, it could help lead to an Oilers win.
The Maple Leafs are on a long winning streak against Edmonton and have earned a point in ten straight games. I believe the Oilers have a good chance to end both these streaks on Monday night. Edmonton matches up well with Toronto on special teams, which could help give them an advantage. I believe that Koskinen will come out strong after sitting for a small period, which could help anchor the Oilers.
BetOnline has the Maple Leafs listed as a -195 against the money line. This implies that Toronto will win this game around 66.1 percent of the time. The Maple Leafs have dominated as of late, but I believe that Edmonton has a strong chance to earn the win. All streaks eventually come to an end and I like the Oilers to pull off the big upset in this one.