Well the Oilers faced yet another "tired" team after the LA Kings faced the Flames the night before in a game that went to a shootout. As we've seen before this season the Oilers came out flat and let a good team out possess them and out play them. The Kings played the Oilers like they were a bunch of peewee players and didn't let them do much of anything. Thank God this was game 81.
Before the game started Bob MacKenzie tweeted this out.
No official confirmation but expectation is Ryan Smyth planning to announce his retirement and Saturday vs. VAN will be his final NHL game.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 11, 2014
Yep thats right in what may have been Smyth's second to last game of his career this is what the Oilers came out with.
19:33 Goal - So Dallas Eakins decided that the best defensive match up to face the Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams line was the (plays like a veteran) Justin Schultz and the (shiny new defenceman) Oscar Klefbom. This pairing would prove to be a mess against the Kings tonight but this goal was on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who just didn't take his check. Also to blame here is Viktor Fasth, look at his positioning he is just not ready for the obvious pass to the slot.
11:00 Goal - Oh look at the defensive pairing on the ice and look at the line they are facing. What a mess! Granted this goal is really due to the fan by Willie Mitchell but come on!
4:09 - Sam Gagner gets called for tripping (Oilers PK)
3:10 - Jarret Stoll hits the post with a shot from the top of the faceoff circle and it hits Fasth in back and float wide. Williams has a wide open net but can't get a handle on it. After this chance the kings put out their C squad on the power play.
2:09 - Oilers kill off the penalty
19:03 - David Perron steals the pack at the Kings blue line and drives to the net and gets Martin Jones completely out of position. Perron goes behind the net and gets a pass out to Taylor Hall who thinks he has a wide open net but Jones stretches out and makes the save. (FWIW this is the Oilers best scoring chance of the game. I won't take offence if you skip past the rest of the game notes because it just gets worse from here on)
18:15 - Ryan Smyth gets chance on the wrap around but Jones is there to stop him
15:05 - Dwight King circles around as the Oilers try to clear the zone and ends up getting the puck for a partial break away but Fasth makes the pad save.
14:49 - Oilers penalty for Too Many Men on the Ice (Oilers PK)
14:10 - Gaborik gets a quick shot away but again Fasth makes the stop
13:57 - Gaborik again gets a shot from a sharp angle
10:42 - Gagner falls awkwardly after trying to throw a hit and gets injured. He would not return to the game and later on Dallas Eakins announced that he wouldn't be playing on Saturday either.
10:26 - Klefbom skates up with the puck and centres it and it goes off a skate and Jones makes the stop.
6:05 - Gaborik scores on Fasth on a shot from the blue line as he enters the zone. Once again this one is on Fasth.
15:57 - Schultz keeps the pass in at the blue line and skates it up and gets a pretty good chance but once again Jones makes the stop
13:06 - Schultz again, he gets a pass from Smyth but again is denied by Jones
13:05 - Perron gets called fro roughing (Oilers PK)
11:05 - Oilers kill off the penalty
7:06 - Gaborik gets a step on Schultz and gets another good chance but Fasth makes the stop
6:46 - Hall gets called for Highsticking on Slava Voynov (Oilers PK)
5:57 - Gaborik scores his hat trick goal but it is immediately waived off due to goaltender interference but there is no penalty on the play
2:47 - Nugent-Hopkins gets a nice pass to Hall from behind the net but Hall shoots it over the net
0:57 - Perron gets another chance from the face off dot but again Jones makes the stop
Game Rating: 1 out 10
This was a brutal game to watch let alone track. The Oilers couldn't maintain possession for more than a single shot on net at a time. Fasth is a bit of wreck to watch because he just can't seem to figure out positioning. The defensive paring of Schultz and Klefbom was not nice to watch either. This was an all around cluster f**k.
There was nothing good about this game and the Oilers were 2 shots shy of allowing 50+ shots against once again.
So lets have some fun. Tonight we visit the Edmonton Journal's own Hockey Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson and his great observation of the game.
That was Kopitar's 200th NHL goal, beating his old teammate Scrivens.#Oilers— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) April 11, 2014
Here is the problem with this statement Ben Scrivens wasn't playing today it was Viktor Fasth! But what do we know we only care about stats not like these guys that are paid to watch the game. What a joke!
IT'S FINALLY OVER! The Oilers face the Vancouver Canucks on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. Game 82 and then we can all just forget this season!