LOS ANGELES — It’s hockey’s most worn out cliché. The one about your greatest gamers needing to be your greatest gamers, if you happen to’re going to (blah blah blah)…
The issue with that exact cliché? It’s sooo true.
“In case your supposedly greatest gamers play the way in which I did,” stated Leon Draisaitl after a 5-1 loss to the final place Los Angeles Kings, “you’re not gonna go very far.”
The Nationwide Hockey League’s main scorer has, on the entire, been the Oilers’ greatest participant by the primary 24 video games. Even higher than Connor McDavid, although calibrating that exact measurement would take a pointy instrument certainly.
The bubble burst on this evening for the large German nonetheless, as his 13-game factors streak was snapped on a minus-three night in L.A. We can not disagree along with his personal evaluation: “(It) begins with me and our line. It wasn’t ok.”
The truth is, the Kings hung a giant ol’ minus-three on the road of McDavid, Draisaitl and Zack Kassian within the opening 20 minutes, the third one being the aim on which Draisaitl was notably derelict, lazily following Jeff Carter to the Oilers internet as he made it Three-Zero with lower than 4 seconds left within the interval.
“The primary one comes off a line change,” stated McDavid, who scored the lone Oilers aim. “We have to do a greater job in protection with that. The second (was) not superb, and the third one additionally (was) not superb.
“It was over fairly early.”
House of the Oilers
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Look — when a group that many picked to overlook the post-season wins 14 of its first 23 video games, they need to be allowed a hiccup or two.
So, a loss at Los Angeles, the place the final place Kings have now gained 5 straight, shouldn’t be deserving of a public dressing down by the coach. Or a very good, quaint carving by the hockey writers, proper?
Everybody prepared to grant the Oilers a stinker can take a step ahead.
Dave Tippett… Why are you standing there?
“Can’t make excuses,” the Oilers head coach stated. “Obtained beat on the primary aim on a simple exterior play. On the second received beat as a result of we had been late getting again to our internet. And on the third poor checking and a aim that ought to by no means go in.
“Take our drugs and study from it.”
Did the Oilers stroll in right here after an announcement recreation in San Jose, see a final place Kings group, and concur that they might win just by tossing their sticks and gloves over the boards? Perhaps, but it surely’s a stretch to assume good quarter-season would breed such confidence on a group that has missed the playoffs for the final two seasons.
Did they’ve an terrible recreation? You wager they did.
Is it as a result of they assume they’re so elite they don’t should dig in in opposition to a group like L.A.? If there may be even a spark of that overconfidence it is going to be extinguished this morning, after a Kings group that’s 12 factors under Edmonton within the Pacific beat the Oilers for enjoyable.
“They performed nicely. We performed actually unhealthy,” stated Draisaitl. “Particularly our line.”
Kings coach Todd McLellan game-planned to try to maintain McDavid and Draisaitl off the rating sheet. Scoring three on them in Interval 1 was absolutely a bonus.
“It definitely makes you’re feeling higher,” McLellan stated. “Our group doesn’t play from forward fairly often, and positively not by three. So it makes you’re feeling a little bit bit higher.
“However relating to 29 and 97, I don’t assume you possibly can take your foot off the fuel. We did a extremely good job of checking them for many of the evening.”
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discuss to lots of people across the hockey world, after which they inform listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they give it some thought.
This loss does, nonetheless, put one other go online a little bit of a disturbing fireplace that has seen the Oilers burn eight factors this season to groups that definitely weren’t beating anybody else fairly often:
• Edmonton misplaced in Chicago, which was the Blackhawks first win of the season. OK, Edmonton was 5-Zero, the Hawks had been determined. We get it.
• In a Three-Zero loss at Minnesota in opposition to a group that was 2-6 coming in, the Wild dominated Edmonton.
• In a Three-1 loss at Detroit, the Oilers merely didn’t match the aggressive stage of a Pink Wings group driving an eight-game shedding streak.
The excellent news is, beating the underside feeders is one thing that a little bit consideration to element can resolve. Beating the highest groups and successful on the street — the place Edmonton is now 7-5-1— are the hallmarks of a very good hockey group, which Edmonton has principally been by its first 24 video games.
Take a breath. It’s just one recreation.
Even Draisaitl and McDavid are going stink the joint out every now and then.