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Photo Credit: © Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kings 5, Oilers 2 post-game Oil Spills: No More Parties In L.A.

You never want to say a game is a sure win in sports, but there’s no doubt that was a must win for the Oilers. Edmonton gave up a late lead in Anaheim and rolled into Los Angeles for a game with the dead last Kings that gave them a solid chance to finish their road trip on a positive note. That didn’t happen.

What happened…

The Oilers come out completely flat to the start the game and the Kings capitalized as Dustin Brown gave them an early 1-0 lead. The first 10 or so minutes were largely spent in Edmonton’s zone as the team couldn’t effectively break the puck out.

Before the end of the first period, the Oilers managed to tie the game up at 1-1 thanks to a power play goal from Alex Chiasson. To be honest, they were lucky to come out that first period with a tie.

Things started to look better in the second period as the Oilers came out of the gate with some life to them. Chiasson parked himself in front of the net and buried his second goal of the game, giving the Oilers a 2-1 lead.

That didn’t last long as the Kings tied the game back up a few minutes later with a power play goal of their own. Anze Kopitar found Brown, who was completely alone in front of the net. He isn’t going to miss from there very often.

I’m not really sure what happened here, but Kopitar, somehow, was able to get himself behind both Edmonton defenders. He took a pass off the boards for a breakaway and buried one past Cam Talbot. Again, of all the guys on the Kings, maaaaaybe keep an eye on where Kopitar is? Woof.

The Oilers had a big flurry in the third period but couldn’t tie the game as L.A. would add two empty net goals to seal the deal.

By the numbers…

The shot chart matches what your eyes will tell you from that game. The Oilers were asleep to start the game, they got a little bit better in the second period, and then the Kings went into lead-protection mode in the third and Edmonton started to put their foot on the gas. Still, despite the effort in the third, the Kings, who thrive at hanging on to leads, were able to hold the Oilers to just four scoring chances at even strength in the third. They controlled the possession game, but couldn’t bust through L.A.’s tight defence.

Thoughts…

  • Boy, there’s a game you don’t want to lose. The Kings scored five goals (albeit, two into an empty net) despite the fact they were averaging just 2.1 goals per game to this point. L.A. also got walked the previous night by Vancouver, so Edmonton was easily the more rested team. Despite that, the Oilers looked asleep to start the game. The Kings were able to grind their way to a lead and hold on to it in the third.
  • Alex Chiasson has 10 goals now which is more than he had last year in 61 games. He’s been a great bargain find, but obviously his 41.7 shooting percentage is going to die down eventually. Hopefully that isn’t any time soon because the Oilers need all the offence they can get.
  • I wasn’t really a fan of Ryan Spooner on the McDrai line. Spooner has speed, which is a good thing with those two, but he doesn’t think the game at the same level. Drake Caggiula was a better fit on that line because he was good at going to the dirty areas in the offensive zone. I mean, it’s fair for a new coach to want to mix things around to see what works, but I don’t see Spooner working on that line.
  • I won’t fault Cam Talbot for this loss. He wasn’t great, stopping 27 of 30 shots, but you aren’t going to win when you can only manage to score two goals on a team like the Kings. The breakaway goal by Kopitar was a horrendous effort from Adam Larsson, both on the completely unaware read and the lame back check, and Brown’s power play goal involved more poor defensive zone awareness.
  • Ty Rattie played just over three minutes and he was on the ice for one shot attempt for and seven against. Anyone else get the feeling his time here might be done soon? The second line had a rough go last night. Nugent-Hopkins was on the ice for 10 shot attempts for and 22 against. They didn’t thrive in the defensive zone and they got virtually nothing going offensively. I feel bad for RNH. They badly need to find him some wingers. And then there’s Jesse Puljujarvi who played only seven minutes last night. Same old, same old.
  • Through 23 games, Edmonton has a .478 points percentage. That’s just slightly better than the .476 points percentage they finished with last year. They’re going to have to figure things out quickly in order to climb back up the standings. As we know, the Pacific Division is hot garbage, but the 1-3-1 start against divisional opponents doesn’t inspire much faith right now.
  • The reffing in the third was bad, there’s no doubt about that. Brown smacked Klefbom in the face after a shot and managed to talk his way out of a penalty. McDavid took many hooks and grabs that didn’t get called. Still, the refs weren’t the reason the Oilers came out like a bag of hot garbage in the first period. Maybe don’t play like junk for half of the game against the 31st placed team on the second leg of a back-to-back and you won’t need the refs to bail you out in the third period.


