Horrible. Final Score: 5-1 Kings
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Was anyone else like me and just hoping the Oilers would find a way to start this game on time? I don’t know what it is about their slow starts this year (and every year), but it’s really throwing a hitch in our giddy-up when the boys find themselves down by a goal or more before the game is even 10 minutes old. I know the boys were sporting a 16-6 record coming into this one — people tend to point that out a lot if you’re critical — but they’re running a real risk of having that start to even out unless they can buck this trend of only showing up for the third period. Yet, as much as we all hoped and talked about how important it was for the Oilers to finally figure out what time the game started, it was the Kings that opened the scoring only two minutes in after another sloppy play by Edmonton in their own zone led to an odd-man rush against. To punctuate how bad the Oilers have been early in games this year, LA’s goal marked the 14th time in 23 games that the Oilers gave up the first goal of the night, and I’m starting to think that someone needs to get hired or fired to fix this problem. I mean, the boys had only two shots on net at the midway point of the first period and I don’t have to explain to anyone reading this why that’s nowhere near good enough.
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Heading into the second, it was hard to imagine the Oilers not finding a way to be better than they were early on but that was not the case as the Kings were able to extend their lead with yet another early goal. For the second straight period, the Kings were able to pop one in the first couple of minutes and you could almost feel the air get sucked out of the building as soon as it happened, especially since a bunch of people didn’t even have time to get back to their seats. Thankfully, the Oilers didn’t fold their hand despite falling further behind and the work they put in eventually led to them being able to get themselves on the scoreboard and cut LA’s lead in half. I’m not saying it was a perfect response by any means, but at least the Oilers gave themselves some life. Down by a goal heading into the third period, the Oilers had the time and firepower needed to knot the score up but the question was whether they would be able to get the execution needed to make it happen. The bad news is that the Oilers had another horrible start to the period as they were outworked and outhustled by a Kings team that looked desperate to close out the win. Unable to match that level of intensity in any way shape or form, the Oilers sputtered through the first 10 minutes before even mustering a shot on and net and it’s pretty hard to come back when you’re stuck in your own zone. Add in a five-minute PK to wrap things up and that’s all she wrote.
At the end of the day, that’s two straight losses to Pacific Division teams near the bottom of the standings and it’s hard to even put the words together to say how annoying that is.
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The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • @Darnell Nurse pulled the Oilers back to within a single goal (2-1) with a shorthanded goal after Nugent-Hopkins found him driving along the wing with speed and fed him a pass that he was able to bury on the short side. I can’t even begin to express how happy I was to see that Nurse would be back in the lineup after missing the last few weeks with a broken finger. No offense to the boys that filled in as best as they could in his absence, but the Oilers are not the same team with Nurse out of the lineup.
  • Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes after a night off in Seattle and I was looking for him to help the boys right the ship and avoid their first back-to-back losses of the season. Even though he obviously wasn’t able to get that done, I actually think Koskinen was one of the few guys that showed up to play and the score could have been even uglier than it was had it not been for him. Koskinen finished the night with 35 saves and a .875 save%.
  • Thank you to the posts for preventing five more goals by my count.
  • Another assist for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gives him 21 on the year as his stats line continues to look like some kind of reverse Cy Young candidate.
  • I’m a big fan of the way Markus Niemalainen throws the body around. The Oilers don’t have many players that are always looking to lay the body and the young Finn is giving them a different flavour of defender that they don’t really have much of in their system.
  • I can’t even get excited about the fact that the Oilers won 53% of the faceoffs.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • LEARN WHEN THE GAME STARTS FFS! Does someone need to get fired for the way the Oilers can’t seem to get ready to play on a nightly basis? Incredibly frustrating to see the Oilers continually chase the game as a result of their own lack of preparation.
  • Rasmus Kupari opened the scoring (1-0) for the Kings only 2:01 into the game after the Oilers gifted LA an odd-man rush inside their blue line that they made no mistake of executing on. Kris Russell got burned badly on the play and even though he’s played well over the last little while, that was an ugly one for the long-time vet.
  • Adrian Kempe extended the Kings’ lead (2-0) after he entered the zone with speed and used Nurse as a screen, beating Mikko Koskinen between the body and blocker. Kempe added a second goal from right in the slot to extend the lead (3-1) in the third period on the five-minute power play the Kings got when McDavid was kicked out.
  • Drew Doughty added a second power play goal on the major penalty after he drove to the net and knocked a loose puck/rebound into the empty net.
  • Trevor Moore added a third power play goal (5-1) on the major to McDavid and by that point, I had completely checked out.
  • I don’t know if the crowd was booing the Oilers or the refs at the end of the game but both answers were acceptable in my opinion.
  • Connor McDavid got kicked out of the game for boarding with just over six minutes left to play and it was pretty much game over as soon as that happened. Five minutes plus a game misconduct? That’s curtains when the rest of the team is playing like shit.
  • The Oilers were unable to get anything done with their two power play chances, which is obviously unfortunate since they lost by only one goal.
  • The PK also horrible as they ended up getting tagged for three goals on five shorthanded situations.

SCORING SUMMARY

#GOODCONTENT

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