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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Oilers

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs


The Maple Leafs are back home, hoping to strike oil. Here are three keys to a Leafs win.

Jump out to an early lead

The Oilers have managed just one victory all season when trailing after 20 minutes (1-15-3). Both teams find themselves in a similar position among the bottom of the NHL standings. The team that comes out with a torrid pace should come out on top. During the Leafs current slide, they haven’t shown a regular ability to draw first blood. Get the first goal and go from there.

Special Teams

While the Maple Leafs have been going through a major winless streak, the Edmonton Oilers have been losing all season long. Look no further than special teams to see the disparity between these clubs. The Leafs are 13th on the power play and 8th on the penalty kill compared to a 28th ranked power play and 24th rated penalty kill. The Oilers haven’t scored with the man-advantage in five games. A power play performance similar to last night should help the Leafs get a win.

Be aggressive and attack the middle

Sounds simple enough, but for whatever reason the Leafs haven’t been doing it. A real chance lies ahead for the Leafs to snap out of it and do everything to be successful. Maybe it’s a big hit early to get the crowd into it. Maybe it’s keeping a man in front of the Edmonton goalie at all times to get a lucky bounce. It’s time to find that x-factor that’s been missing.

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