|11-21-3, .714 p/g||Ranks||22-8-4, 1.412 p/g|
|Western Conf: 14th||Western Conf: 4th|
- The Oilers played better in Anaheim. They even scored a goal, two of 'em to be exact. A late goal from Dustin Penner helped shut the door for Anaheim, and the Oilers slipped out of the Pond with zero points. Fret not, gentle reader. This is only game 36 of the season! We're somehow not halfway through this year yet, there are 46 more games for the Oilers to avenge that loss. The avenging begins tonight in Los Angeles, where a Kings team is allowing less than two goals per game. No sweat.
The Oilers are saying:
"Hemmer's been great for us this year, he's a guy that's been all in since day one, his attitude's been excellent"
That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on Ales Hemsky
Coach Eakins fielded some question from Edmonton Journal reporter Jim Matheson about Ales Hemsky. Write your own narrative about that one, it looks pretty crystal clear from here. Ales Hemsky missed last game with a rib injury, and Journal reporter Jim Matheson asked Coach Eakins about Hemsky's "bad rep" (?). Eakins replied that he thought that was "a bunch of crap", and that Hemsky has been damn near a model of efficiency so far this year.
I cannot explain to you in words how happy that clip made me. Go watch it twice.
Hemsky has 18 points in 34 games, good for fifth on the team in scoring. Sign that dude for a couple more years.
The Opponent is saying:
"Well, you can't chase the lead against a team that's...what are they, 30 or 40 goals ahead of everybody else in the League? Pretty tough to chase the lead"
That's Kings coach Darryl Sutter on chasing the potent Blackhawks on the scoreboard.
There are about 400 good teams in the West. The Oilers aren't one of them, but the Kings are. The Kings lost for just the eighth time this season, dropping a 3-1 loss to Chicago on Sunday. The loss ended a six game winning streak, and the Oilers are in the envious position of trying to keep Los Angeles on the ropes for more than a game. The Oilers have a couple things going for them - Los Angeles is fourth overall when five on five, and the Kings are the stingiest team in the league for goals against. Now that you mention it, that doesn't help the Oilers out at all.
- SCRIVENS! - While Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick continues to recover from a groin injury, Ben Scrivens is enjoying his time in the limelight. Scrivens is playing out of his mind with a .941 SV%. Completely unsustainable? Absolutely, but you know Scrivens is loving life right now. He's 7-3-4 in sixteen games this year. Backing up Scrivens is Martin Jones, who's got a 5-0 record to go along with a .961 SV%. What does it all mean? The Kings are doing OK in goal so far. Like, really good, even without Jonathan Quick.
- Don't mean to harsh your mellow, but Corey Potter will be out for the first of two games serving a suspension for an ugly hit on Anaheim's Nick Bonnino. I'm sorry, you guys. But hey, we do get Anton Belov back.
- Ales Hemsky is a coin flip for today's game. If he's a no go, look for Ryan Smyth to take his place once more. UPDATE: Looks like both Smyth and Hemsky will be on line three, and Jesse Joensuu is out on line four per Eakins' conversation with the media today.
Projected Lines & Pairings:
The Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Smyth - Boyd Gordon - Ales Hemsky
Luke Gazdic - Mark Arcobello - Ryan Jones