Player grades: Very little to like as Edmonton Oilers lose second straight to Toronto Maple Leafs

The Edmonton Oilers' Kailer Yamamoto (56) dives for a loose puck against the Toronto Maple LeafsThe Edmonton Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto (56) dives for a loose puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

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It could be worse. We could all be Calgary Flames fans.

But that’s one of the few silver linings I can find as the Edmonton Oilers lost their second straight game to the Toronto Maple Leafs, this time 3-0.

Edmonton had some bad breaks and weak goaltending, but the Oiilers were also out worked much of the game.

There were no moral victories for Edmonton but perhaps it was a wake up call. The Leafs have raised the level of their game against Edmonton. Edmonton has so far failed to respond.

When it came to scoring chances, Toronto had 11 while the Oilers had just eight, for the second game in a row (running count).

Connor McDavid, 6. He came out flying and beat most of the Leafs on a rush and Grade A chance early in the first. His hard work led to a great chance early in the third, then a moment later Yamamoto send him in on a partial breakaway. He set up RNH on a hustle play early in the third. But the Leafs have been able to generally contain him two games in a row. He made a weak back check on John Tavares in the third that led to a Toronto breakaway by Morgan Rielly. Led the team with six shots on net.


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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 3. Took two bad penalties. He got an in-tight shot early in the third but could not drain it. Unable to get much going on the attack.

Jesse Puljujarvi, 5. Had some good moments and one bad one. His offensive zone turnover led to a Toronto break that saw two Grade A chances and Larsson drawing a penalty. His hard back check early in the third broke up a Toronto slot chance by Hyman. He put a hard Grade B scoring chance shot on Michael Hutchinson in the third and almost scored.

Leon Draisaitl, 5. Made a great pass early in the first to set up Kahun for a 5 Alarm chance. A few iffy turnovers on the power play in the second, one leading to a dangerous Toronto rush that could have ended in a shortie goal if Zach Hyman had not fanned on a backhander. He crushed Alexander Barabanov with a check.

Dominik Kahun, 5. He wasn’t bad but he’s supposed to drain his 5-alarm chances, right? Failed to drain his brilliant early chance but got it on net, which is more than the Oilers did with their early golden chances on Saturday night. A moment later he broke in off a Yamamoto pass and fired a dangerous backhander at the Leafs net. But he lost a battle to William Nylander on a n-zone faceoff, with Nylander streaking down ice to score. He got a golden chance on a rebound slot shot early in the second but again could not score.

Kailer Yamamoto, 6. His early hustle kicked off the virtuous cycle leading to Kahun’s point blank shot early in the game. He lost a battle on a neutral-zone face that kicked off the sequence of pain on Toronto’s second goal. His hustle looked good on a line with McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins in the second and third.


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Jujhar Khaira, 5. He drew a penalty on a hustle play in the second. His line was likely the best trio for the OIlers.

Tyler Ennis, 4. He and Khaira got beat by Justin Holl on foray from the point early in the third, then Ennis allowed a slot shot by Jake Muzzin.

Josh Archibald, 5. Part of an Oilers line that buzzed around and did OKish. He showed some fight late in the game, engaging in a wrestling match.

Gaetan Haas, 4. Did some OK work on the PK, but failed to make a major impact.

Patrick Russell, 3. He was invisible.

Alex Chiasson, 4. Nothing wrong with his game, though nothing too right.

Darnell Nurse, 4. He got a decent hit on Mitch Marner early in the game. Then in he gave some extra grief to Zach Hyman in a board battle after Hyman had hit McDavid. Toronto’s third goal, a point shot, went in off Nurse but that was a bad luck play. His offence was a bit off early in the second, with a key shot blocked and a n-zone pass on the power play behind one of his teammates. He looked a bit iffy on the power play half-way through the third, losing a few battles.

Tyson Barrie, 5. He and Nurse got beat on a rush by Toronto’s big Mikheyev late in the second. But was otherwise solid.

Caleb Jones, 5. His bad pinch led to Mitch Marner-to-Morgan Rielly Grade A chance in the first. Other than that played an OK game. His point shot in the second was tipped on net by Khaira, but no goal.

Adam Larsson, 4. He was slow to cover Mikheyev on a first period rush, leading to a Grade A chance and a penalty that the Leafs punished with a power play goal.


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Evan Bouchard, 3. This was an exercise for Oilers fans in “Be Careful What You Wish For.” The vast majority of Oilers fans were keen to see Bouchard go in for Kris Russell, as Bouchard is an expert puck mover and Russell is not. But Bouchard is a rookie and it showed on a few key plays this game. Maybe it was too much to ask him to play on his off side. First, he lost his stick then forgot to cover his man on Toronto’s first goal. Ouch! A moment later, he and Ethan Bear got beat on the rush up the ice by William Nylander, who scored on a “B” chance backhander. He had another good offensive sequence late in the second and blasted a one-timer point shot on net.

Ethan Bear, 3. After Koskinen, he was the main culprit on the second Toronto goal, making a bad read and beat up ice by Nylander. He and Nurse allowed Rielly to get behind them on a break in the third.

Mikko Koskinen, 3. He let in the first two shots on net, one of them a “B” quality backhander. Terrible. The third goal went in off Nurse, but by then the coach had seen enough and went with his fave, Mike Smith.

Mike Smith, 7. A good game. He had little to do in the second period. He stoned Rielly’s breakaway in the third, and made a few more tough saves as well. He even showed some life going after a Leafs player after he got bumped by Hyman in the third.


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