Tonight the Oil take on the Defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings as they try to get their first win of the season. The pressure is starting to mount against the Kings to finally put one in the W column so they should be ready to play at puck drop. Lets just hope the Oilers are ready, or at least more ready than they were against the Sharks. Now I’m willing to forgive Tuesday’s effort but they have to at least look like a collection of highly paid professionals before I grant absolution.
The fact is that the Oilers are a young team and their inexperience showed at the home opener. A veteran club came in and wasnt fazed by the
horrible anthem singer celebration. The Kings arent the same type of Veteran team the Sharks are but they have proven to be able to put it together when it all counts. And for them it’s beginning to count.
There are a few members of the Kings that know these parts very well and likely get some extra jump in their step when they come back here to play. Even after winning the Cup the Kings are over shadowed by the other major Los Angeles sporting franchises. Now the Kings walking into a place where Hockey is King in the eye of the local Sports fan. These guys should feed off of that energy and come out of the gate so the Oilers must be prepared.
Oilers Keys to the Game
1) Nail’s Hammer
There werent too many positives in the 1st period for the Oilers against the Sharks except for Nail Yakupov’s one timer on the powerplay for his 1st NHL goal. The kid is a sniper who will be giving goalies fits for years to come. A Hummingbird’s heartbeat thinks the puck leaves Yak’s stick crazy fast. I honestly think that he has the opportunity to be in the same conversation as Brett Hull when it comes to one-time shots. Kid is special.
2) Be Prepared
That 1st period was an embarrassment. No way around it. They were unprepared to start that game. Players were running around or standing still, Dubnyk looked less like a Starter and more like one of the 3 Stooges out there. Seriously, he was one Moe style Eye Poke away from being in Black and White. The Oilers can ill afford to come out of the gate two games in a row looking like a bunch of amateurs.
3) Channel your Inner Lady Bing
Penalties early and often have been the name of the game for the Oilers. That has to end. The team cant afford another first-shift brain-dead penalty called against them. There have been some ticky tack calls but there have also been a fair share of no doubters committed by the Oil. It’s time for them to smarten up and quit giving chances to the opposition. It ought to be the Oilers making everyone else fear their powerplay. They have enough speed and skill to be drawing penalties pretty easily but some brain cramps are causing the chances to flow the wrong direction. Once it starts going the right way teams are going to loathe playing the Oilers.
Game time is 7:30 on TSN. Game On!