Game Day #65: Kings @ Oilers Preview

I call this one "pathos" - Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers (Rexall Place)

Time: 5:00 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: The Copper & Blue

Oilers (projected) lineup:

Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
Perron-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Ference-Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Fraser-Larsen

Scrivens

Injured: Anton Belov; Scratched: Anton Lander, Oscar Klefbom

Kings (projected) lineup:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Williams
Toffoli-Richards-Carter
King-Stoll-Brown
Clifford-Lewis-Nolan

Muzzin-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Mitchell-Martinez

Quick

Injured: n/a; Scratched: Matt Greene, Tanner Pearson

Game Notes:

  • LOOK AT THAT TOP SIX. JUST LOOK AT IT. If you're not ready to marry that beautiful top six (or at least make some babies with it), then you are dead on the inside or a Sharks fan and you should get the hell out.
  • I know I do a lot of complaining in this space about Darryl Sutter's unwillingness to make lineup changes after wins, and his bizarre choices when he does make lineup changes (Jordan Nolan as LW2???), but I really like the way the team looks right now. Marian Gaborik on the top line is the best place for him to be, Tyler Toffoli will still get a ton of ice time beside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, and the King-Stoll-Brown line has performed well as a unit and has also helped revive Dustin Brown's individual game. It's all so beautiful I could swoon.
  • The Oilers' top six is not bad either, but reading through their lineup is so depressing. It starts off pretty solidly with good young talent, and then it gets kind of bleak with my personal nemesis Ryan Smyth, and then oh no Mark Fraser oh please make it stop. I know I should be thankful that a divisional rival is so incapable of getting their shit together, but it's mostly just depressing and tedious to watch them bumble their way through game after game.
  • That being said, the Oilers are in the midst of a nice little run, 6-2-2 in their last 10, and hoping to win their third straight game tonight. The Kings' six-game win streak is currently tops in the league, and they are, as you know, undefeated since the Olympic break.
  • Of course, none of this matters because, as you also know, past possession numbers are a better statistical predictor of future success than past wins. Here is tonight's ~Fun With Numbers~ from Extra Skater. In short, the Oilers a)are much worse at puck possession than the Kings, b)have been noticeably luckier than the Kings recently, and c)should definitely not be paying Luke Gazdic to be playing hockey at the NHL level.
  • We say this constantly around here, but look at that Kings usage chart - jeez louise, how good is Anze Kopitar? Highest quality of competition on the team, lowest zone start ratio, and still has the puck a completely disconcerting amount of the time. <3 Anze <3
  • The power play was good against Winnipeg. Please keep being good, power play! That is my #analysis.
  • Prediction: Kings win 5-1, because we need Nail Yakupov to score and celebrate to generate more silly fake controversy, or something.
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