OILERS (8-14-2) at MAPLE LEAFS (7-11-5)
In what was supposed to be the first game for McDavid in the centre of the hockey universe is now all about the unlikely first game for Garret Sparks. With Reimer sidelined due to injury and Bernier playing the worst hockey of his career, the collective brass of the Toronto Maple Leafs have decided this is as good of a time as any for the organization to see what they have in their goalie prospects. I hope he rises to occasion and has a start worth remembering.
The Leafs are coming off a disappointing losing effort and 4-2 yawner of a game to the Capitals on Saturday. The Oilers are hot! (At least by Oiler standards) they won their last game 3-2 over Phil Kessel and the Penguins.
If it seems like the Oilers have been rebuilding forever, it’s because they have been rebuilding forever. Every year it seems the hockey pundits are asking ‘is this the year the Oilers put it all together?’ However, they never do seem to put it all together. Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Eberle, Yakupov, Nurse, Draisaitl and of course McDavid are but a few of the draft picks this Oilers team was to be built around. To give you a sense of how long then have been drafting high, Sam Gagner was a 6th overall pick in 2007…eight years ago, and it looks as though they will still not be a playoff team by seasons end.
The Leafs are embarking on their own rebuilding plan. Depending on who you ask, the Leafs are somewhere in the middle of a rebuild, or just started this past summer. To put the collection of Leaf picks into proper context, Kadri was drafted 7th in 2009…six years ago. Since then they have picked up Reilly, Nylander and Marner all with the 8th or better pick. A long way to go until they are considered a contender. This should be the tail of two teams heading in opposite directions, with the Leafs looking for a top-three pick and the Oilers looking to get into the playoffs again. The Leafs are holding up their end of the bargain, but the for whatever reason the Oilers are still the Oilers. Maybe it’s a broken collarbone, maybe it’s goaltending maybe, it’s defence, maybe it’s a lack of quality veteran leadership, maybe it’s coaching, maybe it’s a little of all of the above. However, the Oilers are still looking for the change that send them on their way to respectability.
I have willing accepted the pain that Babcock warned us about. I have faith in the brass that now leads our team. I understand that duration of time it takes to draft, develop and augment a team into a contender. I will be patient.
Just not Oilers fan patient
GO Leafs GO. Forever.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Gdiff (5v5) — -5
Gdiff (All) — -11
CF% (5v5) – 49.2
PP% – 19.7
PK% – 79.7
Gdiff (5v5) — -14
Gdiff (All) — -13
CF% (5v5) – 48.9
PP% – 20.3
PK% – 79.5
Toronto Maple Leafs
JVR – Kadri – Komarov
Mathias – Bozak – Parenteau
Winnik – Spaling – Grabner
Holland – Froese – Boyes
Gardiner – Phaneuf
Hunwick – Rielly
Marincin – Polak
Hall – Draisaitl – Purcell
Pouliot – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
Korpikoski – Letestu – Pakarinen
Khaira – Lander – Hendricks
Nurse – Sekera
Klefbom – Fayne
Davidson – Schultz
Today in Leafs History….
Today in Leafs history brought to you by …… @DoctorRobert
- 1911 – Dave “Sweeney” Schriner was born in Saratov, Russia. Schriner won two Stanley Cups with the Leafs during the 1940s and he was the first Russian-born player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
- 1927 – Former Leafs centre Tod Sloan was born in Vinton, Quebec. He is best remembered for scoring the tying goal with 30 seconds remaining in Game 5 of the 1951 Stanley Cup Finals. This set the scene for Bill Barilko’s legendary cup-winner!
- 1947 – Leafs and Bruins battle hard in a thrilling 0-0 draw. This was the first game of a 9 game undefeated streak on the road! (Team Record)
- 2000 – Leafs storm into Long Island and thump the Islanders 6-4. Mats Sundin and Tie Domi recorded two goals each while Glenn “Everyone’s Favourite Commentator” Healy managed stop 20 of 24 shots.
- 2013 – The Habs hand the Leafs their fourth straight loss as they beat Toronto 4-2. James van Riemsdyk and Mason Raymond scored for the Leafs late in the 2nd period after the club had already fallen behind 4-0.
GO LEAFS GO