GDB 55: Old Friends Who Need To Lose Tonight

Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009 11:07AM

Greene & Stoll

Remember the Los Angeles Kings? Here in Edmonton, we complain (rightly) about a team that’s only made the playoffs three times during Kevin Lowe’s tenure, but things could have been much, much worse. Here is a season-by-season comparison of the two teams since 2000:

2000-01: EDM – 39-28-12-3 (93 PTS) > LA – 38-28-13-3 (92 PTS) 2001-02: LA – 40-27-11-4 (95 PTS) > EDM – 38-28-12-4 (92 PTS) 2002-03: EDM – 36-26-11-9 (92 PTS) > LA – 33-37-6-6 (78 PTS) 2003-04: EDM – 36-29-12-5 (89 PTS) > LA - 28-29-16-9 (81 PTS) 2005-06: EDM – 41-28-13 (95 PTS) > LA – 42-35-5 (89 PTS) 2006-07: EDM – 32-43-7 (71 PTS) > LA – 27-41-14 (68 PTS) 2007-08: EDM – 41-35-6 (88 PTS) > LA – 32-43-7 (71 PTS)

Only once during Kevin Lowe’s tenure as General Manager have the L.A. Kings managed to outperform the Edmonton Oilers over the course of a full season.

One of the quirky side effects of this perpetual ineptitude is that the Kings have gotten a lot of young hockey players very quickly. They have a very robust group of forwards and defensemen; only four players on the team are over the age of 30, and of that group the only really significant piece of the roster is 31-year old Michal Handzus.

The scary thing, for the Oilers, is that they’re very much in danger of being passed by this group not only over the next five years, but right now. A quick look at the Western Conference standings tells us that:

5. Dallas 54GP - 61 PTS 6. Anaheim 57GP – 61 PTS 7. Vancouver 55GP – 60 PTS 8. Minnesota 54GP – 59 PTS 9. Columbus 55GP – 59 PTS 10. Edmonton 54GP - 58 PTS 11. Los Angeles 53 GP - 55 PTS 12. Nashville 55GP – 55 PTS 13. Phoenix 56GP – 55 PTS

The Kings have the most games remaining, and a win tonight would put them within one point of the Oilers, and in legitimate contention for a playoff spot. An Oilers win tonight would keep them on pace with the Canucks and in the thick of the hunt, and help keep the Kings back.

Tonight’s game is the first of a four game road trip through the Pacific Division, a road trip that looks to be essential to the Oilers’ playoff hopes. They need to bank some points tonight against the Kings and Monday against Phoenix, because the tail end of this trip is ugly. They play San Jose on Tuesday in their second game in two nights, and then close out the trip Thursday in Dallas, and they aren’t likely to pick up wins in either of those cities.

They need to win this afternoon.

And another thing

Nationeers are invited -- no, scratch that: required -- to join Twitter and listen to @WanyeGretz rant all game long. And don't forget to enter Jason Gregor's promotions contest for your chance to win tickets to the Oilers v. the Flames next Saturday!

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 freeze
February 14 2009, 03:38PM
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that was a rather pathetic period.

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#52 B-Rad
February 14 2009, 03:53PM
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Maybe Horcoff had Averys sloppy thirds and Stolls seconds.....

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#53 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 03:56PM
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@ B-Rad:

Horcoff's married.

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#54 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:01PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ B-Rad: Horcoff’s married.

And that has stopped any of them when......???????

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#55 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:03PM
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ouch. Horc will be feeling that one.

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#56 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:08PM
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Big slewfoot by Brown on Cogliano. Just lucky nothing worse resulted.

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#57 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:12PM
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Steve Staios just drew a penalty - talk about some welcome role reversal.

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#58 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:13PM
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wow, the wheels have really come off here.

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#59 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:14PM
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Denis Gauthier needs to be sent to the hospital. And he needs to be injured so badly his family wont leave his bedside. I am so sick of guys like this in the game.

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#60 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:22PM
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good on Chopper for that hit!

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#61 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:23PM
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Send him to the fcking hospital.

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#62 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:23PM
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freeze wrote:

good on Chopper for that hit!

Seconded. Brown's hits on first Cogliano, and than Smid, deserved some retribution.

