Toronto Maple Leafs: Probably No Auston Matthews Tonight

Ilya Mikheyev, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)
Ilya Mikheyev, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs line up against the Edmonton Oilers after beating them two days ago

The Canadian Division has been the most entertaining in the NHL thus far. It is well-represented by two of the most explosive teams in the league; Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. They will play each other for the second time in three days tonight at 10:00 pm.

Every matchup between the two teams is entertaining, as two of the best players in the league compete against each other. Unfortunately, that is once again unlikely to happen because of Matthews’ wrist injury.

Four of the top five point-getters are on these teams. It includes, as expected, Matthews and McDavid. Tagging along with them is Edmonton’s Leon Draisitl and Toronto’s Mitch Marner.

Toronto Maple Leafs in Edmonton playing the Oilers

Toronto does lead the division, but Edmonton is right behind them. In 22 games, the Leafs earned 34 points, while the Oilers earned 28 points in 23 games.

So far in their season series, Toronto leads the way 3-2. Of the five games, only one ended with a win by more than two goals. That was in their most recent matchup when goaltender Jack Campbell shut out Oil Country in Toronto’s 4-0 win.

The Edmonton Oilers need their offense to score goals. They are the fourth-best team with 3.44 goals per game, but they average only 2.4 goals against the Leafs. Toronto is averaging 3.2 goals against Edmonton, meaning Ontario’s capital is outscoring them by 0.8 goals per game.

Luckily for the 6ix, four players returned from their injuries last game. The problem is, Campbell, who just returned from an injury, is now sidelined again. That means the team will need to turn to their third-string goaltender, Michael Hutchinson, for the fourth time this season.

In three games, he has played well with a 2-1 record. He also owns a .923 save percentage and a 2.36 goals-against average. Two were against the Calgary Flames, and one was against the Ottawa Senators. It’s safe to say that the Oilers are far superior to those teams.

A decision has yet to be made surrounding playing Matthews. He missed Toronto’s last game and will be a game-time decision tonight. His absence would leave a large hole in the Leafs’ lineup. It does not look like he is going to play, but it is as of now, unofficial.

If the NHL goals-leader is out for the second consecutive game, look for John Tavares to rekindle his past chemistry with Marner. They each scored two points last game.  The game is an opportunity for the Oilers to compete for the top spot of the division. For the Leafs, this is an opportunity to distance themselves from the rest of the division.

Here is everything you need to know heading into the Monday night matchup:

Most Recent Matchup

116. 0. 148. Final. 4

Jack Campbell and three other Toronto Maple Leafs returned from injuries to shut out the Oilers. Despite missing superstar Auston Matthews, Toronto scored four goals. It was only the fourth game in which Connor McDavid and Leon Draisitl failed to pick up one point.

Injured Players

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Auston Matthews (GAME-TIME DECISION)
  • Wayne Simmonds
  • Frederick Anderson
  • Rasmus Sandin
  • Jack Campbell

Edmonton Oilers

  • Zack Kassian
  • Oscar Klefbom
  • William Lagesson
  • Slater Koekkoek

Projected Starting Goaltenders

  • Michael Hutchinson (TOR)
  • Mike Smith (EDM)

You can watch the game live on ESPN+, SportsNet 1, SportsNet Ontario, and SportsNet West. With a win tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs will lead the division by eight points. Stats courtesy of 

Next. How Bad Was the Leafs Goaltending Last Season?. dark

Here is hoping that the Leafs have another great game without their best player, and both of their best goalies.