Edmonton Oilers shelled 6-1 at home to the Maple Leafs: Player Grades

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Ilya Mikheyev (65) celebrates a goal with teammates against Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.Toronto Maple Leafs’ Ilya Mikheyev (65) celebrates a goal with teammates against Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Article content

The Edmonton Oilers were schooled, Wednesday night, in a 6-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Oilers were the best team over the first half of the 1st Period with a decisive edge in play and shots. But they never were again. Sure, they scored for the 1st time in 7 Periods. But that’s faint praise as the Leafs put on a clinic at both ends of the ice.

Here’s the tale of the tape. And it ain’t pretty.

Edmonton Oilers Game Grades

MIKE SMITH. 5. Rare to grade a goalie a “5” when he allows 6. But Smith was the one Oiler who you can say battled from beginning to end. None of the 6 were softies. And he made 3 point-blank saves in the 3rd when he could have thrown in the towel but didn’t.

CONNOR McDAVID. 4. If I hear one more damn person tell me that “you can put anyone with Connor McDavid”, I’ll scream. 0 points, 1 shot. Yes, the Leafs defended very well against him. But that’s the job. Pointless in all 3 home games against Toronto.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

JAMES NEAL. 2. Completely ineffective in 11:07. Awful D-Zone giveaway in the 1st. A slashing penalty 200ft from his own net led to the 3-0.

JESSE PULJUJARVI. 3. Invisible for most of them game. 2 shots, only 1 was a quality chance and that came deep into garbage time. Failed to get the puck out along the wall, leading to a dangerous Toronto attack.

DARNELL NURSE. 4. This pairing struggled. It was Nurse’s man that scored the 4-0. -2. 0 hits. Darnell’s least effective outing of the season.

ETHAN BEAR. 3. A very rough outing. -2. Some miscommunication between Bear and the bench appeared to be at the root of the bad change that led to the Leafs 2-0 goal. Certainly, in a freeze-frame, you can see Bear looking in the opposite direction of Larsson, who was coming off. Slow to his man on the PK when Toronto scored the 3-0. Was also on for the 4-0 but I didn’t think he was responsible there. But a rough go.

LEON DRAISAITL. 5. Draisaitl entered the Oilers best line, assisted on the lone goal with a dangerous shot on net that Nugent-Hopkins tracked down the rebound on. Lost the faceoff on the 3-0. 3 shots. A good 1st period hit on Spezza. I counted 4 quality set-ups that teammates couldn’t capitalize on. Missed on a clear breakaway in the 3rd. Far from the problem.

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. 6. Nugent-Hopkins scored the Oilers only goal on a rebound in front. Had 3 shots and was Even in 20:24. To my eye, he meshes better with this 3-some. Edmonton’s best forward tonight, which is something he has not been this year often. Took one penalty, but I did not have him marked down for a significant defensive error all game.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

KAILER YAMAMOTO. 5. The puck was often headed in the right direction with this trio on the ice. And while I thought Yamamoto had effort and intent, his solo shot on net suggests he’s still not quite there. 4 hits.

CALEB JONES. 4. Lost his check on the 1-0. Left his feet on the 5-1. -2 in 17:07. Thought he made better decisions up the ice, but the problems existed in his own zone.

ADAM LARSSON. 5. Was part of the bad change on the 2-0, but it did not appear to be Larsson was the root of the issue. His man got position on him on the play in front that led to the 6-1.

JUJHAR KHAIRA. 4. His failure to shoulder check in front of his own net led directly to the 1-0. Lost the faceoff cleanly on the 6-1. No lack of effort, and led both teams with 12 (yes, 12) hits.

JOSH ARCHIBALD. 4. Never afraid to get his nose dirty but it wasn’t a particularly effective tactic for him tonight. 3 shots, 6 hits but -2.

TYLER ENNIS. 4. Shared responsibility on the 5-1 against. Shuttled around the lineup by Dave Tippett a bit, from the 3rd line to the 1st line. Hustled lots, accomplished little.

TYSON BARRIE. 4. Beat short side on the play where Matthews hit the post in the 1st Period. Beat again, when Hyman forced his way to the net but Smith had the answer that time. 2 shots in 19:32.

KRIS RUSSELL. 6. Kris Russell and Adam Larsson were the Edmonton Oilers best defencemen by a fair stretch. Russell was +1 in a 6-1 loss. An assist, on a nice pinch and the presence of mind to get the puck to the net. 2 shots, 4 blocks, EV CF 20-13, 61%.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

GAETAN HAAS. 4. Quiet, quiet night. Better on faceoffs (57%) than he’s been, but not much else happened in limited use.

KYLE TURRIS. 4. Certainly wasn’t the worst of the 12 forwards. But still didn’t muster a shot on net in 11:26.

JOAKIM NYGARD. 3. 0 shots, 0 hits, minus 1. Late 2nd Period trip when he got caught not moving his feet.

The loss leaves the Oilers looking 10 points up at the Leafs, and a point behind 2nd place Winnipeg.

Next up? 4th place Calgary, Saturday. Edmonton has to protect their 6-point edge on the Flames.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

Recently, at The Cult…

STAPLES: The sad saga of the Edmonton Oilers “Dynamite Line”

McCURDY: Dynamite Line re-united, will it feel so good?

LEAVINS: Answer on LW may be homegrown shopping trip

STAPLES: The Oilers will miss Chiasson more than you think

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Latest articles

Related articles