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GDB 23.0 Wrap Up: Oilers come out flat and deserve the 5-2 loss in LA

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 wrap.

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.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

#GOODCONTENT

Talk to me, Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.

BLACK FRIDAY

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



  • PleaseWinOilers

    This team is a friggin disaster. They did nothing well tonight. And their precious callup barely played and the only impact he made on the game was taking a penalty.

    Chiarelli and the rest of the Trailer Park boys need to be fired yesterday.

    • OilerForLife

      Hughes ???

      That was even worse than before, there seems really no way out of this. Ottawa ripped-off the Oilers. Puljujarvi is the same as before – didn’t even try to challenge the puck carrier when in a defensive position- another bust. After LA took the lead 3-2 I told my spouse that the game was over, and switched it. They have absolutely nothing in the push back department, and I’m watching 90 day finance again. I don’t know if there even an individual that can even fix this. Calgary is looking very good – this is too much to bare.

    • I think Jesse spent more time in the box than on the ice. Unbelievable. But maybe the silver lining is that he’s trying to play a more “North American” style of play…but just doesn’t get it yet? He thinks charging in with your stick up and grabbing guys is how you play “physical” hockey. Hitch better sort him out, but fast.

    • GK1980

      Calm down everyone let’s give Hitchcock the season to figure this team out AND THEN next year we can all hope for playoffs. Patience guys….patience…

      • Kneedroptalbot

        We had Patience….bought back Dallas Eakins for another season.
        brought back Peter Chiarelli for another season.
        How did that work out?………Patience

  • 50 Flex

    Seriously what did Rattie do to make Hitchcock hate him so much? I honestly feel bad for him. He doesn’t deserve this. From the very limited time I have watched him this season, he is a player who makes calm and good plays. He obviously can’t drive a line but he has an NHL shot and knows where to position himself with good players. His biggest mistake was getting injured. I don’t believe he was given a fair chance to establish himself when he came back. I think there is a player there. Wish him the best.

  • Slats

    What a poor performance. You have a team, last in the division on a back to back, playing their THIRD string goalie and you serve up that stinker!

    The D on this team is so bad – has anyone seen Nurse or a Russell actually make a proper break out pass this game? I’m serious watch the video. Every play they have their backs to the play and they have to make a no look back hand shovel pass along the boards to a stationary winger who gets pasted into the glass by a pinching dman….. EVERY TIME! If i was an Oiler winger i would be in their face saying “can you make an eFfing NHL play”! If not just ice it that way the forwards can just break out on their own. Brutal ….just brutal.

  • Hickster94

    I’ve only been an oilers fan/watching NHL hockey since 2003, and do not have a great amount of knowledge or recollection of games previous to that, but can anyone tell me if there has EVER been an instance where a referee has stopped the play for a penalty call, and then take it %*^KING BACK OR CHANGE THEIR %*^KING MINDS?!?!? A 5 on 3 poweplay, with the oilers down 3-2 at that point, would have made for a completely different outcome I think. Then the geniuses in the zebra stripes miss an obvious hack to McDavid’s neck, and follow that gem of a non call up with a bogus penalty against the Captain!!!! Nation, please help me understand this madness!!!! #takeitback ????

    • Becauseoilers

      and that is exactly at the point that I turned the game off. It is one thing that the Oilers lose enough of their games on their own, let alone the officiating beating them on many occasions. The officiating around McDavid is an absolute joke. if I were him, I would take the fine and let the press know what I think…..after every game! Maybe after a dozen or so fines, they will realize they have a problem. Between officiating and the lackluster oilers, I am officially done.

      • NickL89

        Ugh you’re right. And I can’t pile the blame on a Benning tonight since he wasn’t even playing. Nurse is good when he doesn’t have to think (dumping the puck, all alone on a breakaway, getting rough after the whistle, etc.) As soon as he gets under pressure and needs to think about who to pass to/where his teammates are, it’s too late! For someone who is supposed to have a “high hockey IQ” I just don’t see the evidence to back that up. So I guess he’ll be next on the list to get a NMC and an overpaying contract. This is beyond frustrating.

