3 things to watch for as Oilers head out for three-game West coast trip

As the Oilers prepare to return to action on Thursday night, we look at three things which will help shape their road trip out West to California.
Edmonton Oilers v New Jersey Devils
Edmonton Oilers v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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2) Take advantage of a so-so home record

The Oilers and Kings will forever be linked by the trade which shook up the world of hockey. And while Wayne Gretzky leaving Edmonton was a negative for Oilers fans, it undoubtedly helped the NHL grow in the United States.

More recently, the Kings have been on the losing side to the Oilers when it has counted most. More specifically, with the Oilers knocking their Los Angeles rivals out of the playoffs the previous two seasons.

As such, even though a regular season win won't really constitute revenge, the Kings will still be motivated to get one over on the Oilers. Bizarrely though, it's arguably better for Knoblauch and his players, that the game is being played in Los Angeles rather than Edmonton.

That's because the Kings' have been decidedly average at Crypto.com Arena so far in 2023-24, with a 6-6-3 record. By comparison they are a spectacular 13-1-1 on their travels, unsurprisingly the best road record in the NHL.

In any event, the Kings are where the Oilers want to be, i.e. in a playoff position. Entering the Christmas break, the team from Los Angeles are in the third Pacific Division playoff spot and 11 points ahead of the Oilers.

Last season the Oilers won three of the five games they played on the road versus the Kings, including two of three in the playoffs. All were high-scoring affairs and this is the most likely road map to the Oilers leaving Los Angeles with another win on Saturday night.