It’s McDavid vs. Matthews (and also Oilers vs. Leafs) tonight in Toronto


It’s no ordinary game tonight in Toronto, where the last two first overall picks, Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, will play each other for the first time in NHL history.

Hockey legends Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Paul Coffey are reportedly at the ACC for the morning skates. It should be good fun later this evening when both the Oilers and Maple Leafs try to get back on the winning track.

The Oilers enter with a 7-2-0 record, tops in the Western Conference, but were were shut out Sunday by Craig Anderson and the Senators. McDavid leads his team (and the league) with 12 points (5G, 7A) in nine games.

Toronto, meanwhile, has dropped two in a row. The latest loss came Sunday in Brooklyn, where the Leafs fell to 2-4-3 after getting blasted, 5-1, by the Isles. Matthews has failed to notch a point in his last three games, but still has an impressive six goals and four assists in nine games. His linemate, William Nylander, leads the team with 11 points (4G, 7A.)

Matthews is well aware of what the Oilers have done out of the gates.

“They’ve gotten off to a hot start,” he said, per the Toronto Star. “It’s going to be a good challenge for us. I think all of us will be pretty hungry to get back in the win column.”

As for McDavid, who grew up in suburban Toronto, he’s finally getting his chance to play the Leafs at the ACC. He missed his first opportunity last season due to injury.

“I’m looking forward to it, first time at the ACC playing against the Leafs. That’s the team I grew up watching,” McDavid said, per the Edmonton Sun.

Of course, there’s more to this game than the two teenage stars. The starting goalies should make for a good story as well.

In the Oilers’ net, Cam Talbot has been excellent to date, going 7-2-0 with a .936 save percentage. That contrasts with the Leafs’ Frederik Anderson, who’s 2-2-3 with an .876 save percentage. Andersen has been much better in his last two outings, but still has a ways to go before his numbers can be considered respectable again.