  • CMG30

    Hitchcock is a good coach, McLellan is/was a good coach. The problems are not behind the bench. The problems are upstairs.

    Chirelli has utterly failed to build a team that is competitive. Time to face the fact that this team is simply not good enough. The reason that Hitch was so hell-bent on bringing back JP is because he knows this too. Outside a small handful of players is a gaping hole where there should be a hockey team. Hich needs JP if he has any hope of trying to run 2 competent lines. I shudder to think where we would be if we weren’t gifted McDavid.

    Fire Chirelli and bring in somebody who can build a team. At this point we need to upgrade 3 forward lines, a top defensive paring and the guy in the net. Then we need to effect a radical culture change because losing seems to be how these players define themselves.

  • Boba The Fett

    Uggggghhhhh I want to stay positive, I want to stay positive, I want to stay positive….

    Not a Talbot loss but what I would give for a defense that could get the puck through and that wasn’t prone to 5 star mistakes.

    The Drai-Connor experiment needs to end again, Draisaitl has looked horrible 5v5 last 2 games.

    Larsson was a nightmare tonight.

    Our best possession line has been hands down our 3rd line this road trip, they just cant pocket one.

    Chiasson, what a pickup.

    Spooner trade was a loss, we trade a defensively responsible right handed 3C for a defensive liability LW that looks completely lost.

    Any positivity I have is rooted in the hope that a week at home will allow Hitch to properly implement his philosophies instead of trying to teach in between travel days and days off. I think he has had 1 maybe 2 full practices so far and no real chances for video sessions. Season is ot lost by any means in this division but the team really needs to tighten up defensively and stop the f%$#in 5 Star mistakes.

  • Arfguy

    I think the Oilers should trade McDavid. As an Oilers fan, I want to see the guy have success. He’s won two Art Ross trophy and one Hart trophy.

    This team has got to be wearing thin on him. I posted on Twitter that they should trade him to Montreal for Karl Alzner and a 3rd round pick. That will be the last act of Chiarelli and then he can be fired.

    • cityofchampions

      Trading McDavid is an idea that’s out there, but in return you’d have to get a top line centre, top pair dman, top 6 winger, a 1st round pick, other picks and prospects (perhaps a top goalie prospect), and you have to be able to dump lucic and spooner in the deal to create cap space. It’s a workable solution to solving the Oilers depth issue. I don’t want to do it but if this tire fire lasts this season and next, we just might have to let McDavid go so he can go fulfill his destiny and win stanley cups.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I dont know what Hitch was thinking with Spooner or the 1st line but that was an utter and complete failure, and dragged that line totally, down, like why slow McDavid down? Spooner might be slighlty faster than Strome but not by much and no way can he be on the 1st line, leave Chaisson or Cagguila there, Spooner just killed that line.

    And for god sakes staple Benning to the pressbox , the Kings almost scored twice with tire fire out there in the first couple minutes, I would love for Benning to get waived or traded, the guy plain sucks, when Bouchard with 3 games of NHL experience outplays a guy with 3 years experience such as Benning that tells you a lot.

    • Big Nuggets

      Sometimes Drai doesn’t show up ready to play. When Drai is rolling it makes that line one of the best but he is inconsistent, so in the end he isn’t really an improvement over tye McNuge combo. Although Nuge is better at the traditional centerman duties so maybe leave him at center. Spooner is irrevevant. There aren’t many other options and maybe it could give Spoonman a boost. That’s not the coaching decision I would complain about.

      • NickL89

        I agree, Spooner wasn’t a huge factor tonight but he wasn’t lazy getting back defensively or turning the puck over with dumb no look passes like Leon was

  • abmule

    A culture doesn’t change in 3 games. Unfortunately tune in for some seriously craptastic hockey. Hopefully the ENTIRE organization from owner to stick boy and everyone in between buys in and Hitch can implement the needed culture. Bag skates, press box and public dressing downs. From here on in it should be the beatings continue until you play 60 minutes of professional hockey.

