Poor Kris Russell. After he tied the score at four early in the third period, Russell scored on his own net with just over a minute to play to give the Leafs a 5-4 lead. Nazem Kadri would add an empty netter after the goal was credited to Patrick Marleau to give Toronto a 6-4 victory. Russell played one of his best games as an Oiler in the contest, and to see that happen, it was truly tough to watch. If you don't feel some compassion for him, you're probably not human. Even after getting the victory, Leaf fans must have felt bad for Russell, but at the end of the day, he owned it and spoke to the media right away, which shows the true signs of the kind of leader he is.
It felt like the Oilers were the better team for a good chunk of the game, but clearly that's just the way their season is going.
The Leafs on the other hand, they continue to score. The main issue coming out of this one for Leaf fans is that they once again let a lead slip away. Ultimately, this could be a bit of teaching experience for Mike Babcock, who always loves to enlighten his young players on how they can be better in those situations the next time around.
Honestly, this was a pretty action filled game. I didn't have a lot of complaints watching it, purely as just an observational hockey fan. It was nice to see the Oilers show signs of life but damn that heartbreaking ending has really just been the Oilers season in a nutshell thus far.
The Leafs defense and goaltending took a step back last night, but at the same time, the Western Canadian road trip is always tough, even if your fans do invade the opposing teams barn like Leafs nation did yesterday.
If you weren't a Leafs or Oilers fan, this was actually pretty entertaining and watchable. Despite the ending for Edmonton, there were some truly good things to build off of in the loss. Oilers fans might not want to admit it because of the ending, but I'd say this certainly lived up to the 3.75/5 stars I gave it, and maybe even exceeded it.
Next Game: Toronto Maples @ Vancouver Canucks, Saturday @7PM ET