I’m so tired and that was ugly. Final Score: 5-1 Kings
As I wrote in this morning’s GDB, this was a must-win game for the Edmonton Oilers. Full stop. The Kings have been so Gord-awful this season and it made me think that leaving LA with anything less than two points was going to be a complete disaster. Am I being harsh? I don’t think so. Now, of course, the problem with having such specific expectations on any particular night is that we’ve seen this team play down to their competition more often than we’d like. Even this season, I think back to the game they lost against Detroit and how, on paper, that should have been a gimme game if ever there was one but the boys were sloppy and they duffed it. Point is, the Oilers needed to do everything in their power to make sure that they wouldn’t underestimate the Kings. The tragic news is that the team didn’t seem to get the memo.
Since I complained about this being a must-win game for most of the day, I needed the boys to make me feel better by giving us all a quick start, and after making it through the 12-hour Carter ceremony I knew that we could all use some action to keep us awake. Unfortunately, giving up a goal against on the first shot of the game wasn’t really what I had in mind, and neither was allowing a second or third marker that were both equally as disappointing as the first. As far as bad starts go, the Oilers put on a masterclass in this one and things didn’t get much better as time rolled on. It was a turd sandwich, no mustard. And while Connor McDavid was able to steal one back in the opening moments of the second period, the goal wasn’t able to spark the comeback needed for his team to crawl out of the gaping hole they dug for themselves.
I don’t know why the Oilers love playing down to their competition, but this is the third time I can remember (Chicago, Detroit, LA) where they’ve been completely outclassed by a team they should have dominated. It doesn’t make any sense why this keeps happening, and I’m really unhappy about it. At the end of the day, all we can really do is flush this one and move on.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- The game is over now.
- With his team down by three goals after 20 minutes, Connor McDavid got one back in the opening moments of the second period on a fine individual effort that temporarily pulled his team back to within two. Connor is so good at hockey that’s is hard to think of an equivalent in any other aspect of my life. Watching him all the time is kind of like having pizza for dinner every night, and I hope we can all take a minute here and now, in this Wrap Up, to truly appreciate all of the amazing things he does. It may not have been Connor’s best night, but at least his goal gave us something to cheer about.
- I didn’t expect to see Mikko Koskinen tonight, but that was the case when he had to come into the game in relief of Mike Smith. Once he was in, he played reasonably well given the circumstances and even though he wasn’t able to completely shut the door, it’s not like the team looked overly inspired either. Koskinen finished the night with 16 saves and a .889 save%.
- I thought Gaetan Haas and Joakim Nygard were two of the Oilers’ best forwards, and I’ll let everyone figure out on their own why that’s a problem. Nygard, in particular, probably could have had a hat trick tonight had he not been the 2019 version of Todd Marchant.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Tyler Toffoli beat Mike Smith high over the glove hand on the first shot of the game which was about as bad as it gets for the Oilers. I’m not sure how Toffoli got so much time alone, but that’s exactly what happened and I’m going to choose to blame the Jeff Carter ceremony. Tyler Toffoli added a second goal late in the third period on the power play, but I couldn’t tell you how it happened because I had already spaced on watching at that point. I’m just being hone with you.
- Speaking of which, that Jeff Carter ceremony went on forever.
- Anze Kopitar’s 15 career goal against the Oilers made it 2-0 at the end of the first period, which was the exact opposite of what was supposed to happen. Kopitar has been having a tough season by his own standards so I don’t know why I was at all surprised to see him score.
- With less than three seconds left in the first period, Jeff Carter added a third Kings goal by crashing towards the net and hacking the loose puck through Smith’s legs and into the back of the net. Only moments before, the Oilers a couple of excellent chances to score but couldn’t convert, and then the Kings manage to walk things the other way and finish it off. C’est la vie. Carter finished the night with three points and I cannot wait for this dude to retire because he’s been an Oilers killer for years now.
- Michael Amadio made it 4-1 for the Kings when was able to get the puck through traffic and between Koskinen’s legs. At that point, my mind started to check out and think of all the times I could have been doing.
- You win as a team and you lose as a team, and the Oilers certainly lost this one as a unit. Ugly game all around for most guys.
- Mike Smith was back between the pipes tonight for his 13th start of the season, and I was looking for him to build upon the strong start he had against the Avalanche. In the early going, Smith was very shakey as he was battling the puck on all fronts and struggled to put rebounds in places where the Kings couldn’t get them. After allowing three goals on 12 shots, Smith got the hook after the first period and I don’t think anyone was overly surprised by it.
- The first line got carved early tonight and the second line wasn’t much better all night. Tough one.
- Caleb Jones got a few free lessons on a couple of the Kings goals tonight, which is nothing unusual for a rookie defenceman trying to find his way in the NHL. Since being recalled, Jones has been great alongside Klefbom but he felt like he showed his inexperience against some of the bigger Kings forwards. He’ll bounce back.
- The Oilers took SIX penalties tonight which is obviously far too many. And yeah, we can complain about the refs only giving the Kings two penalties, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s tough to win when you’re shorthanded for nearly a period.
- Outshot 30-26 by a garbage team. Oilers had a combined 13 shots over the last 40 minutes after firing that many towards Quick in the first period alone.
|01:32||Los Angeles||Tyler Toffoli (5) ASST: Jeff Carter (3), Drew Doughty (9)||0-1|
|14:21||Los Angeles||Anze Kopitar (8) ASST: Dustin Brown (7), Drew Doughty (10)||0-2|
|19:56||Los Angeles||Jeff Carter (7) ASST: Carl Grundstrom (4), Tyler Toffoli (6)||0-3|
|00:38||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (16)||1-3|
|11:16||Los Angeles||Michael Amadio (4) ASST: Nikolai Prokhorkin (1), Drew Doughty (11)||1-4|
|17:01||Los Angeles||PPG – Tyler Toffoli (6) ASST: Jeff Carter (4), Michael Amadio (3)||1-5|
Embracing the moment! NHL or AHL, he’s always battling & never gives up. As parents, thats what we teach them. We are entitled to share & celebrate their successes, just as we are responsible to help guide them through struggles & failures. Time to shine!⭐️ #gooilersgo #momboss pic.twitter.com/GJffnl5aLZ
— Amy Jones 🌟 (@amyjones_03) November 21, 2019
Archibald needs to try the Mexican stick factory.
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) November 22, 2019
Oh don't you start… https://t.co/mJJipyTiwN
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) November 22, 2019
— Big Kiwi (@kiwi_pfitz) November 22, 2019
That amount of extra interference LA gets away with is crazy!! Wouldn’t change much tonight but it’s still weird to see
— Real Steal 18 (@RPW_1832) November 22, 2019
Whatever. McDavid will get a hat trick next game. That’s how this works.
— Shauna (@SLShockeyfan) November 22, 2019
THE BLACKOUT COLLECTION
We’ve upgraded every aspect of this year’s gear and we cannot wait for you guys to check it out! The 2019 Blackout collection is coming soon and available only at NationGear.ca.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/21/2019 – 11:30 pm MT