  • Heschultzhescores

    What is the solution? I’d like to ask all the ON experts. I used to think it was simple, now I don’t even know if it’s possible before McD’s contract has expired. To me it seems we are 6 fwds, and at least 4 D and a goalie away from being a cup contender. What are your thoughts?

    • Hemmercules

      Solution: Fire the entire front office. New management needs to draft and develop more than sign overpaid contracts. Hope to win a cup in the final couple years of McD.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      The good pieces: 3 good young centers (Nuge, Dria, Mick D)
      2 solid young D-men to build with (Larsson, Nurse).
      2 wingers to develop (Cagg, Pulj),
      1 winger with good hockey sense/nose for the net (Rattie).
      A monster 6’7″ goaltender.
      That looks line 9 players to build the rest of the team around in my view.

      • Leichs

        Nurse and Larsson. Guess we never plan on having a dman that can score a goal or put up points. Takes more than 2 average 2nd pairing stay at home dmen to win championships. Need someone that can put up points from the back end like a Riley/Subban/Hamilton anyone. Not one dimensional dmen like Nurse and Larsson who bring nothing else to the team if they aren’t in their own zone. They are the opposite of impact dmen. Bouchard and Bear do not have the skating abilities to be that guy for us right now.

        • This might be coaching. Nurse had some offence in Junior. For the Greyhounds in 13/14 he had 50 points in 64 games. I agree that Jr doesn’t always translate to the NHL but that OT goal he scored vs the Jets tells me there is offensive upside there. I’d have him out there more in offensive situations and more PP time to see what he’s got. I don’t think he’s been given the opportunity.

          Larsson, not sure – maybe someone else knows? Does Larsson have any history of offensive upside to speak of?

      • tealyn

        Yeah but no, I don’t know what you see in nurse and Larsson. I think Nurse will get a bit better and Larson is topped out, at this point they are at best 3rd line d, Larsson was never and never will be a #1,2, or 3, wish I knew what chia saw there….

        • OilersGM

          Chia is blind, 2 years prior to the trade Larsson put up 30 points so Chia thought he would develop into a 40-50 point D-man with McDavid on the team. Chia was fooled.

    • Meadowlark Lemon

      Shultz,
      What are the Oilers? I don’t know. The hype and expectation has confused everyone. I would suggest ’16-’17 was the anomaly, and that ’17-’18 and ’18-’19 reflect reality. I love Edmonton (the city). They deserve better.
      Hire Burkie or Yserman as President and let them hire people who know what the f!!! they’re doing. And please, spare me the Burke hate noise.

    • El Cid

      Solution for the season:
      It’s not that hard.
      Fire Chia and put Keith in for the interm and let him move Hitch into a consultant position ( no time to get a coach up to wtf!). Quite obvious someone hired 3 new assistant coaches,PICK ONE!
      Once we have lost a chance at the playoffs ( trade deadline) Trade Talbot, Draisatle and the rest of the riff raft . Whatever it takes get rid of Lucic!

  • Total Points

    Free Conner McDavid. I really feel sorry for him.
    I wonder what would happen if Conner would approach Katz and say “it is either me or the Old Boys Club – you choose” Who would Katz choose?

  • OnDaWagon

    I didn’t see it as a must win game.
    Hitch is still trying to work things out.
    Spooner was not a good fit. Put Drake back there,
    I do think Ty is just about done with the Oil.
    I still love that 3rd line of Looch, Kass and Brods. They will eventually start scoring some goals. They are just playing to good, to not start getting some bounces.

    I think they should have played the big guy in net last night.

    Are the refs jealous of McD’s ability? He just can’t get them to make a call, no matter what’s done to him.

    Anyway, onward and “upward” boys. Let’s get at it. Time is ticking away.

  • Since 72

    The toilet needs to be flushed! Time to overhaul upper management and start the rebuild, there are good pieces to build around so let it happen and suffer some more.

  • WhoreableGuy

    Did Rattie really lose his spot on the top line? It seemed like after his injury he didn’t get much of a chance to go back on. I think Hitch should try it one more time before he sends him packing.

  • bcoil

    Our problem here is that half the team is built to play todays quick game and half the team is built to play old school dump and chase heavy hockey …Todd wanted to play todays quick game and Hitch want’s to turn the whole team into a dump it out dump it in and crash the net team…..this is not going to end well …..Hitch was let go from his last two teams because he was stuck in the past ,,,,,,,his hiring was a mistake …….K Lowe ???

