Jonathan Quick is a great houseguest and we’d have him over again any time. Final Score: 8-4 Oilers
Getting down to the final seven games of another lost season has been really tough to take, and it’s an endless drag that we’re in this position again. After last season’s disaster, I was certain that things would get better around here and that we’d be spending the month of March prepping our livers for the assault that comes with playoff time. Instead, we spent this morning’s meeting at Nation HQ talking about Draft content again, which is endlessly depressing for the obvious list of reasons. Even if they Oilers win out the rest of the season, they’d need a lot of help to get in and the reality is that we’ll probably be going through another postseason without the boys getting an invite to the dance, and that’s a tough pill to swallow. That said, we had to suppress those feelings because there was a game to play.
Coming into tonight’s matchup, the Oilers had the opportunity to toss another couple of points on their stack as they were going up against an LA Kings team that played (and won) last night in Calgary. Like the Oilers, the Kings have had a disappointing year complete with all the ups, downs, and stretches of mediocrity that you’d expect from a team that’s been living in a tent near the league’s basement all season. That said, they started tonight’s game quickly by scoring an early goal on a tough shot that Koskinen would probably want to have back, but that was the only lead they’d get as the Oilers opened the floodgates from there and buried the visitors in offence. I don’t know where Edmonton’s offensive outburst came from, Jonathan Quick certainly played a pivotal role, but I have to say that this onslaught was exactly what I needed to see tonight. Were there mistakes made? Sure, but nothing that eight ginos couldn’t cover up.
Yeah, we can talk about time running out on the season and how the playoffs are unlikely, but I don’t care about that tonight. On this night, I’m just happy to have watched our boys completely dismantle a visiting team and that the three Cs all found ways to fill the net.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Moments after Iafallo opened the scoring for the Kings, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins responded with a perfect deflection on an Alex Chiasson centring pass that beat Quick low to the stick side. Later on, in the first period, Nuge added a second goal with a beautifully placed snap shot that beat Quick high on the blocker side, and I’m convinced that even after watching the replay that the goaltender still hasn’t seen it. What a shot by RNH. But was the guy done? Hell no. Nuge completed the hat trick with his third goal of the period after he ripped another snapshot past Quick that he didn’t see coming, and the hats came raining down at Rogers Place. What a night for the Nuge.
- Not to be outdone, Leon Draisaitl scored an absolute beauty as he took the puck coast-to-coast and dissected the Kings’ defence before beating Quick with a hard snapshot that he wasn’t able to handle. Draisaitl added another goal in the second period after Connor McDavid fed him with a beautiful cross-crease pass that he smashed past Campbell, extending the Oilers lead to 7-2. In homage to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl completed his own hat trick with just over a minute left in the third period after he broke into the zone on a 2-on-1 with Connor McDavid and the captain set him up perfectly.
- Zack Kassian set a new career high with his 15th goal of the year after he ripped a snipe past Jonathan Quick on the stick side, which increased his scoring streak to four games and gave his team two-goal lead. Since being put up with Connor and Leon on the first line, Kass has been earning every minute of ice he’s been given and I am here for it. Late in the third period, Kassian got into a scrap with Kyle Clifford and the two boys were chuckin’ em so you’ll want to head over to their player pages over at HockeyFights.com to see it again.
- Not wanting to be left out of the goal scoring party, Connor McDavid got his 39th of the season after he picked up a nice feed from Leon Draisaitl and tucked it through Jack Campbell’s legs for the Oilers’ sixth goal of the night. With the four points registered tonight, McDavid set a new career-high with 112 points on the year.
- Mikko Koskinen kept his run between the pipes going tonight as the big man continues to solidify his spot (try to?) as the team’s starter for the next three seasons. Koskinen was mostly solid again tonight and he made the saves he needed to give his team a chance to win, including a few odd-man rushes in the third period that certainly would have made things interesting if the Kings had converted. While it certainly wasn’t a perfect night for Costco, the big man will walk away from the rink with a win and that’s what really matters at the end of the day. Koskinen finished the night with 34 saves and a .895 save%.
