Another successful outing, the Toronto Maple Leafs came out on top against the Edmonton Oilers with a 6-2 win, extending their win streak to three games. It wasn’t all smooth sailing as injuries continue to be a problem for the Maple Leafs with Travis Dermott being knocked out of the game in the third period after a hit from behind by Brad Malone. Dermott is currently under evaluation and is now week-to-week for the foreseeable future with a shoulder injury.
Head coach Mike Babcock refused to comment on the hit in the post-game scrum, having not yet seen a replay, but inevitably will feel hard done by lady luck with another injury after a questionable play. General manager Kyle Dubas will also struggle to replace Dermott with Calle Rosen, currently with the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League, battling a foot injury and won’t be available for a call up in the short term.
The Leafs will have to rely on Martin Marincin in the short term. Available for Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders, Marincin has been with the Marlies for the majority of the season after a brief ten-game stint with the Maple Leafs where he registered to two assists before being waived a few weeks back.
Marincin will join Igor Ozhiganov, himself a healthy scratch for nearly a month now, the two will fill out the blueline in the short term with Rosen not expected for a few weeks.
In the meantime, the Maple Leafs have been lighting up the scoreboard with a blazing hot streak that’s helped to alleviate some of the pressure on their mashup of a blueline. In their last three games, the Maple Leafs have scored a combined 17 goals with an impressive 6 goals against a sputtering Oilers team.
The Maple Leafs were fortunate to be in the game after the first period, surviving an Oilers onslaught that resulted in the Leafs being outshot 16-10. A welcomed break was all the Leafs needed. Flying out of the gates in the second, the Leafs quickly scored four goals in seven minutes and waved goodbye to Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen who was pulled after a horrendous second period.
John Tavares would put the game to bed a minute into the third period with a brilliant goal during a Leafs penalty kill. Frederik Andersen was phenomenal in net and guided the Leafs to victory, finishing with 34 saves.
The offence was spread throughout the lineup with 9 Leafs players registering a point in the game. Moreover, the Leafs were able to keep Connor Mcdavid relatively in check, limiting him to one assist in an lacklustre showing.
In the midst of winning stretch, the Maple Leafs will need their offence to power them through their current injury crisis. Nazem Kadri isn’t expected back anytime soon while dealing with concussion symptoms, and the blueline will continue to look vulnerable during the coming weeks. Nevertheless, the Leafs are rolling and fans should enjoy the team’s recent success with a tough period of games to come in March.