Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The Oilers have been rolling as they have won their last five games to jump into second place in the North Division. Now they will host the best team in the division in the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have arguably the best top line in the game. Both teams are looking to remind everyone that they are ready to compete for and win the Stanley Cup with arguably two of the best rosters in the division and this game can be critical in determining which of these teams is more complete.
Toronto’s top line is arguably the best in the NHL
The Maple Leafs have the best record in the North Division and have been helped by the great play of their top scoring line. Auston Matthews is leading the NHL in goals with 18 on the season while Mitch Marner and William Nylander have combined for 16 goals this season.
Aside from the top line of offense, the Maple Leafs have found scoring with key players throughout their lineup. John Tavaresand Wayne Simmonds have combined for 11 goals while Joe Thornton has scored 3 goals in 9 games. While the offense has been piling on the goals this season, the defense has been led by a top pairing of Jake Muzzin and TJ Brodie who have combined for 2.6 defensive point shares and 63 blocked shots. Fredrik Anderson missed the last game with an injury but should be able to return as he is only allowing 2.6 goals per game.
Oilers offense fuels winning streak
The Oilers have won the last five games and are scoring 3.5 goals per game this season. The offense has been incredible all season with arguably two of the best scorers in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl leading the way, combining for 24 goals and 50 assists this season. Along with McDavid and Draisaitl, the Oilers are finding offense from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who has 9 goals this season and defenseman Darnell Nurse, who has 6 goals and 10 assists.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 26, 2021
Speaking of Darnell Nurse, he leads the improved defense with 2.1 defensive point shares and 40 blocked shots while Adam Larsson has 70 blocked shots on the season, an unprecedented number even for a defenseman. The Oilers have received an extra boost defensively with Mike Smith returning to action in recent games, who in 7 starts has won 6 games and is allowing 1.7 goals per game.
Oilers are 5-0 in their last 5 overall.
Oilers are 4-0 in their last 4 games following a win.
Oilers are 7-0 in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
Oilers are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. NHL.
Oilers are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. North.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is going to be a good game between two of the best teams in the North Division. The Maple Leafs are a hard team to bet against and the Oilers are only slight underdogs but they should be able to play like heavy favorites at home. McDavid and Draisaitl should be able to constantly find scoring chances even against a good defense in Toronto with McDavid’s ability to create odd-man rushes from the defensive side and Draisaitl’s accurate shooting ability. The Oilers should also be able to find goals from the point whether it be nurse or Larsson who will find open shots with the defense of the Maple Leafs trying to limit both the Oilers top scorers. The Leafs should find the back of the net a few times but Mike Smith has been playing incredibly in goal and should limit their offense. Expect the Oilers to win this game and continue to climb in the division.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
It seems like every time these two teams are playing, the offenses take off and the goals are scored constantly. Both teams have incredible offense and should be able to find constant scoring chances against the two defenses. McDavid and Draisaitl should be able to constantly create scoring chances for an Oilers offense that can score at any point while the Maple Leafs top line will continue to overwhelm defenses and the Oilers being no exception. This game should be an offensive battle and the Over should cover easily.