Surely the Kings must be one of the league’s best teams! *checks notes* Oh. I see. Final Score: 5-2 Kings
This morning, I wrote that the Oilers had to approach tonight’s game against the Kings as a must-win situation. Not only have the Kings sucked horribly through the first two months of the NHL season, but they also played (and lost) last night against the Vancouver Canucks. From where I blog, going up against a horrible team on the second half of a back-to-back set should mean that two points in the bank and anything less than that would be unacceptable. Am I right? Of course I am. What I’m really trying to say is that the Oilers have gotten their asses kicked so many times over the years by the Kings and others that I don’t think it’s uncalled for to want to be on the other end of the beatdown for once. Frankly, the boys couldn’t have been better set up to succeed and close this road trip out with a win. Unfortunately, the Oilers never seem interested in our plots for revenge.
Since the Oilers had plenty of time to rest since Friday’s matinee against the Ducks, I was hoping to see them bursting with energy to make sure they took advantage of a tired Kings team. What actually happened was the Kings were the ones with jump and they got off to a strong start complete all kinds of offensive chances. Had it not been for a few big saves, the Oilers would have easily found themselves down by a few goals before the game was even 10 minutes old. Unfortunately, things didn’t get much better from there. While they were able to get themselves an early second-period lead, the Oilers couldn’t hold it for more than a couple of minutes. Over this recent slump, the boys have had a really bad habit of playing down to their competition and gapping on large chunks of their games, and they got a healthy dose of both of those problems tonight.
To put it lightly, this was a winnable game that the Oilers had to have but they came out flat and completely dropped the ball. Frankly, to lose like that to the worst team in the league is nothing short of embarrassing and every single person associated with the organization had better take a look in the mirror because that was ugly.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Alex Chiasson got the Oilers on the board, cancelling out what was a wonderful start by the LA Kings. After falling behind early, the Oilers looked like they might be starting to get themselves into trouble but it was Chiasson’s goal (that Connor banked in off him) that knotted things up and started to turn the tides in their favour. Chiasson followed up with a second goal early in the second period after parking himself in front of the net and knocking home a loose puck.
- Connor McDavid was one of the few Oilers to be moving his feet tonight and he extended his point streak to six games. The way he can rush the puck through the neutral zone with speed is incredible and I don’t know how anyone could be expected to defend him.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins extended his point streak to four games with an assist on Alex Chiasson’s second goal of the night. That’s two goals and two assists for Nuge over his last four games as he looks to establish himself as the second line centre. The problem with that plan is, of course, the lack of qualified wingers to play beside him.
- Oilers went 1/3 on the power play tonight and even thought it would have been nice to see them get more than one, it is encouraging to see them convert tonight.
- Good night for Oscar Klefbom as he finished the night with a team-high 26:10, eight shots, five blocks, and two assists.
- Jesse Puljujarvi made his first appearance of the Hitchcock era and looked alright, though he won’t be happy about the holding penalty he took. In his first game back from Bakersfield, the big Finn played 7:43 with two PIMs and a blocked shot.
- Chris Wideman only played 13:31 tonight but you could certainly notice his offensive instincts and ability to move the puck up ice. While the defensive side of his game certainly looks like it could use some work, there’s no doubt that his passing Kung Fu is strong, and that’s something that has been sorely lacking on the Oilers backend.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Absolutely brutal start for the Oilers tonight. For being supposedly rested, they sure got dummied by a terrible Kings team that played last night. Not a good look, boys.
- Dustin Brown came into this game without a goal in his last eight games and, as per tradition, the Oilers wanted to help the guy out. Brown was the beneficiary of a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Anze Kopitar and it seemed like only a matter of time before the Kings would finally get on the board. Not to be outdone by Chiasson, Dustin Brown got his second goal of the game after found his way into the slot completely alone and available to one-time a snapshot past Talbot. Adding salt to the wound was the fact that Brown picked up the hat trick into the empty net.
- Anze Kopitar gave the Kings their first lead of the game early in the third period after he was able to break in alone and beat Talbot with a quick snapshot to the blocker side.
- Even though they were already down by two goals, the Oilers decided to pull the net and allow a second empty-netter. Matt Luff put the Kings up by three when it was completely unnecessary.
- The Oilers allowed Grade-A chances like it was their business and that’s a sad state of affairs considering the Kings are running a reputation of being a team that can’t score.
- Cam Talbot got the start tonight and he really needed to have a good one because he’s been on a horrible stretch of late. Early on, he looked like he was going to give the Oilers the goaltending they needed to close out this thing out but he ended up getting outduelled by his counterpart yet again. That’s not to say that Talbot necessarily played poorly whatsoever, he finished the night with 27 saves and a .900 save%, but he couldn’t match what was happening the other end of the ice and that ended up costing the Oilers. That said, the team in front of him gave up far too many scoring chances and it’s hard to blame Talbot for this one.
- Edmonton started off well on the PK tonight but they ended up on the hook for two goals against on five chances. As a whole, the Oilers spent far too much time in the box and couldn’t bail their team out when it happened. Bad combination.
- How mad do you think Ty Rattie was when he found out that Hitchcock would be his coach again? Much like what happened in St. Louis, Rattie barely saw the ice as he finished with only 3:32 on the night.
- Shout out to everyone that watched tonight’s game from the eastern time zone or further because waiting for 8:30 pm starts is the worst.
- Oilers went 44% in the faceoff circle. Not ideal.
- I know that the Grey Cup had nothing to do with this hockey game but I can’t help but feel upset that people in Calgary are happy.
- Of course I have to eat beets because of the LA Kings. OF COURSE I DO! Join in the misery over on my Twitter account.
|07:56||Los Angeles||Dustin Brown (4) ASST: Anze Kopitar (5), Derek Forbort (4)||0-1|
|13:19||Edmonton||PPG – Alex Chiasson (9) ASST: Connor McDavid (20), Oscar Klefbom (9)||1-1|
|02:16||Edmonton||Alex Chiasson (10) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (10), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (16)||2-1|
|04:13||Los Angeles||PPG – Dustin Brown (5) ASST: Anze Kopitar (6)||2-2|
|04:27||Los Angeles||Anze Kopitar (7) ASST: Derek Forbort (5), Nate Thompson (1)||2-3|
|19:07||Los Angeles||EN – PPG – Dustin Brown (6) ASST: Jeff Carter (8), Drew Doughty (12)||2-4|
|19:33||Los Angeles||EN – Matt Luff (4)||2-5|
Perfect break for some self love ?♂️
— Mike Amoz (@mikeamoz) November 26, 2018
Quick, fire Chiarelli before he gives Chiasson five mill a year
— Dennis King (@DKingBH) November 26, 2018
As soon as we get ready to snatch that The Answer belt back from Chiasson, he heats it up
— Cam Lewis (@cooom) November 26, 2018
— Brett Luchanski (@BLuchanski) November 26, 2018
*Googles “recently retired NHL GMs”*
— Larry Fisherman (@KrisMP93) November 26, 2018
— Michael Farley (@TheeFarley) November 26, 2018
Coming up on Thursday night at midnight, our annual Black Friday collecting drops for a limited time only. We’ve got hats, a tee, hoodie, and toques and they’re pretty dope so you’ll definitely want to check it out. Every year, we sell out of all of these items so be sure to get to NationGear.ca as fast as you can if you want to score something to beautify your wardrobe.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/25/2018 – 11:45 pm MT