The Edmonton Oilers beat (beat down) the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 on Wednesday night. The Oilers looked dominant in the game, thwarting most of the Maple Leafs’ offensive attempts.
Offensively, thanks to a strong performance from Connor McDavid – although he was far from alone – the Oilers dominated the Maple Leafs. To my eyes, it looked like McDavid decided to take over the game early. When he had success, that gave his teammates confidence and motivated them to push harder.
After the Oilers’ came to believe they were going to win, there was no way the Maple Leafs were going to stop them in this game. Hence, that’s why I used the verb “beat down” above.
As the numbers on the score sheet shows, McDavid scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Oilers to the win. Former Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman (who has become a really solid player with Edmonton) and Klim Kostin each scored a goal and added an assist, and Kailer Yamamoto also fluttered one in the back of the net for the Oilers.
Stuart Skinner was solid in the Oilers’ net, making 26 saves to help the Oilers win the third game of their last five.
The Maple Leafs’ goal scorers were Mitch Marner and David Kampf. Despite Marner’s strong performance, the Maple Leafs could not overcome the Oilers’ confident play. However, as I say, it just was one of those nights when few teams would have had enough to overcome the Oilers’ confidence.
Takeaway One: Ilya Samsonov Suffers Yet Another Road Loss
Ilya Samsonov came into Wednesday’s start (a road game) against the Oilers on a nice little streak. He had been playing well lately, winning his last three starts. In those starts, he had posted a strong 1.66 goals-against-average and .940 save percentage.
Samsonov had a tough game. He allowed five goals on 32 shots in the 5-2 loss. Three of the goals came quickly in the first period, including (as I noted earlier) two from McDavid. The Oilers added two more goals in the second period to pull away.
Not that every goal was Samsonov’s fault – some he had no chance on at all. Still, his road record fell to 5-6-1 with this loss. Samsonov has struggled away from home; however, that doesn’t concern me. It just seems like something he needs to work through. He is a solid goalie, and the road losses are not on him alone. The team just seemed to be unable to mount an attack against the Oilers.
Related: Are Maple Leafs’ Fans Starting to Like Kyle Dubas?
Takeaway Two: Mitch Marner Has Multiple-Point Game
Mitch Marner had a multi-point game against the Oilers. He picked up an assist on David Kampf’s game-tying goal in the first period and later scored a power-play goal in the third period.
He’s been stirring the Maple Leafs’ drink recently (as the New York Yankees’ Reggie Jackson used to say). He has been on a scoring streak, putting up 10 points in his last four games. On the season, he now has totaled 76 points in 61 games.
Related: Did Maple Leafs Have Lightning in Mind with Schenn Trade?
Takeaway Three: Connor McDavid Is an Amazing Player
Usually, when I write Maple Leafs’ takeaways, I note only what Maple Leafs’ players do – even in a loss. But I admit that the biggest takeaway for me in the game is that Connor McDavid is the best player in the NHL – bar none.
McDavid continued his incredible streak on Wednesday by scoring two goals and adding an assist in the Oilers’ 5-2 win over Toronto. He scored the first goal of the game with the man advantage. He later added a second great goal to break a 1-1 tie in the first period.
Finally, he helped ex-Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman enjoy beating his former teammates by assisting on his first-period goal. He finished the first period with three points.
The night marked McDavid’s fifth consecutive multi-goal game. He has also added six assists in those five games. On the season, McDavid has scored 52 goals and has added 66 assists (for 118 points) in only 62 games this season.
That statistic says it all. Except for one thing. He absolutely leads his team with his confidence and motivating play.
I don’t think the Oilers have close to the best team in the NHL; but, do I think they can win the Stanley Cup? You bet I do!
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Schenn, Jeannot, Kerfoot & Engvall
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