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Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
Toronto Maple Leafs
37-15-8 (2nd in Atlantic Division)
32-21-8 (4th in Pacific Division)
Mitchell Marner (74)
Connor McDavid (115)
William Nylander (33)
Connor McDavid (50)
Mitchell Marner (54)
Connor McDavid (65)
Michael Bunting (26)
Darnell Nurse (18)
Auston Matthews (4.11)
Shots (Per Game)
Connor McDavid (4.46)
The Toronto Maple Leafs will travel west to face the Edmonton Oilers for the first time this season. The Maple Leafs are having an excellent season and are in second place in the Atlantic Divison with 82 points. Toronto has the fourth-most points in the NHL, but a win would still be significant for them. They only have a four-point lead over the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning, so a win would cement their lead. On the other side, the Oilers are in third place in the Pacific Division with 72 points. A win could put them within striking distance of second place, but a loss could push them back to a Wild Card spot.
The Maple Leafs are an excellent team. They score nearly 3.5 goals per game and have a top-ten offense. If you think that is impressive, wait until you hear about their defense. Toronto has the third-best defense in the NHL and only gives up 2.6 goals per game. In addition to the Maple Leaf’s strong offense and defense, they also have a top-five netminder in Ilya Samsonov. To put it simply, the Maple Leafs are tough to beat.
The Maple Leafs are seeing incredible performances from Mitchell Marner, William Nylander, John Tavares, and Auston Matthews this season. Each player has at least 59 points, 20 goals, and 31 assists.
Ilya Samsonov has been a dominant force in net for the Maple Leafs. The goaltender is only 26 years old but has 22 wins, a .918 save percentage, and a 2.30 goals-against average.
The Oilers have the best offense in the NHL, but defensively, they need a lot of help. Edmonton averages 3.8 goals per game but allows 3.28 goals per game. Their is not a large difference between those numbers, so their offense is often required to score five or more goals.
The Oilers have the most dangerous player in the NHL in Connor McDavid and a few other scorers in Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Zach Hyman. These four have combined for over 61% of the Oilers’ goals and are vital to their success.
The Oilers signed goaltender Jack Campbell this offseason, thinking he would be a reliable player. The signing has not paid off so far, as Campbell has been relegated to the backup role. Stuart Skinner has become the starter and is outperforming Campbell, but he is not dominant. Edmonton will need one of them to step up, or they will be in trouble.
The Maple Leafs are a significantly more well-rounded team and playing better hockey. I must go with the safe bet and tell you to bet on Toronto.
The Maple Leafs are on the road but will win if they score first and slow down the Oilers’ centers.
The Maple Leafs are on the road and facing an Oilers team with a loud fan base. Oilers fans are known for being rowdy, but the Maple Leafs can offset this if they score the first goal. If Toronto strikes first, the Oilers fans will be a little quieter and a little more discouraged.
The Oilers’ center trio of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the best in the NHL. These three have combined for an absurd 276 points. McDavid is the most dangerous player in this group, but Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins are also dangerous with the puck. The Maple Leafs’ defensemen must slow them all down.
The Oilers will win this game if they draw penalties and have strong goaltending.
Much of the Oilers’ offense this season has come on the power play. Edmonton has the best power play unit in the league and converts nearly 32% of their opportunities. Almost 29% of their goals have come with a man advantage. It should go without saying that the Oilers must draw penalties and put at least one goal in the back of the net.
It is unclear who will get the start in net for the Oilers. Jeff Skinner is the starter but has been in net for the last four games. The Oilers may look to backup Jack Campbell for this matchup. Regardless, whoever is in net needs to bring their A-Game against this impressive Maple Leafs’ offense.
William Nylander is on a tear this season. The 26-year-old has 72 points (33 goals, 39 assists) in 60 games and eight points in his previous five games. He is having an incredible season and has been instrumental to Toronto’s success this year.
Nylander must continue performing at a high level in this game and finish with at least one point.
Darnell Nurse is the best defenseman Edmonton has to offer. The 28-year-old leads the Oilers in TOI (23:51) and +/- (18). Nurse will be tasked with slowing down a high-powered Maple Leafs’ offense. If he can play his part in limiting Toronto’s shots, the Oilers can win.
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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