Less than two minutes into the first period, Brandon Davidson was charged with interference after getting mixed up with Marian Gaborik. Lucky for the Oilers and their league-worst home PK, the visitors' road PP is also just as bad, and they managed to escape unscathed. Not giving up an early PP goal is a big deal these days.
The Kings kept their foot on the gas after the penalty expired, and demanded all of Cam Talbot's attention through the first four minutes. In fact, it looked a bit like a shooting gallery. It wasn't encouraging, start-wise, is my point. Like this article. It’s rocky, folks.
But, say what you will about the Oilers - for example, I will say they should fire their GM because he's a hack who's not good at his job and probably doesn't satisfy his wife - but they do still have Connor McDavid. And of course, the newly-minted Molson Cup champion was heavily involved in the Oilers' first real chance, after walking Drew "Is As Good As And Therefore Worth As Much As Erik Karlsson" Doughty. FWIW, that's a terrible nickname, and I don't know why he would require his closest friends say that to him every time they address him. But, I'm not him. It's not my business. The tea, etc.
However, as we know, McDavid can't play every shift. As a result of this horrible inefficiency in their roster make-up being exposed, the Kings were able to regain control as soon as he got off the ice. Not for long though, as by the time it took me to settle on how I wanted to word that last sentence (yes, that took actual thought), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was doing wide work on the right flank and drawing a penalty.
The Oilers were able to create some chances on the powerplay and, though they couldn't find one, they managed to generate some momentum at even strength after it expired. The Oilers had some life, but still, too much of that good stuff was flowing through The Young Pope.
With around 5 minutes left in the opening frame, McDavid tried to take over. Some nifty work in the Kings' zone saw him just miss Andrej Sekera on the far post for a tap-in, before finding Jesse "Roses Really Smell Like" Puljuju-jarvi (let me have this) near side.
A turnover down low saw the puck find Leon Draisaitl basically all alone against Jonathan Quick, but the Good Doctor couldn't find one. The Kings clapped back with Tanner Pearson finding space in the danger zone, but Cam "Don't Call Me Kenny Loggins Because That's Not My Name" Talbot stood tall. I mean he butterflied still, but he did good. He didn’t literally stand.
Shortly after, Patrick Maroon almost poke-checked one past Quck after some nice forechecking, and apparently pissed off some Kings. On his way back to the bench he told them what his thoughts were on North Korea, and this did not sit well with those socialist, Hollywood hippies. Needless to say, Drew Remenda had to try his very best to stop from fully ejaculating during this whole sequence.
The Oilers grew into the more assertive team as the period wore on, but neither side was able to find paydirt. 0-0.
Full disclosure: my chicken came during the first couple of minutes. Right in the middle of a period of sustained pressure from the Kings. The Oilers weren't able to muster much of anything before some things happened and I mean, you saw it. You watched the game. You didn't come here because you didn’t watch the game.
McDavid drew a penalty roughly seven minutes in, sending the Oilers to their second man-advantage of the evening. Unfortunately, the home side's profligacy on the power play continued, and the Kings were able to kill the penalty without incident.
With just over six minutes left in the period, Torrey Mitchell found a streaking Andy "It's not Andre, No, But It's Still Pretty Bad, Name-wise" Andreoff all alone who promptly beat Talbot to his left with a low wrist shot. It's worth mentioning that Kris Russell's ill-advised pinch was really, really bad. So was the lack of support from the off-side winger but either way, it's the kind of shit you can't afford to be doing when I'M TRYING TO EAT MY GODDAMNED CHICKEN.
Like a minute later, the Oilers were caught sleeping again, this time with Adam "The Price You Pay When You Don't Know How Prices Or Paying Works" Larsson looking quite the doofus. Tanner Pearson had a breakaway from the blueline in, but this time Talbot was able to deny the opportunity. Larsson took a penalty to sort of perfectly accentuate the good feelings we all have about a trade that nobody talks about anymore because we're all over it. I may have cut up Visa's until I got shipped one with the secret code '141' but that's surely coincidental, and quite frankly none of your business.
Anyway, the rest of the period existed until the final minute, when the going got good. McDavid was McDaviding everywhere, and the puck eventually hit, and then fell to, Jesse Puljujarvi, who hadn't seen a Cage that wide since Face/Off. Unfortunately, this must have thrown him off, as the Joker from Jokerit (I do not know where he's from but that is an objectively good nickname given how his face looks) hit the crossbar and threw his arms up as if he knew that he would not be eating pizza this day.
Not long after that, Patrick Maroon caught Doughty with a pretty disgusting blindside to the head. I know, it was shoulder, and keep your head up and whatever, but like. Doughty was obviously fucked, as immediately after he introduced his own forehead to the dashers for no reason. Well, assuming you don't consider brain trauma a reason.
Derek Forbort tried to let Maroon know, with his closed fists, that he was aggrieved. Maroon obliged, and the two hugged each other intimately until someone in a different shirt stopped them. Maroon was then given a match penalty (complete with 5-minute major for the rest of his team to kill) ejected, because that hit was shitty.
The second period ended with the Oilers down 1-0, and the Kings down one Norris Trophy winner. Who is as good as Erik Karlsson. Seriously though, hope he's OK. I'd rather watch Drew Doughty than like most of the other defensemen in the league still so it would be better for my own personal interest in the league if more of it's better players were playing in it.
The Kings scored on the powerplay almost immediately. Marian Gaborik found some space in the high slot and ripped a shot high to Talbot's left. Is there a theme here?! Is Talbot bad to his left?!
Drew Doughty came back, so that's good. Not for the Oilers, or people who like full sets of teeth, but for the rest of us. Generally. It's better when people aren't seriously hurt.
The Kings scored again. On the same powerplay. So now it's 3-0. The Kings have the worst PP on the road. The Oilers are bags of trash.
The Kings scored. Again. On the same powerplay. So, now it's 4-0. The Kings have the worst PP on the road. The Oilers are bags of trash full of human poop that someone has lit on fire.
Perhaps if Jesse Puljujarvi scored that one time, this game might have been different. Perhaps if Patrick Maroon say, wasn't a dick, this game might have been different.
Perhaps. Unfortunately, we're speaking purely hypothetically here. This is just one more, in a long line of nightmare results for this club this season. Like yes, Talbot has been that bad, and they might actually be a playoff team if he played as good as he did last season. But still. First of all, fuck me if that’s good enough after the last ten-plus seasons. Secondly, we're again looking at an Oilers club that's been mostly healthy, that has the reigning Art Ross, Hart, and Pearson trophy-winning twenty-year-old on an ELC, and that is effectively out of playoff contention two days into 2018. What the actual fuck!? How are like so many people not looking for new jobs right now?!
The rest of the game happened and people probably watched. I was not one of those people. I am not at all sorry.
This win brings Jonathan Quick to 21-3-5 against the Oilers. I wrote this with the game clock at 11:00. It took me awhile to find the motivation to publish it.
Up next? The Oilers will continue to pretend like they have a hope in hell. I will be doing other things. It ended up being 5-0. What a joke.