Kevin Bieksa calls out Evander Kane after two brutal periods.

Kevin Bieksa calls out Evander Kane after two brutal periods.

Former NHL player Kevin Bieksa calls out Evander Kane and the majority of the Oilers lineup after two tough periods in Toronto.

Jonathan Larivee

The Edmonton Oilers have not had a good start to their matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada with the Maple Leafs beating up the Oilers through 40 minutes and establishing a 5-0 lead.

The Maple Leafs have made it a point of being physical with the Oilers star forwards on Saturday night, crowding both Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Oilers star forward Leon Draisaitl all night long. The Oilers have had relatively little response to the bullying of their star forwards, something that former NHL player Kevin Bieksa noted during the intermission between the 2nd and 3rd periods.

"The Leafs wanted to get bigger and tougher in front of their net and they wanted to defend like this so if you're the Oilers and you're the skill guys like McDavid, you let the Kanes and you let the Nurses and you let your physical guys, Janmark, get involved in this stuff," said Bieksa on Hockey Night in Canada.

Bieksa questioned why the Oilers weren't doing more to respond to the physicality being imposed on their top stars, drawing comparisons to his own time in the NHL.

"Like with the Sedins, we never wanted the Sedins in these battles," admitted Bieksa. "I never wanted this to be one of the Sedins battling with Holmberg and pushing him back."

Unfortunately for both McDavid and Draisaitl they've gotten little help from their team this evening and Bieksa argues that they can't retaliate for themselves given their overall importance to the team.

"You have to turn the other cheek if you're Connor and Leon cause your team needs you on the ice."

Bieksa however called out Oilers forward Evander Kane, and several other unnamed Oilers, for not stepping up and fighting those battles on behalf of the team's stars.

"But then like Evander Kane or somebody else step up, why do McDavid and Draisaitl have to fight their own battles?" asked Bieksa. "Why isn't the rest of their team stepping in for them?"