This afternoon’s matchup with the Los Angeles Kings will be paramount to the Oilers’ keeping up with the rest of the Playoff teams.
The Oilers cannot regain a playoff spot with a win, but they will only be 1 point back from the 8th spot if they can get the victory. This Playoff race is going to be an uphill battle and Edmonton will have to beat some superior teams in order to make the dance. These are exciting times.
Thursday’s game against the Canucks was tough to watch. I was as tired as the team looked, and the team looked completely gassed. From the first drop of the puck the Canucks out-skated the Oilers. No doubt the club looked every bit like one that was on the second half of a back to back and in its 4th game in 6 nights. They just were not into that game at all.
Now with a night to rest the Oilers have to start another winning streak on the heels of breaking their last one. The Kings are a good club with a +16 Goal Differential. They also sport a 13-4-1 Home record, so getting a Win here will be no easy task.
Oilers Keys to the Game
1) Stay Disciplined
The Oilers took a few bad penalties against the Canucks. Some were phantom calls, but others were out of laziness or mental lapses. They have to limit those mistakes. The Kings are a bigger team than Edmonton but they also have a world class diver for a Captain in Dustin Brown. The guy is an embarrassment to the NHL but also a Stanley Cup winning Captain so the refs are never too eager to label him the diver he is.
2) Speed Kills
The Oilers were dragging anchors in Vancouver and were completely outmatched, but with the rest they got they need to play with the classic Oiler speed that was this team’s Identity for decades. The team has several players capable of playing at full speed and thats an advantage that cant be allowed to go unused. Whether its Hall, Paajarvi, or even a Ryan Jones, good things happen when they are in full flight. Conversely, they can look pretty average when things get slowed down.
3) Dont Let One Loss Derail You
The team lost by shutout, but that cant end the good work that got them to where they are today. They need to forget that loss and put in Blue Collar effort today to get right back into a new streak. The big warning to young teams is dont get too high and dont get too low. Right now the Oilers cant afford to get too low. This team needs to stay hungry.
Puck drops this afternoon at 2:08 PM Mountain Time on Sportsnet. Game On!