When the Toronto Maple Leafs left Edmonton on March 3rd following their dominant three game sweep of the Oilers, the mood around the team was perhaps the highest it had been in years. During said sweep, the Leafs outscored the Oilers 13-1, earning shutouts from Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson while also holding Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to a combined one point (the fact that Auston Matthews only appeared in one of the three games is a bit of an afterthought.) The sweep saw the Leafs increase their lead of the North Division to nine points over the second place Winnipeg Jets, and ten points over the throughly humiliated third place Oilers.
The Leafs, as they are prone to do, promptly reminded us that they are in fact the Toronto Maple Leafs, and proceeded to drop six of the nine and allowed the Oilers to close that gap to a mere two points heading into tonight’s matchup.
The Oilers, meanwhile, had a solid bounce back from their dismal set with the Leafs, winning seven of their nine games since the three game sweep, including a five game winning streak in the games immediately following the series. Should the Oilers exact revenge in their first meeting with the Leafs since the sweep, there is a possibility that the Leafs find themselves third in the North Division come Sunday morning, albeit still with a game in hand on both Winnipeg and Edmonton.
Both teams look to be fairly well rested, with the Leafs playing in just their second game in a week, while the Oilers had their three game set with Montreal postponed this week due to COVID protocols.
Tale of the Tape
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs will be turning to Jack Campbell for the third straight game while Frederik Andersen continues to nurse a nagging injury. Despite allowing two goals against the Senators as a result of (let’s just say) adventurous puck handling attempts, Campbell has been solid in his first two games back from injury, going 2-0-0 with a .968 save% and a shutout, bringing him to 5-0-0 on the season, with a .958 save% and two shutouts.. The Oilers look to send out the suddenly resurgent Mike Smith, who at age thirty-nine, is posting his best numbers in a decade, sitting at 11-3-0, with a .922 save% and two shutouts.
Coverage tonight begins at 7 p.m. EST on Sportsnet.