The Oilers had a breakout game against Colorado, but it's only a breakout if the break keeps rolling. Can they beat the Kings and move into the upper portion of the West?
|5-6-2, 0.92 p/g
||6-5-3, 1.07 p/g|
|Western Conf: 13th||Western Conf: 7th|
8:00 p.m. MST | TSN
Top Story: Taylor Hall is the Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla and no one can stop him. Hall's recent dominance has been spectacular to watch as he's been so good, he's pulling the team along with him. The Oilers still have all sorts of problems on defense and their two top defenders are nursing injuries.
Jonathan Quick has gone cold and the Kings are being run over by the percentages (and the Blackhawks). Though the Kings are bound to break out of the slump, the Oilers are bound to do the same. The Kings underlying numbers show that they aren't going to be in the basement for long, but the short season might prevent them from getting to the top of the division. The Oilers need to take advantage and put some points away.
The Oilers are saying:
That was a helluva bounce back game for Ryan Whitney after a rough start. Hasn't dished the puck like that in awhile.— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) February 17, 2013
"That was a helluva bounce back game for Ryan Whitney after a rough start. Hasn't dished the puck like that in awhile."
--Edmonton sports writer Robin Brownlee, on Ryan Whitney's game against Colorado.
The Edmonton sports writers guild has a bizarre loyalty to Whitney, as we've detailed previously. Brownlee's tweet is another example of that loyalty. Whitney was awful against Colorado, making key mistakes throughout the first, causing Ralph Krueger to demote him back to the third pairing.
The Opponent is saying:
"Sometimes bounces just don't go your way. We're not scoring a lot of even strength goals. And if you're playing a lot of minutes, pretty much half the game, your're going to be out there for goals against."
The percentages, and Jonathan Quick's shoddy goaltending, are submarining the Kings right now. Toss in the injury to Willie Mitchell, and Doughty has taken on more minutes in the middle of a numbers whipsaw.
Key matchup: Not to sound like a broken record, but it's the Kings entire team against Taylor Hall. He's wrecked three straight basement-dwelling teams - can he wreck a basement dweller that won't be in the basement much longer?
Edmonton Oilers Injuries
Los Angeles Kings Injuries