Taylor Hall and the Edmonton Oilers entertain the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs tonight down at The Drug Store, and the blue shirts may be looking for revenge for a couple of reasons.
Most notably, to avenge the 5-0 embarrassing loss they sustained on home ice at the hands of the visiting Oilers a few weeks back, and most recently, to send the new kid in the Hall a message. Following Monday’s practice session at Rexall Place, Hall was asked about the return engagement between the Maple Buds and the Oil and referred to the Leafs apparent lack of will, noting if the Oilers competed hard, the “game would be there for the taking.”
Hard to argue with the kid; on many nights this season and last, the Leafs tend to fold like a cheap tent!
Nonetheless, the comment is minor, but for a coach like Ron Wilson searching for any remote, tiny morsel of motivation, the rookie’s comments will play nicely on the visitor’s dressing room board.
The Leafs should be motivated, being away from the hockey media circus that is Hog Town, and on the heels of its most recent 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Edmonton, however, will be hungry to throw some rubber at the Leafs’ netminder de jour, having only mustered only 12 against Vancouver Sunday night, an embarrassing offensive output which led to a 2-1 loss.
Hall, who popped two goals in his team’s 5-0 shut-out victory over Toronto earlier this month, did not enjoy the same red-carpet treatment versus their western Canadian rivals Sunday night. Alex Burrows and company served notice to the rookie early in that contest, that he’d pay a price for swooping in on Roberto Luongo off the wing. In one instance, Hall was introduced to the back of the Vancouver net, thanks to a vicious check.
Expect some fireworks, as Steve MacIntyre and Colton Orr, the guts and often blood of their respective lineups, suit up. Orr will be particularly seeking Round 2 from ‘SmacIntyre’, after the Edmonton pugilist left his signature on Orr’s chin in front of a disgruntled sold-out ACC crowd.
Tonight’s tilt marks the fifth of a six-game home stand for the Oil, which has gone 2-1-1 thus far. Edmonton welcomes Columbus Thursday night to wrap up its current home stand.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.