You can say ‘it’s only been 11 games,’ but I don’t think you’d find many people who would have predicted the Oilers would be ahead of the Kings in the standings at any point this season.
While the Kings have often been compared to the Blackhawks of a few years ago, in terms of the young talent throughout the organization coming together and forming a nice core, the Oilers are often compared to the Avalanche of late.
“They have a team that’s somewhat like Colorado,” said Mike Richards. “Quick forwards, a lot of skill and 18, 19-year old kids who are playing really well right now. So, we have to know that and be aware that they’re wanting to come in here and play hard and with nothing to lose. If we can just play our game though, I think we’ll be just fine.”
Rob Scuderi still had a few remnants of the Kings last game to get off his chest before moving on to tonight’s match-up with the Oilers…
“The teams might be built in a similar fashion. But, I thought we severely outplayed Colorado for the majority of the game (on Sunday). “It’s a game we should have won. It happens, but it’s a game we should have won. I’ve only seen the Oilers once this year, in terms of watching them on TV. They have a lot of talented guys. But, we’re a good defensive hockey team. If we stick to what makes us a good defensive hockey team, we’re not really worried about what anyone does.”
However, fellow defenseman Matt Greene saw a few challenges with the Oilers when asked if their speed would pose a problem for the Kings…
“I think so, for some of our guys – meaning for a guy like me. If they’re buzzing around all night, it’s a little tougher game for me. But, I think at the same time, we have a lot of speed on this team too, especially on the back end. If we get that run and gun game going, guys like Marty (Martinez), Jack and Dewey (Doughty), they can really use it to their advantage. If there’s a big transition game, those guys are going. I think those guys are three of the best d-men in the league at going up and down the ice, creating chances and stopping chances. So, I think we’ll be OK.”
According to those three, LA will be just fine, OK and aren’t really worried about things. We’ll know if they were right in just a few short hours.
Other pregame notes:
– Tonight marks the NHL debut of Oilers defenseman Colten Teubert. Of course, he is a former Kings first round draft pick and was shipped to Edmonton in the Dustin Penner trade. To read Teubert’s MayorsManor interview, click here.
– Former King fan favorite, Eric Belanger, is now an Oiler as well. He stopped by MayorsManor last season when he was with Phoenix. He reflected on his time in LA and the special relationship with fans here. Check out that conversation at this link.
– Penner on his possible ‘out of body experience’ playing the Oilers (link)
– Former Oiler captain Ethan Moreau talks highs and lows of playing in Edmonton (link)
– Posted earlier today… Ex-Oilers, now Kings, talk about playing ‘slippery’ Ryan Smyth (link)
– Edmonton-born goaltender Kelly Hrudey thinks that if the Kings could have just beaten those pesky Oilers back in the ’90s, they could have won a Stanley Cup. Read his interview here.
Game time is 7:30pm PST.
As usual, we will be running our first goal contest tonight too. If you’d like a chance at winning a free t-shirt from Glass Bangers, simply reply below with the name of the Kings player you think will score the first goal for LA tonight. You can even use your facebook profile to enter.