- The Toronto Maple Leafs are -136 favorites to beat the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, January 22nd, 2021 at Scotiabank Arena
- Edmonton were 3-1 winners there over Toronto on Friday
- That outcome ended Toronto’s seven-game winning streak over the Oilers
When it comes to the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The Oilers remain a team with serious issues in goal. Toronto continues to be a club struggling with its defensive structure.
However, things are suddenly changing when they play each other. Edmonton won 3-1 on Wednesday at Toronto.
The victory ended a seven-game winning streak for the Leafs against the Oilers. It was also Edmonton’s first victory in Toronto since a 5-0 verdict on Dec 2, 2010.
Nonetheless, as the two teams clash again Friday, the hometown Leafs are the -136 chalk. Toronto’s powerful offensive machine seems to have lost a gear, though. The last three Leafs games have gone under.
Edmonton Oilers vs Toronto Maple Leafs Odds
|Edmonton Oilers||+117||+1.5 (-220)||O 6.5 (-113)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-136||-1.5 (+180)||U 6.5 (-108)|
Odds taken Jan. 21st at DraftKings.
Game time Friday at Scotiabank Arena is 7 PM EST.
Oilers Dull It Down
Edmonton’s win over Toronto on Wednesday looked nothing like what would be the general expectations for a team that suits up two Art Ross Trophy winners in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The Oilers played a tight, you could even say boring defensive-style of hockey to get the two points from the Leafs.
Even with the firepower the team possesses, Edmonton may be left with no choice but to embrace this less-exciting brand of hockey. Veteran goalie Mike Smith was recently placed on the long-term injury list.
The Leafs Oilers game is VERY NHL
Promo: “Marner. Matthews. McDavid. Draisaitl… YOU WANNA SEE SOME GOOOOOOALLLS?”
NHL coaches: “no”
— Adam Wylde (@AdamWylde) January 21, 2021
That’s leaving Edmonton’s goaltending in the hands of Mikko Koskinen (3.24 GAA, .906 save percentage) and journeyman Troy Grosenick, who’s played all of two NHL games in eight pro seasons.
If the Oilers opt for firewagon hockey, then they’ll need to stock up on red lights to install behind their net. However, the question to be answered is whether gifted offensive players are willing and able to make the commitment to tight-checking hockey over the course of a season.
Leafs Are Hurting
Two-thirds of the Leafs’ top line didn’t practice on Thursday. It’s certain that one-third of this unit won’t be playing on Friday.
Veteran forward Joe Thornton, Toronto’s big off-season addition, left Wednesday’s game following a collision with Oilers forward Josh Archibald. Thornton left the ice doubled over in discomfort and did not return to action.
Joe Thornton heads to the dressing room after this hit #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/ii48ugj8eV
— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) January 21, 2021
Thursday, Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe indicated that Thornton was still undergoing tests. He added that it was clear Thornton would be out for some time.
Meanwhile, Auston Matthews, center on that unit with Thornton, left practice with what the team termed to be an illness. His status for Friday remains uncertain. Matthews is averaging a point a game this season with 2-3-5 totals in five games.
At practice Thursday, Marner skated on a line with Jimmy Vesey and Adam Brooks. That’s quite a downgrade.
The Leafs also placed rookie forward Nic Robertson on LTIR on Thursday with an undisclosed injury.
The Leafs have gone 12 regular-season home games without losing consecutive contests. Going back to the 2019-20 regular season, Edmonton has won three of its last four road games.
One year ago today #McDavid tap danced around the #Leafs Rielly.
It was the #NHL goal of 2020 & after seeing it live Tyson Barrie decided it’s better to join the #Oilers than face Connor 9 times this season. pic.twitter.com/vGaTGMqPQu
— Paul Almeida (@AzorcanGlobal) January 6, 2021
With an assist in Wednesday’s win, Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi picked up his first NHL point in over two years. Oilers captain McDavid has three goals on the season – a hat-trick Jan. 14 against the Vancouver Canucks. He’s gone three games without a goal.
The Oilers ended an 0-for-12 power-play drought by scoring with the man advantage on Wednesday.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs (-136)