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Game Day Preview #23, Edmonton Oilers @ Los Angeles Kings

I don’t know what you, personally, need to do to get excited about this game, but go ahead and do it. Just for fun.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

HOW TO WATCH

Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: iHeart Radio
The Opposition: The Copper & Blue

Well, The Hits Start Coming And They Don’t Stop Coming

I was just settling in to write this preview today and:

So, I mean, sure. Why not. Nothing about this season, all twenty-whatever games of it, has been particularly fun. So let’s just keep piling it on.

With Hagelin out, Mike Amadio has been recalled and should draw in tonight. Hagelin’s injury, termed a week-to-week lower body injury, is concerning at this point largely because if what it may do to his trade value at the deadline. It’d be nice to see Hagelin play well and contribute just so the Kings have something warm and fuzzy to get excited about, but trade deadline value is ultimately going to be Hagelin’s true contribution to this team, so heal up, buddy.

There’s no clear indication from last night’s game as to where Hagelin was hurt. He didn’t play in the last seven minutes of the period, but without knowing he was injured, that could have easily been a coach’s choice more than anything else.

Anyway. Just one more injury. This season’s trajectory can’t be blamed on injured players — maybe Quick steals a game or two, maybe Brown not missing the first chunk of the season would have made more of a difference — but at the same time, it’s just one more insult to, well, injury to throw on top of this awful, awful season.

Usually There’s Another Topic Here

But, uh. There’s just not much to say about this team.

No one, aside from some of the kids — thanks, Matt Luff — stands out on ice. Petersen’s trying hard to overcome the deficiencies of the team in front of him. Phaneuf at least took the hit for his turnover to Elias Pettersson, but saying you need to be better after the game doesn’t make much of a difference when the damage is already done. Just be better. Think a little harder. I don’t know, man.

They couldn’t even get quality shots on Vancouver. The Oilers might struggle at things like “defense and life in general when Connor McDavid isn’t on the ice,” but they’re certainly as porous defensively as the Canucks.

It’s going to be a long night, probably.

The Opposition

Connor McDavid.

There, end of story.

Okay, no. The Oilers fired head coach Tod McClellan and immediately replaced him with an un-retired Ken Hitchcock, who then immediately started talking some nonsense about Connor McDavid and playing better defense and, well:

Connor McDavid’s defense is not the problem with the Oilers.

The Kings have managed to hold McDavid relatively in check throughout his career — five goals and six assists over 12 career games against Los Angeles. “Almost a point per game” maybe isn’t exactly “in check”, but it’s better than many of the other Pacific division teams, which have to see the most of McDavid. So we’ll take what we can get.

Quick, Watch This