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Canadian NHL Playoff Picture: Leafs and Oilers Gameday News

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Two Canadian teams that believe themselves to be Stanley Cup favourites are in action tonight. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, it is game two of their series. However, for the Edmonton Oilers, led by superstar Connor McDavid this is the start of their first-round 2024 NHL Stanley Cup playoff matchup. Toronto is currently down 1-0 to the Boston Bruins in their Eastern Conference Quarter-final matchup. Also, they have some injury and lineup news that needs to be covered. The Oilers square off in their Western Conference playoff matchup against the Los Angeles Kings

In Toronto Maple Leafs News, T.J. Brodie Remains Out

First up in Leaf land, something that needs to be better, is their team defence. With that said, based on the morning skate, their defensive unit remains the same as in game one. It appears as though T.J. Brodie remains out. In any case, the Leafs cannot be allowing Boston’s very stringent offensive systems to take grasp of them. The Bruins are able to sit back and wait, and then attack with strength and smarts. All the Leaf defenders, from Morgan Rielly to Timothy Liljegren have to play their best defensively. Boston further made it difficult for the Leafs defensively, scoring two out of five opportunities on the power play in game one. 

What About William Nylander‘s Status?

In terms of injury updates for the Leafs tonight, William Nylander is the most important one. Nylander was the Leafs second-leading scorer on the season with 98 points. So, he is very important to the club’s success. Two things we know at this point. First of all, he stayed out after practice with the other potential scratches for tonight’s game. However, the feeling is they are giving him the afternoon to rest up. Therefore, call him a game-time decision. Other than that Ilya Samsonov was seen in the starter’s end during Leaf practice as well on Monday. And one final note, based on the projected lines, that Bobby McMann again finds himself in the press box. 

In More Bad News, Swayman Has Been Red-Hot Against the Leafs

On the other side of the puck, one thing that remains a mystery is who will start in goal for the Boston Bruins. It was thought Linus Ullmark would start game one, but he never did. Moreover, since the goalies usually rotated action in the regular season, again, it leads to the possibility of him getting the nod in game two tonight. Conversely, Jeremy Swayman has been lights out in his past three starts against the Leafs in a month and a half. Over the two regular season games and game one of the playoffs, he’s posted a .969 SV%. Maybe don’t mess with a winning lineup if you are Head Coach Jim Montgomery

The Edmonton Oilers Start their Playoffs Tonight

If we touch base on the Edmonton Oilers, as they prepare for tonight’s matchup against the Los Angeles Kings, the series should be a tough one. The Oilers beat the Kings in each of the previous two first rounds of the playoffs. Needless to say, the Kings are seeking vengeance. Furthermore, it was one reason they revamped their forward group in the offseason, bringing in Pierre-Luc Dubois.  

Surprise As Emergency Call-up Goalie Needed

One big key injury note for tonight for the Edmonton Oilers is they will have an emergency call-up goalie. Furthermore, it was not announced which of Stuart Skinner or Calvin Pickard would be determined to be injured. So, it makes the news all the more curious. Ryan Fanti has been called up from the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets. Fanti posted a 9-6-2 record with a 2.75 GAA and .915 SV% in the ECHL this season.

Finally, for the Edmonton Oilers upfront, will Evander Kane be good to go tonight? It was revealed he has a sports hernia. In addition, he practiced on Sunday, but no further update on his status for tonight’s game has been given. Kane is a big-part of Oilers depth scoring, and plays on the second power play unit. In 77 games in 2023-24, Kane had his ninth career 20 goal season.

So stay tuned to see how these and more storylines play out for tonight’s games. We at Last Word provide all the latest news and analysis on your favourite Canadian teams’ playoff journeys. Stay up-to-date with checking in on us everyday.

Main photo: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports


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