    • El Cid

      I think a new Sheriff will be in town by X-mas. If the Oilers are not a playoff team @ x-mas break fire Chia let Keith take over for the interm and let him hire his next coaching staff. I would only let Hitch have a 10 game slide and he now has 8 games left to turn it around, no points equals next batter up!

      • Glencontrolurstik

        At the very least we should give the new coach a few games to “settle-in” don’t you think?
        He is trying to change the style of play on this team. That has to take a little time, I would think?
        I think that we make the playoffs. Where would a mini winning streak put us? like 5 games. Last I looked we had games in hand as well… There are also some new key players that have to get settled, although I’m not sold on Spooner yet… Might as well have Desharnais or Upshall? Give it a few games before we wright them off. Let’s have a little faith after all.

  • Heschultzhescores

    McD – A generational player, playing on the worst team in generations.
    Drai – Can be an absolute beast or just float like an agae covered bobber in August.
    Nuge – love him, but God he takes losing too well. I guess do what you know.
    Chia son- on fire wish whatever lit his fire spread like the HPV virus
    JK – has not been the same since he took that big hit. Sadly, Time to go back down I think.
    DK – has tailed off but that happens without McD
    Looch – seems like he is giving the effort but getting no results other than the odd dead turtle
    Rattie – how about that preseason hey?
    JP – haven’t seen a bust this big since the wife got implants. Also get a helmet tha fits the kid already
    Brodz – Meh, I’m sure we could sneak him out there as a 6th man and never get called.
    Kassian – grow the chops back and see what happens
    Klef – our best Dman which is sad when you consider he plays the PP and scores about as often as Mr Bean at muscle beach
    Nurse – a physical talent, but needs to flex his brain more
    Lars- reliable if you forget what it cost to get him. Definitely dealt with the devil on that one.
    Benning – plays a solid game of pokerstars in the pressbox
    Bouchard – already better than what we have, so keep him on the farm away from the manure pile
    And much like Hitch I forgot a few names but until they make a name for themselves it’s easy to do.

    • Rufio Barcoli

      Hall was and is a b!tch.
      He was at the forefront of the worst Oilers team, probably ever.
      The Devils are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with Hall at the forefront.
      Get the picture?

      • tkfisher

        It seems like you’re trying to make an argument that a heart trophy winner is a contributing factor in making a team (both the Oilers and Devils) the worst team in the league. Are you working in Oilers management currently? Because that is the only group I can think of stupid enough to make a claim like that. Perhaps try looking at the rest of the roster before you point fingers at a guy like Hall. Just a thought.

        • Rufio Barcoli

          In ancient times and cultures, it didn’t matter the skill of a warrior, unless he showed the heart necessary he was not allowed into group battles.
          Hall would be one of those “warriors” , sure he has the skill, at times, but the only heart Hall has is the one he won.

          • SnowMan8

            lol you sound foolish, you talk like hall had a chance, by having a good team around him. hall couldnt do it alone, mcdavid cant do it alone, no player can this team is still a mess and thats on management. To suggest this team is better off without last years heart trophy winner is laughable and makes me question your intelligence and credibility

          • tealyn

            I don’t blame a single player who has or will develop a bad attitude playing for this joke organization, you would have to sell part of your soul to be happy here, I feel so bad for Nuge and McDavid who seem to bring their best nearly every night knowing the fate they are resigned to

        • OilersGM

          @Rufio Barcoli is that you Chiarelli,
          Hall had no #1,2 or 3 defenceman or a #1 centre( Nuge was still to young) or a #1 goalie so how you make that assumption is beyond me and oh yeah Hall put up a 82 & 80 point seasons on those dreadful teams. Get a clue man.

      • btrain

        Based on this delusional theory you would have to conclude McDavid is at the forefront of the Oilers problems. You willing to go that far if the worlds best player cant drag this sorry excuse for a roster to the playoffs?

      • OilerForLife

        Just like the drafting rules were ridiculas in the old days, the Hart Trophy selection rules need to be changed to make it more fair. Some cities, especially the Eastern conference is staked with media voters. It should be one city, one vote. All the media vote to pick the man they want, and then all cities make pone vote. Totally outdated and needs a makeover.

        • Rufio Barcoli

          Not only are they all in few cities, they sit together and discuss who they should pick and why.
          They chose Hall just to make and have a story.
          Hall didn’t even finish in top 5.
          Hall didn’t lead, or was better than, any of the Top 5 in any category. 40% of his points came on a power play.
          Hall also got ate up in the last two minutes of games that were tied. Hall was on the against for 15 game winning goals against.
          Nothing about Hall’s year justified the Hart Trophy.

