TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (8-14-2) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (7-11-5)
Location: Air Canada Center, Toronto
Time: 5:30 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
Tonight, the Oilers look to close out their five-game road trip with a win in Toronto and up until now the Oilers only have three of a possible eight points on this trip. Two losses to the Capitals and Hurricanes certainly woke up the team and they rebounded well getting a point in Detroit, and two in Pittsburgh.
Despite the fact the the team is in the bottom of the West, they are only eight points out of a wild card spot. It isn’t unrealistic to see this team make a strong push towards that final spot. This Oilers team isn’t awful. The coaching has made a tremendous difference on and off the ice, and I am certain we will see success shine through soon.
Andrej Sekera and Teddy Purcell will look to continue to build off their two-game point streaks.
The last time these two teams met on March 16th, the Oilers came out on top winning 4-1 in thanks to a three point night from Jordan Eberle. He has certainly struggled in his return from injury. In just 11 games, he only has three goals which translates to .9 Points per 60 (P/60) – a ways off from his career average of 2.5 P/60.
“It would put a win in the win column, which is obviously real important and a goal of ours every night,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “To come home at .500 on a pretty tough road trip, considering we didn’t win the first two, would be an accomplishment that we would be please with. We wouldn’t have a parade, but we’d be pleased with it. I think it’s something we can grow on. Our road record isn’t terrible. We’ve played some good games, we just haven’t had a timely goal or a timely prevent of a goal to give us more wins than losses.”
Davidson says McLellan has coached the Oilers to be more detail-oriented on this road trip, which has helped with results.
“Details plays a huge role in it. That’s something he’s preached,” the blueliner said. “I think guys are just taking it upon themselves now that we’ve came together as a collective group. We know we have to get on a little bit of a run here and get some points together. I think guys know how important it is and as long as we can keep moving in that direction and keep taking what Todd is giving us, we’ll be fine.” Source.
Walter Foddis’ Pregame Metrics:
Toronto coach Mike Babcock told the Maple Leafs website that goalie Garret Sparks, 22, will make his NHL debut on Monday and forward Joffrey Lupul will not play because of an undisclosed injury. Lupul, who is tied for the team lead with Leo Komarov with eight goals, did not skate on Sunday. With James Reimer out because of a lower-body injury and Jonathan Bernier struggling (0-8-1), the Maple Leafs will turn to Sparks, who is 8-2-1 with a 1.90 goals against average and a .938 save percentage with Toronto of the AHL this season. “We’ve got to find a way to win a game,” Babcock said. “Is he ready for the opportunity? We’re going to find out.” Bernier faced 23 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Reimer did practice Sunday, but he’s not ready to play. “You have to be able to do your job to your fullest and right now it’s a little restricted,” Reimer told the Maple Leafs website. “I can’t quite do everything I need to do to be successful.”
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
According to Oilers HC Todd McLellan, we can expect to see some lineup changes before puck drop due to some “bumps and bruises.”
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