The Edmonton Oilers head into Scotiabank Arena to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. Connor McDavid returns from his two-game suspension, so all eyes will be on him and his duel against Auston Matthews, but behind that exciting matchup is another storyline that might fly under the radar. Since the start of February, Leon Draisaitl and Matthews have been two of the league’s most lethal scorers.
They’re posting very similar numbers in most categories, but the big discrepancy comes in the number of shots on net, where Matthews ranks top ten while Draisaitl is down in 30th. Despite that, they have a similar amount of slot shots on net (35 for Draisaitl, 32 for Matthews). Draisaitl may put fewer pucks on net than his counterpart, but don’t misinterpret this as trigger-shy. The Oilers’ forward is just taking smart shots. In fact, over 76% of his shot attempts, or roughly 3/4, have come from the slot. Draisaitl has refused to settle for outside shots in February and he’s been rewarded with 11 tallies on the month, best in the league. This gives him 38 on the year, good for third in the NHL and if he continues to put up goals at this rhythm, he could make a late push for the Rocket Richard trophy.