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#63 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:24PM
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That was a HUGE hit

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#64 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:25PM
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That is what a real captain does

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#65 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:26PM
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That was the best hit an Oiler has thrown in a very long time.

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#66 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:27PM
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Travis Dakin - FMNF wrote:

That was a HUGE hit

Travis Dakin - FMNF wrote:

That is what a real captain does

Travis Dakin - FMNF wrote:

That was the best hit an Oiler has thrown in a very long time.

I friggin know!!!! holy man!!

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#67 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:27PM
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Staios hit on that jerk off from Minnesota was pretty good.

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#68 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:28PM
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Jack "FMNF" Bauer wrote:

Staios hit on that jerk off from Minnesota was pretty good.

This is true.

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#69 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:28PM
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@ Travis Dakin - FMNF:

Forgot to change something there? ;)

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#70 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:29PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer: Zah?

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#71 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:32PM
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kid line has looked good together the last couple games.

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#72 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:32PM
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Wheres the diving penalty you gutless referees?

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#73 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:33PM
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I'd say somebody should run Brown for that brutal dive, except Moreau already did. That's the worst call this game, which is really saying something.

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#74 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:33PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer: they don't really call that anymore do they?

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#75 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:34PM
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BLOW THE F'IN WHISTLE!!

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#76 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:34PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: It's actually embarrassing.

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#77 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:35PM
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Stoll- Stick broken..... really?

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#78 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:36PM
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oh my god.....my digust for the refs hit a medium sized high.

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#79 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:36PM
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no call?!?! wtf!?

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#80 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:36PM
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BULLSH*T!!

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#81 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:37PM
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I hate the referees of the NHL. They are the worst officals in hockey.

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#82 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:37PM
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That's garbage. Absolute garbage.

Then they brought the puck all the way back to the Oilers zone, and didn't call Quincey for taking down Brodziak.

Edm: 2, Refs: 2

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#83 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:38PM
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is it just me or did anybody else notice that Horcoff wasn't even offside..

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#84 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:38PM
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in sport I meant. Mactavish should take the 10 grand bullet and absolutly lace into them after the game.

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#85 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:38PM
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they are doing everything in their power to let LA win.

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#86 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:39PM
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I wonder how valuable a Kings' playoff drive is to the NHL?

I'm really not one of these conspiracy nuts, but that's a series of brutal calls by the referees with less than five minutes left in the third, culminating with a powerplay based on a Brown dive, which results in a goal because they didn't call Quincey for taking down Brodziak and called the Oilers as being intentionally offside.

Garbage.

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#87 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:40PM
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Pretty sure that Brodziak was offside - nevermind that Quincey pushed him there.

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#88 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:41PM
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Jack "FMNF" Bauer wrote:

in sport I meant. Mactavish should take the 10 grand bullet and absolutly lace into them after the game.

If he does, will you drop that FMNF handle?

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#89 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:41PM
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I dont think its a conspiracy. I just think its a fact that the referees in the NHL are the most useless, incompetent, inept officals in all of sport. Every freaking game there is something they do that is a screw up. How can so many get it so wrong ALL THE TIME??

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#90 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 14 2009, 04:42PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

No

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#91 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:43PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

If he does, will you drop that FMNF handle?

wait... so now you don't want him gone? MAke up your damn mind Willis!

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#92 Jonathan Willis
February 14 2009, 04:46PM
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@ Travis Dakin - FMNF:

No, I do want to see him fired, but I'm going to have to give MacTavish some major credit if he takes the fine.

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#93 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:47PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: fair enough.

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#94 Travis Dakin - FMNF
February 14 2009, 04:48PM
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redemption

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#95 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:48PM
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Finally! Sure takes a lot for us to draw a penalty.

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#96 Colin
February 14 2009, 04:49PM
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with 10 s pull roloson.

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#97 Don Murdochs Hair
February 14 2009, 04:50PM
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Let Chopper shoot

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#98 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:53PM
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sweet moves by Sam.

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#99 Don Murdochs Hair
February 14 2009, 04:54PM
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Beauty

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#100 freeze
February 14 2009, 04:55PM
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YEAAH! We needed that extra point.

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