Los Angeles Kings: 3
Edmonton Oilers: 2
The Oilers rallied to come back from a two goal lead, but succumbed to a third period goal from Sean O’Donnell, who hasn’t scored since Chris Chelios was a twinkle in his father’s eye.
Oilers Three Stars, According To Me
1. Dustin Penner. Had a great game by my eye, generated chances all evening and it was just bad luck that he didn’t end up with any points on the evening. Also crushed Matt Greene early in the first, a hit the commentators failed to mention when they talked about the ex-Oiler manhandling the current Oiler.
2. Sheldon Souray. Goal and an assist tonight for Souray, who was shooting to kill again. There’s a certain irrepressible satisfaction to watching him shoot and waiting for the carnage.
3. Robert Nilsson. Nilsson engaged physically and had a few quality chances; he didn’t look at all out of place back on a scoring line and I hope Quinn keeps him, Stone and Horcoff together for another game or two.
As Pat Quinn Saw It
“We’re the team that’s supposed to be rested and fresh; I don’t know if there’s any excuse for being dumb.”
“We don’t shoot the puck, we stay out to long, we make bad changes , we do things that beat ourselves.”
“If we feel decent that we lost, that we did a couple of good things or ‘ Ilooked nice and I stick-handled by somebody once in a while’, then we’re kidding ourselves, because that’s the result we’ll get more often than not.”
“I haven’t felt angry this year, really, but I’m angry now.”
“We’ve got lots of goddamned excuses, but the result’s the same. We end up being tired, we can’t cover off, and a weak shot goes in from the boards. I mean, how many times do we have to go through that crap? I don’t know, if it’s the first game back stuff, that’s another bloody excuse as far as I’m concerned.”
I’m not sure why Quinn was so livid about this game but not about some of the other crap performances the Oilers have put in; maybe I missed something but brain-cramps aside it looked to me like the Oilers outplayed the Kings. Still, the Kings were playing their second game in two nights, so perhaps that’s part of it.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Shawn Horcoff as livid after a call as he was tonight after getting whistled in the third; and I don’t blame him in the slightest. Dustin Brown went down really, really easy and apparently isn’t above diving when the game is on the line. Of course, if Horcoff hadn’t pushed him he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to dive…
Everybody pointed out Grebeshkov’s giveaway on the Kings’ first goal and chalked it up to rust, but what was Steve Staios’ excuse? Last I checked, priority one for a defenseman in a 2-on-1 situation is to block the pass, but Staios got suckered in too low to prevent Brown from sliding the puck over to Brad Richardson.
Sad to see the Oilers blow this one, particularly given their success when coming back off lengthy road trips. Since 1999-00, the Oilers have come back from 30 road trips four games or longer, and have piled up 41 points in their first game back; a 112-point pace.
The Oilers outshot the Kings 27-23 at even-strength; with the top two lines managing an 18-7 outshooting clip. The flip side of that is that the third and fourth lines were outshot 9-16.
No King was outshot as badly as ex-Oiler Matt Greene, who was busy being lionized by the play-by-play crew; I’m not saying he had a bad game but he kept getting matched up against the Oilers’ top two lines and those lines both did a good job keeping the puck in the right end of the rink.
Getting back to Pat Quinn’s post-game comments, I have to wonder if he’s trying to be proactive in preventing a backslide; the team has played as well over the last half dozen games as they have all season.
For everyone still uncertain about the (joking) reference in the title – get ready for bargaining.