Kings beat Oilers where it hurts
Game 25: Kings 3, Oilers 1
With three men down due to injuries, it was time for Lombardi to hit up the farm club and find some reserves to fill in. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime for these kids, as either Andrei Loktionov or Brandon Segal could make a lasting impression in their Kings debut. In fact, it was Jimmy Neutron's NHL debut, so expectations are high on the 19-year-old from Voskresensk, Mother Russia.
The Oilers and the Kings have had quite the rivalry, dating back past the Great One's trade. It's weird that the Kings were able to pry away fan favorite Ryan Smyth from Colorado, but he's still beloved in Edmonton. (Want proof? Check out the banner on this Oil blog.) Matt Greene also came from Edmonton with Jarret Stoll for Lubomir Visnovsky.
The Kings shot the lights out again, and was able to survive a late Oilers surge to win, 3-1. As the game wasn't on Fox or Versus, I caught what I could online from a source to be determined. I did catch the game recap on NHL.com, and find it funny that they spent a lot of time breaking down the Ryan Potulny goal, but glossed over all three Kings goals. Meh, whatever.
The Kings needed secondary scoring, and Wayne Simmonds delivered, tying the game in the second. Former Oiler Matt Greene apparently officially sold his house in Edmonton on Wednesday. He capped that off by scoring his forst goal of the season. Frolov added an empty-netter to ice it for the Kings. And while all was said about secondary scoring, where's their primary scoring?
Anze Kopitar has now gone seven games without a goal, and that spans before Smyth got hurt. He's now in a three-way tie for the scoring lead with 33 points with Marian Gaborik and Joe Thornton. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. Still, the Kings need the Slovenian Stunner to find his scoring touch and fast. He was named third star of the game by media, so his presence is still felt out there.
Michal Handzus apparently took out Alex Hemsky, with a hard check into the boards. It's the type of loss to a team that qualifies as "devastating." Losing Hemsky basically puts a nail in the coffin of the OIlers season. The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson stated that the Oilers "may not have the horses to be successful anyway," and that was before losing Hemsky. Ouch.
As for the two Manchester-ites... Segal only had about 5 minutes of ice time. Lokitonov played slightly more, but was injured in the third and did not return. Turns out, Jimmy Neutron dislocated his shoulder, which I can tell you hurts like a mother.
Oddly, I obtained my recurring dislocation (yes, it's recurring) playing hockey. I had scored and went to give a high-five to a teammate, who zealously slapped me hard. My shoulder popped out and I crumpled to the ice. Let me tell you, it's nothing like Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon. You can't just smack it back into place. (Believe me, I've tried.) The best way that I can describe getting it to slip back in is to coax it. And when it goes back in, it hurts all over again.
Jack Johnson knows all about shoulder injuries, and I'm sure he'd agree with me. It's one of the worst injuries you can get. You don't realize how much you use your shoulders, especially if your a hockey player. Your shoulder is the most mobile joint (not this kind), but is also the easiest to dislocate.
Johnson seemed to make his way back from his injury, although he's was more serious (a tear to the labrum) it took a long time to recover. The news that Edmonton team doctors couldn't get it back into socket doesn't fare well for the Kid Genius.
So, NOW what? Who's gonna get the call? Loktionov and Segal were the Monarchs first and third leading scorers. Number two? The lovable Oscar Moller. Think Monarch fans like seeing their good players called up? Neither do I, but that's what they are there for.
