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GDB 42.0 Wrap Up: A disastrous night for the Oilers’ penalty kill gifts the Kings a 6-3 win

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baggedmilk
16 days ago
Tell me this season isn’t giving you 2018 vibes. Final Score: 6-3 Kings
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Can I just take a quick minute to vent about 8:30 PM starts? Every time I see this California road trip on the schedule, I shudder at the thought of the late nights spent watching losses over the years, and how anything less than a win becomes a miserable experience given the time spent and also the 1500 or so words I have to write after every game. I don’t know how fans east of us here in Edmonton do it. I don’t care what time zone you’re in, it’s tough sledding sometimes. Anyway, my own complaining aside, this was a massive game for the Oilers and an opportunity at a four-point swing against a team they’re chasing in the standings, and if the boys couldn’t get fired up for this one then who knows what it would take. So to see the Oilers down by a pair at the midway point of the period after two straight power play goals by LA in a span of under two minutes, it was hard to understand how this was the start they came up with to kick off what is a very important road trip for this team. Discipline was a problem and the boys were getting torched for it. Thankfully, Kailer Yamamoto got one of those goals back before heading off for the intermission, but the Oilers sure did a fine job of making life difficult for themselves along the way.
In the second period, the list of ways that the Oilers needed to be better was long and comprehensive, but at the very top was the need to stay out of the penalty box as the PK had already been tagged for two. I was also hoping that the fact that they got the Yamamoto goal towards the end of the first would give the boys something positive to build upon. Maybe that goal and whatever was said in the intermission would show them the path to victory, ya know? Instead, we got another swift kick to the shin to bring us back to reality. Not only did the Oilers continue taking avoidable penalties but their penalty kill also kept failing nearly every test they faced. I honestly don’t remember the last time I’ve seen the Oilers give up four power play goals in a single contest, but the fact that they kept putting themselves in this situation with undisciplined garbage was actually an apt metaphor to describe the entire season to this point. Even when Ryan McLeod narrowed the gap to two goals on a bang-bang play off a faceoff, it honestly felt more like window dressing than a real step towards getting back into the fight.
Down by two with a period left to play, the Oilers had a whole lot of work to do without much time to get the job done, and unless there was some kind of miracle comeback on the books, there weren’t many of us that were expecting it to happen. If anything, I was hoping that the boys would be able to make things interesting but I wasn’t exactly brimming with confidence. Then again, when was the last time any of us felt confident with what the Oilers were doing? Tonight’s game officially marked the launch of the back half of the 2022-23 NHL season and the feelings of apathy around this club are starting to grow, and that’s a remarkable place to be given the way we started the year with high hopes. I mean, the fact that I was having more fun complaining on Twitter during the third period than I was watching the hockey game was pretty telling in a matchup this big, no? So when the boys actually started pushing the pace in the back half of the third period, it was almost too little too late in that it would have been really nice to see that kind of effort and care before they were down by a field goal. At the end of the day, the Oilers blew this game in spectacular fashion and they only have themselves to blame.
The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Kailer Yamamoto halved the Kings’ lead just as a power play was expiring (2-1) after he got his stick on Nurse’s point shot, deflecting the puck through Copley and giving his team some life when they desperately needed it.
  • Ryan McLeod pulled the Oilers back to within a pair (4-2) with his first goal in 23 games after a faceoff win led to a shot from the point and rebound that was subsequently put home.
  • Connor McDavid narrowed the gap to two (5-3) with a goal off the rush after he carried the puck into the Kings’ zone and buried his wrister up and over Copley on the glove side.
  • I respect Jesse Puljujarvi for dropping the mitts with Danault even though he shouldn’t have to after the clean hit he threw the led to the scrap. Not an easy thing to do, and my hat goes off to Jesse for doing it without hesitation.
  • Since I’m cheering for fights, I may as well give Zach Hyman and Klim Kostin a shout out for dropping the gloves in the third period, basically doubling the Oilers’ output on the year. Check out HockeyFights.com to rewatch them all.

