The deadline has passed and there are a few players, such as Connor Brown, that couldn’t be more happy. Rumour has it the Oilers took a run at landing Connor McDavids former Jr. teammate, but nothing came of it and Brown now gets the opportunity to make a deep playoff run with the team that drafted and developed him into the defensively mature player he is today.
Meanwhile, the story of the day revolves around Jake Gardiner.
Gardiner missed two games in late January due to back spasms, and it seems it’s become much more serious than first expected. Gardiner is now listed as week-to-week with the ailment, and it has some wondering if he’s already played his final game as a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Some are calling this addition by subtraction. While I’m on record as being a skeptic of how effective Jake can be under pressure, in a smaller role I do believe he can help the Leafs down the stretch and into the playoffs. Getting him back before the end of the year would be a positive.
Onto the Oilers.
This will be Connor McDavids first game back after serving a 2 game suspension for doing the same thing Zdeno Chara did to Evander Kane. The difference being Chara didn’t get any games….. well played Department of Player Safety. Consistency isn’t exactly a strong suit I see.
McDavid will look to come out with a jump in his step tonight, so the Leafs will have to up their game in order to keep him off the scoresheet. If they can neutralize the best offensive player in the game they will give themselves every chance to win the game.
Fun fact: McDavid hasn’t scored a point at Scotiabank Arena, he’s only played there twice but it’s one of two arenas he hasn’t scored a point in, so keeping it that way would be great.
Freddy Andersen starts tonight, which means Garrett Sparks will be tasked with getting a win for John Tavares against his former Islander teammates tomorrow.
Igor Ozhiganov draws back into the lineup in place of the injured Gardiner.
#Leafs lines in warmups vs. Edmonton:
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 27, 2019
GO LEAFS GO!!