Maple Leafs-Oilers Preview

Big wins weren’t as rare for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they

played under Pat Quinn. Now coaching the Edmonton Oilers, Quinn

hasn’t had a victory in two weeks.

Coming off one of their best performances of the season, the

Maple Leafs face the reeling Oilers on Wednesday night in their

first game against Quinn since firing him 3 1/2 years ago.

Toronto (14-17-9), trying to end a four-year playoff drought,

got a big confidence boost with a 4-3 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday

night. The Penguins are the type of elite team the Maple Leafs

haven’t been able to count themselves among since firing Quinn

following the 2005-06 season.

Missing the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons was

enough to end Quinn’s time with Toronto, which replaced him with

Paul Maurice and is now in its second season under Ron Wilson, who

went to the 1994 Stanley Cup final with Vancouver as an assistant

to Quinn.

Quinn went 300-196-26 with 52 ties in seven seasons with the

Maple Leafs, guiding them to Eastern Conference finals appearances

in 1999 and 2002.

Only Punch Imlach has led Toronto to more regular-season wins

(360) than Quinn. Imlach won four Stanley Cups with Toronto, the

last of which was in 1967 – the last time the Maple Leafs won a


After a three-year absence from the NHL, Quinn was named coach

of Edmonton in May but has had little success as Craig MacTavish’s

successor. A two-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach

of the year, Quinn’s Oilers are in last in the Western


Edmonton has lost seven in a row, all in regulation, for its

worst run since a nine-game skid from Feb. 25-March 15, 2007. The

Oilers have also lost seven straight at home.

“We’re going to have to find a way to turn the corner,” Quinn


Edmonton has been held to one goal in each of its last three

games, including a 4-1 loss to Calgary on Monday night.

Dustin Penner, who leads the Oilers with 19 goals and 19

assists, has been held without a point in three straight contests.

The left wing has no points in two career games against the Maple


Toronto, meanwhile, is coming off its highest-scoring effort

since beating Washington 6-3 on Dec. 12. The Maple Leafs have

gotten at least one point in four of five games.

Ian White scored against the Penguins with 1:22 to play, 53

seconds after Pittsburgh tied the game for the third time. The

defenseman has eight goals, three in his last four games, and his

21 points are five shy of a career high he has set in two different


The Maple Leafs have gotten 18 goals from the six defensemen who

were in uniform against the Penguins. Tomas Kaberle’s 35 points

(three goals, 32 assists) puts him among the leaders in that

category among the league’s defensemen.

Kaberle has a goal and five assists in his last three games

against the Oilers, with the Maple Leafs winning all three. The

road team won each game in last season’s series.