          The Eastern media, and NHL for that matter, I bias against the Oilers and the Old Boys Club.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Man, just trade McDavid already. I thought it was embarrassing being an Oilers fan during the DoD. It’s so much worse now that we’ve wasted four years of McDavid’s prime years.

  • The Oilers top problems are no defense, poor handling of their prospects and no on ice leadership. Its time to trade for players from winning programs that can show the young Oilers what it take to win at the NHL level.

  • CMG30

    The time to fire Chirelli is now!

    Let Keith G, hold a temporary GM position while the hunt for a replacement begins. At least he seems to be able to evaluate real NHL talent.

    The longer this continues the more danger there is that Chirelli will pull increasingly dumber stunts to try to save his job. At the end of the day, we’re a cap team who can’t even beat the worst the Pacific division has to offer.

    Katz, grow some stones and fire all your buddies. This organization needs a heart and mind transplant. Your buddies no longer understand the game, they’re stuck in the past and that’s been reflected in the types of players that get drafted, get traded away and are traded for. We keep valuing the WRONG things in players and thus keep acquiring the WRONG players for the NHL today. If the ‘Braintrust’ had a clue we would not be in the position we’ve found ourselves in for a decade +.

    Vegas made a cup contender last year out of carefully selected spare parts. We have the best player on the planet… What’s it going to take before Katz finally realized that the ‘Smartest Guys In The Room’ are not all that bright?

  • Abagofpucks

    The owner will never do what need’s to be done because he idolized the glory gang and they have his ear. Till this ends the franchise will probably struggle and the only thing that can be done is season ticket holder’s stop buying. Empty seats and skybox’s are the only thing that gets an owner’s attention, no money no funny.

    • Katz doesn’t give a s#!+ about the community. He cares about his back pocket and thats about it. The city should renovate the Coliseum and let investors buy the team back. Katz can take his gentrification and f#@& off.

      • Edmonton Bruce Wayne made his money as a super douche in the pharmaceutical industry. What else needs to be said there?

        Screwing over amateur sports teams and tier 2 Edm in general etc. etc. etc.

        Here’s a plan. Sell this team to Seattle at a tidy profit but Edm keeps McDavid. That’s the deal. They can even have Drai and all the stupid contracts.

        All of them, take the whole mess. We can build a new team around McDavid with an expansion draft.

        And new ownership.

  • FutureGM

    3 POINTS BACK WITH 2 GAMES IN HAND!! Y’all need to grab a dictionary and look up fan because most of you are not. Just toxic whiners! But I’m sure whining and b@%ching like you are going to tue the team out is gonna work lol Stop buying tshirts, beers, spending 70K on the 50/50 and hit the owner where it hurts. Oh right, Oilberta… where we cry about photo radar endlessly, but don’t have the teamwork to outlaw it like BC..

  • Arfguy

    Cannot blame this on the referees or goaltending. This one falls on the players. Unfortunately, most did not show up. I say most, because McDavid always shows up ready to play. Talbot cannot be faulted on 2 out of 3 goals. That last goal I’m 50/50 on, as I feel he had to make that save, regardless of the nature of it…but it was also a good move.

    Most of the Oilers players look like they have broken limbs and bones. The likes of Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, Draisaitl, RNH, Brodziak and so on and so forth did not have a single bit of fight in them.

    It’s time to see what we can get for a couple of those players, since speed is lacking…I’d try to find speedy players to replace them.

  • HelpMeBabyJesus

    Just when I thought Hitchcock knew what he was doing…he puts Spooner with McDavid and takes Caggiula off. Then he stakes his rep on how he is going to bring Puljujarvi up to NHL speed. Poor delusional SOB. Oh, almost forgot he put Cam Talbot back in net for this one. Sigh…I am growing more frustrated watching the Oilers fail.

  • Vanoil

    Welcome to heavy hockey. Well, at least we have one productive line now…
    Maybe that supposed “identity line” can play all 60 minutes…? But then we would justlose 1-0 in OT I suppose.

  • Kelly Youngblood

    The Talbot & Spooner to the Flyers for Simmonds & Elliot scenario was interesting. Once Elliot is back healthy is he much if any a downgrade from Talbot ? I’d rather see Kasperi Kapanen in an Oiler jersey if Nylander gets signed by the Leafs this week.