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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Quick Hits: Maple Leafs at Oilers

The Oilers take on the Maple Leafs tonight at Rogers Place and it’s a tale of two teams on very opposite sides of the good vibration charts of 2017. 

With the red hot Leaves in town, the Oilers are going to have to be on their game tonight if they hope to extend their winning streak. If they’re not, this thing could get out of hand and we could have a tough night on the ice on a night when our barn is half full of enemy fans. Point being, the Oilers have been extremely inconsistent this season and when you couple that with the reality of Cam Talbot missing today’s game then you’re starting to put together a recipe for a bad time.

QUICK HITS

1. Coming into tonight’s game, the Leafs are on fire with a record of 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Over that span, the Leafs have scored 31 goals so the Oilers will have to be on their toes if they hope to keep that GA down tonight.

2. In his last start against Buffalo, Laurent Brossoit was really solid in a game when none of his teammates showed up. Brossoit allowed only two goals on 33 shots for a .933 save% and was easily the best Oiler on the night. They’ll need him again tonight.

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3. In the Leafs, Edmonton will need to stay out of the box to not give the Toronto’s 9th ranked power play (21.8%) chances to score. They’ll also have their work cut out for them on the power play as the Leafs’ PK (81.4%) is currently ranked 12th in the league. Toronto is 9-4-0 this season when they score a power play goal so it’s something the Oilers need to be aware of when they’re on the ice. Over their last seven games, the Leafs have struggled on the PP, going 2-for-14 with the man advantage.

4. At Rogers Place, the Oilers’ penalty kill is a very weak 61.1% on the season. Very obviously, a total that needs to change if they have any hopes of getting back into this season.

5. The Oilers will also have to deal with the Leafs ability to score goals in bunches. T.O.’s offence is ranked 4th in the NHL with an average of 3.50 goals per game. As a comparison, the Oilers are sitting in 26th place in the league with their average of 2.68 goals for per game. How can they eliminate that extra goal that the Leafs tend to put up on a nightly basis?

6. Over their last 11 games against the Maple Leafs, Edmonton sports an underwhelming record of 2-6-3 with Toronto outscoring our boys in orange by a margin of 46-26.

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7. Connor McDavid has not been held pointless in back-to-back games this season, and he got blanked off the scoresheet against the Coyotes. There would be no better night than a multi-point Connor dominated game than tonight against Toronto.

8. Auston Matthews is goalless in five games but has still amassed 14 points in the 12 road games the Leafs have played this year. He’s obviously a player to watch and it will be interesting to see which Oilers’ line/d-pair will go up against him tonight.

9. On the other side of the ice, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has produced consistently on home ice, registering 12 points (8G, 4A) in 12 home games so far.

10. Unlike the Oilers, the Maple Leafs are a healthy team with only Joffrey Lupul being listed as injured on the official game page. Gotta love Robidas Island. I wonder how we can get one of those?

11. According to Corsica, the Oilers are still ranked fifth in expected goals for and second in overall Corsi for. Their underlying numbers are still solid, but it’s the conversion that seems to be the issue. What will it take for some rain to fall on over this dry spell?

GAME DAY QUESTIONS

  • How will Laurent Brossoit handle today’s start against a high flying Leafs team?
  • How will the Oilers respond to losing their starting goaltender? Can they rally in support of Laurent Brossoit?
  • Everyone is talking about McDavid vs Matthews but the real battle could be between Connor and Nazim Kadri. How will Connor handle adding 200lbs to his back?

GAME NOTES BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PINT

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/30/2017, 12:00pm MST