The Edmonton Oilers look to bounce back after a 4-3 loss in game one tonight as they take on the Los Angeles Kings in game 2 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
The Angels King’s
Tonight is the night where we get to see what this Edmonton Oilers team is made of. Being down 1-0 in a best of 7 series isn’t anything to worry about. If you end up down 2-0 while losing both of your home games then there is some trouble.
In this series there were lots of people who picked the Edmonton Oilers to win the series, but not many picked a sweep. That means they assumed that LA would win at least one game. They have already won that game, so there isn’t a reason for Oilers fans to freak out.
I think the main reason Oilers fans are nervous is how they lost that game. The play of Mike Smith was okay at best, then on top of that he was almost 100% responsible for the Kings scoring the game winning goal. Goaltending throughout the season was a question mark, and Smith having a bit of an off game is worrisome.
This is why I think it’s a good idea he is starting again tonight. He does have the ability to bounce back and give a solid performance. Plus as I have been saying all year his high mark of him is higher than Koskinen’s, so it makes sense for him to make the start again tonight.
Edmonton Oilers 5v5 Issues
Looking at last game the Los Angeles Kings played almost a perfect game 5v5. They outscored the Oilers 4-1 while at even strength. The Edmonton Oilers have room to grow even, which is a good sign. Edmonton lost by 1 goal, that was a bit of gift, and they played a bad game 5 on 5. If they play better 5v5 they should win this game.
To me the line that needs to be better is the Nugent-Hopkins line. They just didn’t seem to have any chance to score in the last game. They were out against for goals against as well. If you line isn’t producing offense you can’t be giving up goals as well. They need to at least break even tonight for the Oilers to win.
Don’t Let Quick Win
Last game the Los Angeles Kings got better goaltending than the Edmonton Oilers. Jonathan Quick was showing some shades of 2012-2014 out there. The Edmonton Oilers cannot let Quick get in their head.
When a team lets the opposing goalie get in their head, they start over thinking about how to score goals and the game plan goes out the window. While Quick made several large save last game they did get 3 pucks past him and in the net.
They need to focus on the 3 goals they scored and not focus on 36 saves Quickly made. If they are able to get more time zone this LA Kings will eventually open up a spot where the Oilers can capitalize. The defensive group on the Kings isn’t good enough to hold back the Oilers for a whole game without giving up chances.
Play Edmonton Oilers Hockey
As I mentioned above the Edmonton Oilers aren’t in danger of losing this series after losing game 1. Since they aren’t in danger there is no reason to change the way they play the game. They have won a majority of their games playing under Jay Woodcroft.
If this team changes the way they play it is only going to hurt them. When they play the way Woodcroft wants them to, they simply win more games. One loss doesn’t change that. Whether you are worried about not scoring on a good goalie or you are getting beat 5v5, over time if you play your game thing will work themselves out.
Another factor I think in the loss on Monday was the energy the team had at the start of the game. I think Edmonton was too pumped up at the start of the game. The Kings were the better team in the first period, no doubt.
Once McDavid scored that goal, Edmonton calmed down during intermission and was the better team in the 2nd period. If they can play that way for 60 minutes and the Kings will be in trouble.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Lines
Los Angeles Kings Projected Lines
Playoff Game #2
Opponent: Los Angeles Kings
Location: Rogers Place
Time: 8:00 PM
Live Stream: FuboTV
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Betting Odds: WynnBET
The Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings betting odds on WynnBET have Kings as +1.5 point underdogs tonight, while the Oilers are the favorites at -1.5. Edmonton is also favored with a Moneyline odd of -195 on the night while Los Angeles is sitting at +160. Tonight’s game is expected to be high-scoring with an over/under of 6.5 goals on the night.