Edmonton Oilers Steal Win From L.A. Kings


The Edmonton Oilers beat the La Kings tonight to earn their second win of the month and 8th in the 37 game old season. First Game Todd Nelson is the true Head Coach and he got his first win. Make no mistake, this was a highway robbery by the Oilers, who were crushed in every statistical category by a Kings side who was playing the second half of back to back games and had some players experiencing flu symptoms. But a win is a win, so take it and run.

Here are some observations from the game:

The Positives:

  • The team was playing disciplined in their own zone. There was only one 5 alarm chance given to the Kings and it didn’t end up in goal. There were no defensive breakdowns leading to breakaways or easy shots.
  • Ben Scrivens was solid, if not spectacular. He did what he needed to and gave his team a chance and even withstood coach Sutter’s attempt to psyche him out during the shoot out.
  • New addition Derek Roy made an impact right away with a nice assist to Hendricks for the opening goal of the game.
  • Todd Nelson was finally given the reins as head coach and he can now proudly say he won his first game as the true head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. Congratulations Coach Nelson.
  • Ryan Nugent Hopkins continues to be solid and is one of 2, maybe 3 players who show up night in and night out. Some people say give the C to Hall because he is the best player, but a captain is a guy who leads by example and RNH has been that this season.
  • The music at Rexall is so much better. Playing Oh Fortuna by Carmina Burana just before the shoot out was a pretty dramatic choice, and then blasting the Hallelujah chorus of Haendel’s Messiah after the winning shoot out goal was pure cheeky genius.
  • Every Oilers broke into the double digits for TOI, which means Todd Nelson spread the load and only relied on some players when he absolutely needed to. Justin Schultz for example was 4th amongst d men in ice time with Petry topping the roster at over 25 mins. Nikitin was the sixth d man by ice time.
  • Nail Yakupov, Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl sticking up for themselves. These 3 guys let the Kings know what happens if you come after them. There hasn’t been nearly enough of this attitude with the Oilers. Yes they were penalized, but the rivals were thinking twice before coming after them.
  • The shoot out strategy. Mixing up the shooters seems to have worked. Derek Roy came out of left field as the first at bat, and even though he didn’t score, he might have thrown Quick off a bit.

The Negatives:

  • The Oilers got massacred on all fronts except the score. Their final shot count at evens was 34-13, advantage LA. The Oilers started the third period up 2-0, but got outshot 12-1 at evens and the Kings tied the game. The Oilers raw Corsi (all shots attempted) was 37.23% and their raw Fenwick (Corsi-blocked shots) was 34.38% (all at even strength). Their faceoff percentage in all situations was 37% with RNH the best center at 44% and new Oiler Derek Roy at 33%. Every other stat tells the same story, but you get the idea. The difference in this game was solid goaltending and keeping the opposition outside of prime shooting areas as well as preventing those damning defensive breakdowns.
  • The Power Play continues to be dry with the home side going 0 for 3.
  • Ben Scrivens was solid, but he did let in a very suspect goal late in the game that gave the Kings the tie. He did remain strong after and all the way to the shoot out.
  • Derek Roy was skate-stomped by Brayden McNabb during the first period and left. He came back and later in an intermission interview said he needed stitches. Hopefully it was just a scratch and he won’t see ice time diminished, because the last thing this team needs is being down a center.
  • Matt Fraser was showing some grit in the first period but disappeared as the game went on. Despite being touted as a shooter, he finished with 2 shots total with almost 3 minutes of PP time.

The Awkward Moment of The Game:

  • Darryl Sutter‘s shoot out shenanigans. The LA coach made the officials enforce an obscure rule that says the goalie’s pad can only use white tape on the knob. Cheap attempt at psyching out Scrivens, didn’t work.

The Oilers close out December with a New Year’s eve game against the flames in Calgary. Game time is 7:30.

Team Canada will also be in action against the USA at the World Juniors. That game is at 2 pm on TSN.

*Stats used came from waronice.com and oilers.nhl.com