- Oscar Klefbom led the way for offence from the point tonight as he finished with three points, while Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse both got a pair of helpers each.
- Shout out to Kris Russell for dropping the mitts in the third period and having a spirited tilt with Trevor Lewis. Russell gave up some size in the fight, but I’m going to go ahead and give him the victory for the shots he landed and the takedown. As always, you can have another look at Russell’s scrap on his player page over at HockeyFights.com.
- Oilers were 1/1 on the power play tonight and you’ve gotta like that.
- I just wanted to give a hearty shout out to Jonathan Quick for his fine work tonight. Well played, sir.
- Back on the booze! The #BoozeNotBeets win cast is coming up in a few minutes and you can join in the conversation over on my Twitter account.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Alex Iafallo hadn’t scored a goal in 13 games but guess what? He opened the scoring tonight with a shot from the high slot that beat Koskinen on the, you guessed it, the glove side.
- Drew Doughty got the Kings’ second goal of the night on the power play after he teed off on a one-timer from the high slot that burned its way through traffic and past Koskinen. With the Kings on an extended 5-on-3 power play, they had all kinds of time and space to make a play and Doughty executed on his end of the bargain.
- Why does Dustin Brown always score against the Oilers? I don’t get it. You’d think the guy has some kind of game genie that only works against Edmonton or something because he always seems to score against our boys.
- Carl Grundstrom cut the Oilers’ lead to three after beating Mikko Koskinen high to the blocker side with a perfectly placed wrist shot that went just under the bar. At that point, the Kings had started to rally a little bit in the second period and it was annoying to see them chipping away at what should have been an insurmountable lead.
- If I’m going to nitpick tonight it’s that the Oilers allowed two goals on the four penalties, and the PK continues to be a massive problem.
- I missed Jonathan Quick when he was gone. 😭
|02:10||Los Angeles||Alex Iafallo (15) ASST: Anze Kopitar (33), Dustin Brown (26)||1-0|
|03:32||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (26) ASST: Alex Chiasson (14)||1-1|
|04:36||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (44) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (19), Mikko Koskinen (2)||1-2|
|10:39||Edmonton||Zack Kassian (15) ASST: Adam Larsson (16), Oscar Klefbom (20)||1-3|
|14:18||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (27) ASST: Darnell Nurse (30), Alex Chiasson (15)||1-4|
|19:48||Edmonton||PPG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (28) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (21), Connor McDavid (71)||1-5|
|07:56||Los Angeles||PPG – Drew Doughty (6) ASST: Anze Kopitar (34), Dustin Brown (27)||2-5|
|11:41||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (39) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (53), Adam Larsson (17)||2-6|
|14:38||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (45) ASST: Connor McDavid (72), Darnell Nurse (31)||2-7|
|16:52||Los Angeles||PPG – Dustin Brown (21) ASST: Anze Kopitar (35), Tyler Toffoli (19)||3-7|
|19:16||Los Angeles||Carl Grundstrom (4) ASST: Michael Amadio (5), Sean Walker (7)||4-7|
|18:29||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (46) ASST: Connor McDavid (73), Joseph Gambardella (3)||4-8|
A full season of This Kassian + Rieder's 15-16 goals + Decent Goaltending + Healthy Sekera and Klefbom – Lucic and this team could be in the mix!
— The Towel Boy (@TheTowelBoy) March 27, 2019
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) March 27, 2019
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) March 27, 2019
PRESS THE MEDIC ALERT BUTTON JIMBO! https://t.co/GfL0PVQpic
— BURGER BARON🍁 (@Burger_Baron) March 27, 2019
About damn time the Oilers switched to filtered water
— Oilers Nerd Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) March 27, 2019
— Andrew (@Gravy_24) March 27, 2019
Leon wasn't backchecking at all when he scored!
— The CW (@CJW_101) March 27, 2019
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 3/26/2019 – 9:45 pm MT