  • abmule

    Over God knows how long now, the coaches have changed, the goalies have changed, there have been more quality 1st round picks acquired, new rink, a generational talent……..find the source of the stink and cut out the cancers, and that’s right…..plural.

    • Randomfan

      Aint gona happen till katz start taking a hit on his wallet. Absolutely nothing. I sometimes feel are people of edmonton so desperate that they line up to buy season tickets year after year to watch this gong show? I mean seriously. Who are these people? Untill these people decide to stop going to games and start buying overpriced beers and pizza and jerseys this tire fire will continue to burn.

  • D

    Hard to fix a team that doesn’t want to try. For example, Draisaitl put absolutely no effort on the backcheck for the first Kings’ goal. If he even tried to skate, he could have caught up with the play and maybe disrupt the puck carrier enough to impede the goal.

  • JayTee

    Each loss = Chiarelli being closer to fired. If a lost season is what it takes, I’m game. Chiarelli CAN NOT(!!) be the GM of this team if we’re ever going to win.

  • cityofchampions

    I thought Nuge and Drai looked dangerous on the PK. Maybe try them on a second line with Rattie and put Chaisson (who at least seems able to bury a puck) and Cags on the top line with McD, and JP and Lucic on the 3rd line with McD.

    • cityofchampions

      what’s sad is that I didn’t really want Lucic on the 3rd line with JP, but there didn’t seem to be much in the way of alternatives. Kassian? Jujar? And what’s up with Rattie being in the doghouse? He’s not great, but after Nuge/Drai and Chaisson he just might be our most effective winger. And how said is it that our best pure winger (not counting Nuge/Drai) is a guy who came in on a pto ? Nice pickup by Chia, but also a commentary on how weak Chia has left the wings.

  • Mr.Snrub

    Maybe the OBC can bring back skills coach Paul Coffey, i think the current Oilers might need a refresher after Coach Coffey’s two previous practises didn’t get the job done to the shock of all.

  • Ohlyr

    Hitchcock made some really odd decisions for this lineup??

    Spooner on the 1st line? not sure why?
    After a win and after being 6 seconds from a shut-out Koskinen sits?
    Ty Rattie who lead the entire NHL in pre-season scoring, on the 4th line?
    The Kings looked hungry on Sat night against the Nucks, Oilers couldn’t take their foot off the gas, including the coaching decisions.
    They did, they started their back up goaltender who is now 0-6 in his last six starts.

    • Big Nuggets

      Can’t play Koskinen every game and this game was, or should have been an opportunity for Talbot to get a win. As for Spooner, can you think of a better way to get a struggling player going than giving him a clean slate and a spot on McDavid’s wing? We are how many games into the season and still talking about Rattie’s preseason scoring? I have no problem with any of those coaching decisions They didn’t work out but hindsight is 20/20.

  • Abagofpucks

    No point in saying anything about the game, we know what it was. As maddening as this game was we gotta let hitch work with this bunch and see if he can fix a few things. He did say it wasn’t going to be right away, i’ll give him his due and wait, there’s nothing else we can do.

  • Johnny Zylon

    Somewhere Todd McLellan has his feet up, a couple empties beside him thinking “Ha-ha!” (Simpson’s bully laugh). Getting fired from the Oilers is probably the best thing that’s happened to him in years.

  • SlovakOiler

    I hope Chia is not gone yet only because the “braintrust” is waiting till the end of the season to evaluate the options who the next GM could be. An article on the possibilities would be nice 😉
    And I pray to God he is not allowed any more trades on his own. Even the Strome trade was atrocious…

  • OldOilFan

    The trade market is heating up early…

    I’ve been a non-believer regarding a GM’s importance in the short term generally BUT maybe now is the right time to replace this particular GM – in hopes of getting “ahead of the curve” on this year’s trade market.