As unpredictable as this 2020-21 NHL season has been, the Toronto Maple Leafs have, once again, remained reliably unpredictable. With highs, like leading the NHL in points, and lows, like losing 6 of 7 consecutive games, the Leafs have continued to be one of the league’s most perplexing teams. With the level of talent they possess, it still seems to be a nightly toss-up of in terms of how well the club will perform.
But compared to previous years, the Leafs have sustained an impressive level of intensity. Even games they have lost have still been close. That is because the Toronto Maple Leafs are consistently one of the NHL’s most lethal teams when it comes to third period goals scored.
Having completed one of the most impressive comebacks of the season on Saturday, the Leafs are naturally favoured by -140 tonight versus the Edmonton Oilers. But with Hutchinson replacing the lossless Campbell, the Leafs could be in a more difficult position. Check out this season series finale at 7PM EST on Sportsnet.
Tonight’s loss versus the Edmonton Oilers was like a mirror image of last game. Instead this time the Oilers completed the overtime comeback. This match was intense, well-coached, and well-executed from both sides. Coming away from this game, however, it feels as though the Leafs were less outplayed, and more out goaltended.
While Michael Hutchinson was solid through most of the game, a couple defensive breakdowns ended up being too much for the backup netminder. 39-year-old Mike Smith, however, kept the zipping NHL’s 5th best offence at bay; limiting Toronto to just 2 goals on 31 shots.
Considering Andersen’s injury status, it makes sense that the Leafs were resting Jack Campbell after his 6th win this season. Toronto just can’t afford for their goaltending to get any worse. And as the trade deadline approaches (April 12th), the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to make a decision. Acquire a new goalie, or invest in a forward. Or both.
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