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Sports Comparing top-six production of Maple Leafs vs. Oilers

21:32  14 december  2019
21:32  14 december  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Andreas Johnsson injury update: Toronto Maple Leafs forward leaves game after blocking shot

  Andreas Johnsson injury update: Toronto Maple Leafs forward leaves game after blocking shot The 25-year-old forward left Wednesday's game with a leg injury, but head coach Sheldon Keefe did not consider it too serious.Johnsson suffered the injury late in the second period when he blocked a shot from Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves. The team announced he would not return to the game at the start of the third and final frame.

a hockey game in the snow: maple-leafs-blues-matthews© Provided by Sportsnet maple-leafs-blues-matthews

When the Edmonton Oilers visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, hockey fans will be watching a matchup brimming with comparisons.

Two teams emerging from rebuilds (or so we hope, anyway); two teams with recent No. 1 overall draft picks leading the way; two teams top-heavy in scoring and in salary; two teams in search of depth scoring.

Let’s focus on those last two points. Both the Maple Leafs and Oilers have been on the hunt for more depth scoring over the past few seasons, and attempts to do so have yielded varying results.

For Edmonton, the difference between top-line scoring and the rest of the club is pretty stark, with the league’s point leaders in Connor McDavid (57 points) and Leon Draisaitl (55) suiting up on the same line. Many debates have been held about whether the Oilers can and should split up the dynamic duo. Attempts to do so earlier this week led to losses, and it appears the two have already been reunited ahead of their Toronto matchup.

Maple Leafs place Andreas Johnsson on long-term injury reserve

  Maple Leafs place Andreas Johnsson on long-term injury reserve Andreas Johnsson was placed on long-term injury reserve by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday after suffering a leg injury. The post A few backup goalies Maple Leafs should at least look into appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Exact details of what the injury is wasn’t disclosed, but the team said in a release that Johnsson underwent a CT scan on Thursday and will be reassessed after the Christmas break.

In this comparison, we’re focusing purely on goals, as both teams head into Saturday’s game with almost the same number of total goals scored on the season: Toronto has 105, followed closely by Edmonton’s 103.

So, how did they reach those totals? Here’s a brief breakdown of where the bulk of each team’s scoring is coming from in the lineup when it comes to their forwards.

TOP SIX

When you compare each team’s top line, well… there really is no comparison. The combination of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl is the best in the game right now.

They’ve each got 20 goals to their name while Zack Kassian — who has played most of his minutes this season to McDavid and Draisaitl’s right and has proven to be a strong fit there — has 11. (He’s already close to eclipsing previous career-highs less than halfway through the 2019-20 campaign.) Between McDavid, Draisaitl and Kassian, that’s 51 goals, and almost exactly half of the team’s total.

Vancouver hosts Toronto after Leivo's 2-goal game

  Vancouver hosts Toronto after Leivo's 2-goal game Toronto Maple Leafs (14-13-4, fifth in the Atlantic Division) vs. Vancouver Canucks (15-11-4, fourth in the Pacific Division) Vancouver, British Columbia; Tuesday, 10 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: The Toronto Maple Leafs visit Vancouver after Josh Leivo scored two goals in the Canucks' 6-5 overtime victory over the Sabres. The Canucks are 7-3-3 on their home ice. Vancouver leads the NHL with 31 power-play goals, led by Elias Pettersson with six. TheVancouver, British Columbia; Tuesday, 10 p.m.

The number of goals drastically drops off when you look at the second line, where the current trio of Markus Granlund, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson has combined for 12.

That brings us to 63 goals for Edmonton’s top two lines, with that stellar first line dominating.

Looking at the top-line numbers of the Maple Leafs isn’t quite as cut and dry considering Toronto has shaken up its lineup several times already this year due to injuries, production and coaching change. But for the purpose of this exercise, we’re using the current (and also most commonly deployed) top-line trio of Zach Hyman, John Tavares and Mitch Marner. Between the three of them, they’ve combined for 24 goals.

The Maple Leafs have the luxury of being able to sport what is more of a 1A-1B situation than a clear-cut first line, with their “second-line” combo of William Nylander, team leader in goals Auston Matthews (he’s got 19) and Kasperi Kapanen putting up 38 goals so far.

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  Edmonton Oilers searching for answers with Leafs up next "We're not going to sit here and be in a grump about it.""Just that we've done a lot of good things well," answered goalie Mike Smith when asked about Tippett's message. "There are parts of our game that on a consistent basis need to be better. We're not going to sit here and be in a grump about it.

That’s 62 goals from Toronto’s current top-six group, just one shy of Edmonton’s total. Two nearly identical goal totals between Edmonton’s top two lines and Toronto’s, but two very different ways of getting there.

BOTTOM SIX

As fans of either team know very well, depth scoring has been a struggle – and it’s one most clubs around the league deal with.

Edmonton’s third line of James Neal, Gaetan Haas and Sam Gagner has 19 goals, but what skews this comparison is Neal’s role in it – 15 of those goals belong to the sniper, with most of his markers coming during his early-season scoring spree and while playing alongside McDavid on the power-play. Between this trio and the fourth line (Jujhar Khaira-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald), the Oilers have 27 goals from their current collection of bottom-six players.

That’s better than the Maple Leafs’ totals right now. Because both former head coach Mike Babcock and his replacement, Sheldon Keefe, have juggled the lines so much, we’re better off simply totalling the numbers of all six current players expected to suit up in bottom-six roles Saturday night: Pierre Engvall, Alex Kerfoot, Ilya Mikheyev, Trevor Moore, Frederik Gauthier, and Jason Spezza. They’ve got 19 among them.

So, what can we expect, production-wise for Saturday’s contest? Odds point to a star-studded offensive showdown, which would no doubt be fun to watch. But perhaps it’ll wind up being the depth players who make the biggest difference on this night — just to prove us all wrong. Both fanbases would surely love to see it.

Maple Leafs forward Trevor Moore unavailable vs. Hurricanes .
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Trevor Moore will be unavailable on Monday for Toronto’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the team announced. The post Tiger-Cats give extensions to offensive, defensive co-ordinators appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Maple Leafs forward Trevor Moore is unavailable for today’s game. His status will be updated after the game.

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