Oilers vs. Kings Postgame: Life Without Hemsky?

Los Angeles Kings: 3

Edmonton Oilers: 1

That was a depressing game to watch.  Not only were the Oilers thoroughly outplayed by the injury-racked Kings, but Ales Hemsky went to the danger areas and was rewarded with a nasty shot into the boards, courtesy of Michal Handzus.  He did not return to the game.

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

1. Andrew Cogliano.  Cogliano had a very good game, using his speed to generate chances and showing an unexpected physical edge.  He paced the Oilers with four shots and won the faceoff leading to Ryan Potulny’s goal.

2. Jeff Deslauriers.  Say what you will about the Matt Greene goal, without Deslauriers tonight the Oilers wouldn’t have been in the game as late as the third period.  He was very sharp for most of the night, only getting beat by a bizarre Wayne Simmonds shot and a powerful blast from Greene.

3. Ethan Moreau.  A fine game from Moreau, who is always involved (for both good and bad) and who meshed well with Cogliano and Ryan Potulny.  He won the puck along the boards after the Cogliano faceoff to get the puck back to Sheldon Souray (which would lead to the Potulny goal) and had a strong night on the whole.  Also, after taking four penalties in five games, he’s gone two in a row without taking one.

Random Thoughts

Brutal, brutal quote from Pat Quinn tonight:

I don’t know if it’s a funk.  Maybe we’re playing where we are.

That’s scary stuff, scarier because it could very well be true.

The Michal Handzus hit on Ales Hemsky got him a two minute minor for boarding, but it should have been five and a game.  I honestly think that if Hemsky hadn’t gone down there wouldn’t even have been a call (Brandon Segal threw a nearly identical hit on Visnovsky earlier in the game and got away scott-free).  The Handzus hit was one part boarding, one part cross-checking, and one part hitting from behind.  Hemsky left the game and did not return with an "upper body injury", and based on what I saw I have to wonder if he’s suffered another concussion.  Quinn declined to expand on the injury after the game, but Hemsky’s head seemed to go hard into the boards.

Good on both Sheldon Souray and Steve Staios for going after Handzus later in the game; it was a cheap shot and somehow a two minute penalty doesn’t seem to compensate for possibly losing a star player for some length of time.

Dustin Penner had an ugly game; he seemed a step behind all night and he didn’t generate much.  With Hemsky gone and not much production coming from elsewhere in the lineup, the Oilers couldn’t overcome his poor play tonight.

Speaking of ugly games, Liam Reddox has slowed down a ton since impressing immediately after being recalled.  He was on the ice for seven shots tonight, and none of them were directed at Jon Quick.  If this team is ever healthy enough to start sending players out, he’s probably earned a trip back to Springfield.