EDMONTON – The Maple Leafs have talked a lot about finding consistency in the NHL’s postseason bubble last summer after the NHL disappointment

Toronto has been a top-heavy squad full of offensive talent over the past few years One night Toronto often looked like a world beater and the next something completely different

Loose play in the neutral zone, insane negligence without the puck and salary cap concerns raised serious questions about whether the core of the team had the dedication and desire to find out

The campaign shortened by the pandemic is not yet in the middle, but the Leafs are clearly noticing that they have discovered a much better version of themselves in 2021

Jimmy Vesey scored twice to create a long drought and Frederik Andersen made 26 saves on his return from injury as Toronto won a dominant three-game win over Edmonton on Wednesday with an emphatic 6-1 win Oilers scored

The home team went into the North Division series just four points behind Toronto (18-4-2) and could have overtaken the Leafs with three wins in a row

Instead, the Oilers have looked closely at how far the Leafs have come since their loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the qualifying round in August

“Just the process of not getting discouraged when things don’t go our way, just trying to get back on your feet,” said Auston Matthews, of central Toronto, of the differences in his group, “Wenn we’re really at our best and we’re playing as well as we did in the last three games, let’s keep things really simple. When the piece is there, we do the piece

“If it doesn’t, we just put it behind the (defense) and we check well and do our best to keep their top guys out. It’s a full team effort”

John Tavares and Zach Hyman, each with a goal and an assist, William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyhev provided the rest of the offensive for Toronto

“Edmonton was scorching hot and followed us in the overall standings,” said Vesey. “Winning three such games so crucial is a real step forward to me”

Jason Spezza added three assists and Travis Boyd threw in two for the Leafs, who defeated the Oilers in nine dominant periods in a combined 13-1 result in which NHL top scorer Connor McDavid went without a point

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins answered for Edmonton (14-11-0), who had won five straight and 11 straight wins before the NHL’s top team hit Rogers Place Mike Smith allowed six goals in 32 shots

“We came out strong,” said McDavid, who was off the scorers list for the third time in his career for three games in a row. “But I thought we came out strong in all three games and they will find a way to score a few goals and it’s the same old story”

As second in the league behind McDavid, Oilers Center Leon Draisaitl supported the only goal of his team

Matthews, who leads the NHL with 18 goals, also returned to the line-up after missing the last two games with a sore wrist / hand but was held off by the match report

That night – or Saturday or Monday – it didn’t matter as the Leafs were taking away time and space for Edmonton’s offensive dynamos

“A complete team effort from everyone involved, just taking care of the puck,” said Matthews. “Especially with their top 2 guys out there who don’t feed the transition because they really benefit from sales and so much speed , Have skill and talent “

The Leafs beat the Oilers 4-0 on Saturday’s return from substitute goalkeeper Jack Campbell from injury, before third striker Michael Hutchinson took the team’s number 1 3-0 win behind Toronto’s stifling structure 1 and Nr 2 Netminders are not available on Monday

Andersen, who missed four games with a lower body injury, has been unable to maintain the streak of shutouts but Toronto doesn’t mind after improving to 5-1-1 in the Canadian All-League League against Edmonton had

The Leafs open a two-game series against the Canucks on Thursday in Vancouver, while the Oilers host the Calgary Flames on Saturday before welcoming the Ottawa Senators for three consecutive games

“It’s very worrying,” said Edmonton’s head coach Dave Tippett. “It’s very worrying that we don’t want to be competitive in a series like this”

The Oilers fired five shots in just over two minutes to open the first round, but Andersen, like Campbell and Hutchinson in the previous two competitions, weathered the early storm

“We have been very committed to team defense since day 1 of training camp,” said Spezza. “We are beginning to understand what it feels like to defend well”

Toronto found its legs as the breakneck pace continued, and Matthews showed no permanent injury problems by wiring a shot from Smith’s far post

The Leafs thrust forward thanks to their fourth line at 9:03 am when Spezza’s pass found a persistent Vesey, who buried his third goal of the season and first in 18 games

Toronto made it 2-0 at 2:57 the second when Boyd and Spezza teamed up to form Vesey, who got a cross check from Alex Chiasson on the neck after last buzzer on Monday that resulted in a suspension for one Game led

After joining the Leafs’ top road power game on his only chance on Saturday and his first chance on Monday, Tavares took a six second lead on Toronto’s first man advantage when he took a small pass from Joe Thornton to bury his fifth place 4:44

Mikheyev then made it 4-0 with his third at 7:02 when the Leafs scored three times in 4:05 and had a staggering 11-0 lead over the Oilers in just over 147 minutes

Nugent-Hopkins finally pulled out of Toronto’s shutout streak at 1:46 p.m. when he rebounded home for the tenth time

Edmonton came close to two shortly thereafter, but Leafs defense attorney TJ Brodie erased Draisaitl’s all-round attempt

Nylander brought the game out of reach by 98 seconds when he turned 10 in his last four games and finished fifth behind Smith to 5-1

Andersen, who improved to 15-1-2 all-time against the Oilers, stopped Draisaitl with a shorthanded breakaway at the start of the third round before Hyman continued the attack on a power game with his seventh at 10:33

“It’s a full team effort,” said Matthews. “Our goalkeeper has been incredible in the last three games. Three different goalkeepers, three phenomenal games

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World News – CA – Maple Leafs beat Oilers 6-1 to complete the emphatic three-game sweep

Source: https://www.richmond-news.com/national-sports/maple-leafs-thump-oilers-to-complete-emphatic-three-game-sweep-3513769