Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Pre-Game: Game #15 Kings vs. Oilers
Oilers have shown a flair for the dramatic this season that has entired the fans thoroughly. As entertaining the Oilers have been, the Oilers are sitting with a 6-5-3 record, good enough for 11th in the conference. So, as entertaining as they have been, there is still a lot of work to do in terms of achieving consistency. Tonight, the Oilers get to face one of those stingy defenses they despise in the Kings. If the Oilers truly want to make it to next level and achieve playoffs, they need to start beating these heavily defensive minded teams. The Oilers managed an offensive outburst against the Avalanche on Saturday, a good a time as any to show it while the whole country is watching. The key to success is goals for the Oilers, without goals the Oilers aren't winning anything. More importantly, its about balance, the Oilers are geting timely goals from the bottom of the lineup when they win, but nothing when they lose. The bottom of the lineup creating goals is the difference between winning and losing. Devan Dubnyk had a tough game on Saturday night, it will be important for him to have a bounce back game. The Oilers may have found an identity when they faced the Avalanche and fired a team record 56 shots at the Colorado goal. Shots on goal is what will alow the Oilers to maintain possession and ultimately wear down their opponent. Since the Oilers are light in the hitting department, shots are the thing that will allow the Oilers to win the attrition game. Even though the Stanley Cup champion Kings are off to a slow start this season, they will be a stiff test for the Oilers. The Oilers beat the Kings 2-1 in overtime earlier this season in the infamous Nail Yakupov goal celebration game. Sam Gagner tallied the winner in that game.
- Neither team is scoring much consistently but the Kings have the type of forwards that have given the Oilers fits in the past.
- Drew Doughty is playing much better recently after getting off to a horrendous start. The Oilers are slowly to show weakness on defense over the past couple of games.
- Jonathan Quick has been stingy this year minus a couple of back breaking goals that resulted in losses. Devan Dubnyk coming off of a tough start.
Special Team Oilers
- Kings special teams are in the bottom half of the league while the Oilers are in the top 10 in both categories.
- Can't really argue with Darryl Sutter and his Stanley Cup ring, at least not yet.
- Oilers have home ice advantage and haven't played since Saturday, so they should be ready to go, in theory.
Game Time - 8 PM MT @ Rexall Place on TSN.