• AP: Quick, Simmonds help Kings beat Oilers
"That was a big one," Greene said. "Mind you, any goal for me is a big one. They don't come too often. It was a good feeling to get a game-winner against my old team. I was just trying to shoot it hard. I had no idea where it was going."• Canadian Press: Simmonds scores goal and assist in Kings victory over Oilers
"We had two games at home that we lost where we didn't work as hard as we should have so that was our goal tonight," said Simmonds. "To come in and play a solid 60 minutes," he said. "I think we did that and it was a big character win for us."• LAKings.com: Three straight on the road
After Wednesday night's game, Matt Greene downplayed the significance and said it mattered little that he used to wear an Edmonton sweater, but the wide smile on Greene's face, after he scored, might have given away his true feelings.• LATimes.com: Kings coach gives Teddy Purcell his big chance
So where did Kings Coach Terry Murray put him in practice Tuesday before the team departed for games Wednesday at Edmonton and Thursday at Vancouver? On the top line, with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams.• Yahoo: Team report
Matt Greene's game-winning goal came with 4:28 remaining in the third period, but the stage was set sooner. The Kings and Oilers were tied 1-1 at the start of the third period, and the Oilers had a power play for the first 1:45 of the period. The Kings killed that penalty, then killed another one with less than nine minutes remaining in the period. A little more than two minutes after Wayne Simmonds left the penalty box on that penalty, Greene scored the game-winner. Alexander Frolov added an empty-net goal in the final minute.• LAKingsInsider: Loktionov update
Dean Lombardi just told me, officially, that Andrei Loktionov suffered a dislocated shoulder. Even worse, Edmonton team doctors haven’t been able to get the shoulder back in place, and Loktionov will have to go to a local hospital rather than accompany the team to Vancouver.They said it
“It’s really hard to say it’s one thing or another. It’s not an excuse, but maybe you get into a routine on the road. You don’t have as much free time. Not that I think that’s an issue at home. Maybe we’re just more suited to have a routine, and we’re around each other all the time too, which helps. I think we just find a way.” – Dustin Brown, on why the Kings play well on the road.
“It’s huge, but that’s going to happen against any team in this league. If it’s a tight game, like it was tonight, and they’re a grinding team, a hard-working team, you’re going to have to go through those times, where there’s three or four shifts in a row where it seems like they’re buzzing and they’ve got eight guys out there. They’re just going all over the place, but you’ve got to be ready and you’ve just got to lock it down and just weather the storm. Bend but don’t break and settle things down." – Matt Greene, on staying strong defensively in the third periodAround the Kingdom
• LAKingsNews.com: Kings lose Loktionov but beat the OIlers
It was a good news – bad news night for the Kings. Bad news – they were in Edmonton and nobody wants to be in Edmonton unless they have to be. Good news – everyone in Edmonton is apparently sporting a mustache these days and that had to provide for a few good laughs and conversation.• The Throne Room: Simmonds and Greene star as Kings win in Oil Country
If someone had approached you before the start of the season and told you that on November 25th, Wayne Simmonds would have as many goals as Alexander Frolov, would you have believed it?• The Royal Half: Patio Furniture
The real story tonight in Edmonton is the complete disappearance of former King Patrick O'Sullivan. I was a big fan of Patrick during his time in Los Angeles... even feeling like he was stolen from the Minnesota Wild by Dean Lombardi during the 2006 NHL Draft. He always had the potential to be electric as a player... but he never was consistent.
• Edmonton Journal: Kings top Oilers
The quick-witted Matt Greene is a master needler but the defenceman stuck the knife in and twisted it against his old teammates on Wednesday at Rexall Place.• The Copper & Blue: Edmonton - Los Angeles post-mortem: frustration
Worse was that the winner came in regulation time in a game both teams seemed to be nursing to OT. But in a few seconds what was left of the first line lost their composure and their shape in Oilers' end, with all 5 guys being sucked over to Wayne Simmonds' side of the ice opening the door for Greene to walk in and blast the best shot of his Rexall Place career.• Low on Oil: Kings Reign Supreme
Matt Greene put the game away with a shot from the point that beat Deslauriers (high). Today, the sale of his house in Edmonton finally closed, so that left the former Oiler with two things to celebrate.• OilersNation.com: Oilers vs. Kings Postgame: Life Without Hemsky?
The Michal Handzus hit on Ales Hemsky got him a two minute minor for boarding, but it should have been five and a game. I honestly think that if Hemsky hadn't gone down there wouldn't even have been a call (Brandon Segal threw a nearly identical hit on Visnovsky earlier in the game and got away scot-free).• An Oilers Refinery: Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse...
Patrick O’Sullivan – I don’t know what Patty needs to get out of his funk but I would suggest the press box. He’s weak on the puck and unwilling to shoot when sometimes he has great opportunities. He needs to get unjinxed and fast.Peeping the dailies