Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers
Watch on: Hockey Night in Canada at 7PM
Opponent’s site: The Copper and Blue

The time last I’d paid attention to the Oilers was at the beginning of the season when they were doing surprisingly good, considering they’re still, y’know, the Oilers. After checking out their recent games though I’m excited to share that the Oilers of yore appear to have made their grim return. The team has lost four of their last five games, and are currently on a three-game losing skid. As well, McDavid has played over 24 minutes in three of the Oilers’ last five games and Draisaitl is hitting similar numbers, playing over 23 minutes in three of the last five. They’re both having characteristically ridiculous seasons, which helps explain the high TOI, but is still a yikes from me. That said, keeping them in check is going to be one of the Leafs’ major challenges for the night – especially since we’re now without noted stifling-Connor-McDavid connoisseur Nazem Kadri.

For the Leafs, the bottom six has shuffled considerably since Thursday’s collapse again the Calgary Flames. Trevor Moore’s status is still TBC, but based on his taking line rushes in practice yesterday, and Nic Petan being loaned back to the Marlies, it’s looking pretty likely that we’ll finally see him returning to the lineup tonight. Gauthier is also returning to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for four games straight, which is a bit of a surprise considering what Keefe had to say about him on Thursday. Spezza and Aberg, on the other hand, will be sitting this one out.

The top six and defensive pairings look to be staying the same. Words truly cannot express how much I do not want to spend another game watching Kapanen on the Matthews-Nylander line but I guess that’s what we’re going with, despite all evidence that points to this being a combination that does. not. work. Who knows though. Maybe they’ll suddenly, spontaneously, develop some chemistry and make me look completely foolish and overly pessimistic (please).

Bright side: Tavares and Marner have been killing it lately, and are definitely feeling themselves about it.

Go get ‘em, Mitch.

Maple Leafs Lines
Based on yesterday’s lines at practice

Kasperi Kapanen - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Pierre Engvall - Alexander Kerfoot - Ilya Mikheyev
Trevor Moore - Frederik Gauthier - Jason Spezza

Morgan Rielly - Tyson Barrie
Travis Dermott - Cody Ceci
Jake Muzzin - Justin Holl

Frederik Andersen
Michael Hutchinson

Edmonton Oilers Lines
via Jack Michaels

Leon Draisaitl - Connor McDavid - Zack Kassian
Markus Granlund - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Alex Chiasson
James Neal - Gaetan Haas - Sam Gagner
Jujhar Khaira - Riley Sheahan - Josh Archibald

Darnell Nurse - Ethan Bear
Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Kris Russell - Caleb Jones

Mikko Koskinen
Mike Smith