Puck Drop: 9:00 p.m. EST  |  Arena: Rogers Place  |  TV: TSN4 |  Radio: SN 590


Game Day Quotes

Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on coaching both Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid at the World Cup in September of 2016:

First of all, it was an honour to coach both of them at the same time. Both of them are remarkable athletes. Their competitive spirit and their desire to be elite is exceptional. I think that we knew Connor had that in him, and with Auston, you could see it in that month it oozing out of him. What was interesting about [Matthews] was he started as the extra forward, in our opinion. Nobody really knew him. By the time we were into the tournament, he was playing with Scheifele and McDavid on the top line.

Mike Babcock on if the Matthews line or the Nazem Kadri line will matchup against McDavid:

Yeah, either or. It doesn’t much matter. They’re both going to get on the ice, so we’ll see how the game goes [tonight]. The score determines so much of what happens anyway as far as matchups go.

Babcock on the forward combinations and the increase in changes over last season:

You know, we have lots of forwards. We have ten forwards we move all over the place and two are pretty much constant. We’re going to do whatever is going to help us win.

Last year, everyone got to play 16 minutes, whether you played good or not. They were kids trying to get involved in the league, so that’s what we did. In all the good teams we’ve coached, we’ve had players all over. You do what you have to do to win that night, so whoever is playing good gets to play.

Babcock on if his best player is becoming a leader by example:

Well, 100%, but the best player is also 20 years old. As much as we like to rush leadership, it usually comes when you figure out your own game. So when you’re working for a living and you’re not doing a very good job –  you’re not focused on everyone else – you’re focused on getting yourself going. When you’ve got everything going good and you become a real veteran pro like Hainsey and like Marleau, you’ve got lots of time for the other people.

Babcock on if he thinks Kadri elevates his game when matching up against McDavid:

For sure. That’s what he does. He does it real well. He also scores, so he’s an effective player. When he’s got a job, he’s more effective. What you have to decide as a coach is how much rhythm you want off the bench and how much you want to disrupt it.

Kadri on the keys to limiting McDavid:

Obviously, he’s gifted and can skate really well. You’ve got to run into him as often as you can. The most important thing is you just want to force him to play defense. I don’t think players like that want to play in their own zone. They want the puck as much as possible. If you can control possession by winning faceoffs and 50-50 battles, I think we can make an impact there.

Kadri on whether McDavid will bite and engage him verbally:

A little bit. I don’t think too, too much. Everyone really tries to get after him. If he gave everyone the time of day, he’d be kind of throwing himself off of his game. He knows what he is doing. Whether he wants to engage or not is up to him. He definitely shows by example.

Kadri on the joy he gets out of these big-name matchups:

I love playing against special players and guys that are going to push me to compete harder and become a better player myself. That’s why I always love going against guys of his calibre — I think, in the end, it makes me a better player, and making me a better player is better for the team.


Matchup Stats

 TOREDM
Record16-9-110-13-2
GF/g3.50 (4th)2.68 (26th)
GA/g2.96 (16th)3.20 (27th)
PP%21.8% (9th)
18.2% (20th)
PK%81.4% (12th)73.2% (31st)
Shots/g30.8 (21st)34.0 (8th)
Shots Against/g33.3 (27th)30.6 (9th)
5v5 CF%50.15% (15th)54.00% (2nd)
5v5 SV%.923 (16th).915 (24th)
5v5 SH%10.5% (1st)6.8% (26th)

Toronto Maple Leafs Leafs Projected Lineup

Forwards
Hyman – Matthews – Brown
Marleau – Kadri – Komarov
Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Marner
Martin – Moore – Nylander

Defencemen
Rielly – Hainsey
Gardiner – Zaitsev
Borgman – Polak

Goaltenders
Andersen
McElhinney

Scratched: Carrick, Soshnikov, Leivo


Edmonton Oilers Projected Lineup

Forwards
Lucic – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Maroon – RNH – Slepyshev
Caggiula – Draisaitl – Strome
Khaira – Letestu – Kassian

Defencemen
Nurse – Larsson
Klefbom – Benning
Auvitu – Russel

Goaltenders
Brossoit
Ellis

Injured: Sekera, Talbot


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