Edmonton Oilers Vs Kings: Three Things Too Watch For In This Series
Now that the matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings is official we can now start looking into and directing these two teams and how they pair up. There are many different aspects that can play a role in this series. Here are the three that I am going to keep an eye on the most.
Coming into this series this is really the first time the Edmonton Oilers have had a healthy lineup since they traded for Mattias Ekholm. The game on Thursday with San Jose was the only game they played with that lineup so far.
The same can not be said for the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have several injuries and key injuries on top of that. The most important players injured for them are Kevin Fiala and Gabriel Vilardi. These two players currently sit 4th and 5th on the Kings in goals. If these two players aren’t in the lineup for game one that is a huge advantage for the Edmonton Oilers.
If they are in the lineup I would give the advantage to the Edmonton Oilers, but it is a closer series. With them out of the lineup, I don’t see the Kings having a chance of beating the Edmonton Oilers in a best of 7 series.
Edmonton Oilers Top 6
The high-end skill in this series heavily favours the Edmonton Oilers. If you take the top 5 point getters for the Edmonton Oilers(McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Hyman and Nurse) their point total added together is 511 points.
If you add up the top 5 for the Los Angeles Kings(Kopitar, Fiala, Kempe, Arvidsson and Danault) their point total is only 326 points. That is a difference of 185 points. Stopping the Oilers top players will be priority number one for the Kings, I just don’t think they will be successful at it.
Oilers Can Win In More Than One Way
The one thing I enjoyed about the Edmonton Oilers stretch run was how they were able to beat their opponents in various different ways. Early in this season the Oilers basically had to outscore their defensive mistakes. They were often gifting goals, not making the opposition work for them.
Over the last month or so the Oilers have really tightened up defensively by limiting their goals and chances against. This all starts by not gifting the other teams high-danger chances. I think the acquisition of Mattias Ekholm was a major part of that.
Ekohlm has helped calm down this defensive group, while also giving them another high-end defender. Since joining the Oilers, Ekholm has been a +28 in his 21 games. With that number he actually leads the Oilers, Nurse is second with a +26. While most people doubt the +/- stat, it is a good guideline to show how affects the game in a positive way.
The good news for the Edmonton Oilers is if for some reason the Los Angeles Kings want to shift this series to a run-and-gun style series they can do that as well. That is where the Oilers in the past have found the most success.
This is why if I was a Kings fan I would be nervous about this series. In the last two games of the season against the Oilers the Kings go beat at their own game. If the Kings lose this series in my opinion it will be because the Oilers beat themselves not that the Kings beat them.