The Oilers looked awful against the Kings. Can they rebound against weaker competition?
"The Oilers are a young team learning how to win," has become a common refrain used to excuse some poor performances this season. But none have been poorer than the game against the Kings, a game in which Hemsky, Hall, Hartikainen and Paajarvi showed up, but the rest of the team was there to collect a paycheck.
Learning how to win is really the key to hockey, not actually playing good hockey. Or something like that. If the team wants to win games, they have to be better. Ralph Krueger has to be better as well, and start caring about line matching, because he's getting his lunch fed to him by almost every opposing coach.
Oilers Report: Devan Dubnyk is back in net and Theo Peckham is now paired with Mark Fistric on the bottom pairing, because according to coach Ralph Krueger, Peckham is "tough to play against." There are few statements less true than that one. Peckham has been overwhelmed by NHL play for the bulk of his career, and were it not for the Oilers paying names like Strudwick, Barker, and Chorney during his time with the team, Peckham would be considered one of the worst defenseman in the NHL. The Oilers need to bounce back, especially Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who spent most of the game against Los Angeles watching Taylor Hall play; and Sam Gagner, who somehow has added the dreaded drop pass to the opponent back to his repertoire. Keep on eye on Paajarvi and Hartikainen - the two have been the Oilers best players on the boards this season.
Expected Line Combinations
Theo Peckham -
By The Numbers