PRESENTED BY BETWAY

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Kevin Fiala opened the scoring (1-0) on the power play after a pretty passing play by the Kings in the offensive zone set him up for a one-timer from the circle that Skinner just couldn’t get across to stop. Fiala added a second power play goal only 1:50 later on a nifty little move/shot combo, roofing the puck up and over Skinner’s shoulder and just under the bar.
  • Adrian Kempe picked up LA’s third power play goal of the night (3-1) after Fiala put him in all alone with all the time in the world to pick his spot. Kempe added a fourth power play goal at the midway point of the game on a one-timer from the right circle that actually had to be reviewed because it initially seemed like Jack Campbell had made a remarkable save.
  • Alex Iafallo extended LA’s lead to three goals near the midway point of the third period (5-2) after he found himself behind the Oilers’ defence and in alone on the goaltender. Opportunistic once again, the Kings took advantage of some lacklustre defending by the Oilers and made them pay for it with a goal I personally would have liked Campbell to save.
  • Viktor Arvidsson sealed the deal with an empty netter (6-3), capping off another hard night to be an Oilers fan.
  • Two games against the Kings, two losses.
  • The penalty kill got murdered in this hockey game, allowing the first two goals of the game in a span of under two minutes with absolutely no improvement from there. Awful in every way. Los Angeles finished 4/7 on the man advantage and that was an absolute killer in this hockey game.
  • Not to be outdone, the Oilers didn’t get anything done on the power play in any of the five chances they got with the man advantage. In a game when Edmonton was supposed to have the advantage on the man advantage, we didn’t see any such thing when push came to shove.
  • It was no surprise that Stuart Skinner was back between the pipes after a very strong performance against the Colorado Avalanche despite being unable to lock in the win. Needless to say, Stu was the best player in an Oilers uniform two nights ago, and I was hopeful for another chapter in what has become a very fun season to follow for the hometown product. It was not meant to be, however, as Stu got the hook on a mercy kill from Woodcroft that was likely meant to shake up the bench rather than a commentary of how Skinner was playing. Yeah, he allowed three goals on the night but I wouldn’t hang any of them on him but rather on the team in front of him. Skinner finished the night with 21 saves and a .875 save%.
  • Tip of the cap to Jack Campbell for the way he performed in relief of Stuart Skinner. Thrown into the game in less-than-ideal circumstances, Soup performed reasonably well to start but couldn’t stop the bleeding as the game wore on. Campbell finished with 11 saves and a .846 save%.
  • There were way too many passengers in this lineup and not even guys that looked like they actually gave a shit.
  • Ban 8:30 PM starts!
  • Another night, another game where the Oilers were outshot. This time it was 38-31 Kings.
  • The Oilers won only 43% of the faceoffs and it was no surprise to see they started most plays without the puck.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIODOILERSKINGS
9:21Los AngelesKevin Fiala (14) (Power Play)
Assists: Adrian Kempe (11), Anze Kopitar (22)
01
11:11Los AngelesKevin Fiala (15) (Power Play)
Assists: Gabriel Vilardi (13)
02
17:02EdmontonKailer Yamamoto (4)
Assists: Darnell Nurse (15), Evan Bouchard (12)
12
2ND PERIODOILERSKINGS
3:51Los AngelesAdrian Kempe (16) (Power Play)
Assists: Kevin Fiala (30), Phillip Danault (19)
13
11:38Los AngelesAdrian Kempe (17) (Power Play)
Assists: Kevin Fiala (31), Drew Doughty (21)
14
16:36EdmontonRyan McLeod (4)
Assists: Evan Bouchard (13), Philip Broberg (3)
24
3RD PERIODOILERSKINGS
7:44Los AngelesAlex Iafallo (7)
Assists: Viktor Arvidsson (21), Drew Doughty (22)
25
9:26EdmontonConnor McDavid (34)
Unassisted
35
18:18Los AngelesViktor Arvidsson (12) (Empty Net)
Unassisted
36

#GOODCONTENT

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BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER

After a rough loss to the Seattle Kraken earlier in the week, I was a wee bit upset on this week’s episode of Better Lait Than Never, which meant I had a hard time not running my mouth. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never for FREE on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and wherever else you get your podcasts from! 

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