Game Day Preview #76, Los Angeles Kings @ Edmonton Oilers
Is Drew Doughty gonna go say something dumb about Connor McDavid, too?
HOW TO WATCH
Game Time: 6:00 PM Pacific
Radio: iHeart Radio
The Opposition: Copper and Blue
Why Do They Keep Winning, No One Asked For This
Offering up a conundrum for the Lose for Hughes crowd, the Los Angeles Kings have strung three wins together, playing some gutsy, determined hockey against one (1) playoff contender currently mired in a slump, one (1) perennial adversary also looking towards the draft lottery, and one (1) very good team that has finally put the scoring + defense + goaltending puzzle together.
It’s the last win, last night’s over Calgary, that’s the most impressive. Sure, the Flames can afford to coast, what with their 100+ point season and all, but despite absolutely brutalizing the Kings in every measurable statistic — the Flames had an astounding 71.59% Corsi-For at even strength, 72.73% of the game’s high danger scoring chances, and, again, took 42 shots — the game never truly felt in danger. The Flames didn’t get noticeably more shots from the netfront than they did in other areas, and Jack Campbell did an excellent job at soaking up rebounds to earn his first win since February.
The win felt good. The full team effort felt good. Seeing Derek Forbort do something memorable for a good reason was a delight. Seeing Jonny Brodzinski unleash the shot we know he has, but that he’s been given precious few opportunities to show off, was fantastic.
It’s a case of too little, too late for the Kings, though, who seem to have found a groove now, when they’re mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and just a few months away from finding out whether or not Rob Blake is going to blow up the team or if they’re going to get to luxuriate in the presence of Jack Hughes.
Still. Winning’s fun enough, I guess.
The Edmonton Oilers, Everyone
Now that the Oilers front office has taken a break from throwing Tobias Rieder under the bus, lamenting the loss of Matt Hendricks, and stating emphatically that they’re going to go out and search for some top quality defense, they can get back to more important things like “playing hockey games” and “wasting Connor McDavid’s time”.
The Oilers are technically not eliminated but they also just lost to the Ottawa Senators, so. (Never mind that the Kings, too, have lost to the Ottawa Senators.) Whether or not there’s anything to be hopeful for in Edmonton depends probably on the day of the week, the weather forecast, and whether or not they’ll win the draft lottery this year for the millionth time.
You know the story on the Oilers. We all know the story on the Oilers. Stop Connor McDavid, stop Leon Draisaitl, and then don’t get too cocky, because fprmer King Rieder is still looking for that first goal of the season, and scoring it tonight would just be all too apt.
Gambardella will get a look alongside RNH & Chiasson while Koskinen gets the nod in net as the #Oilers look to even the season series vs. LA tonight at home. https://t.co/VBQ6rNGIe5— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 26, 2019