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Edmonton Oilers Playoffs Off to a Hot Start as they Defeat Los Angeles Kings

Edmonton Oilers playoffs continue as Kings come to an end

The Edmonton Oilers 2024 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs will continue into the second round for a third straight year. The Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings in five games, which caps off three straight first-round exits for L.A. against Edmonton. After falling behind two games to one, the Kings tried to contain the Oilers offence. However, even that wasn’t enough as they dropped Game 4 by a score of 1-0, and then fell to the Oilers on the road to complete the series.

Edmonton Oilers Playoffs Continue

The Oilers made light work of the LA Kings, in what felt like a good matchup for them from the start. However, despite the result, what is more encouraging for the Edmonton Oilers playoff hopes, is that this series brought lots of good talking points. For starters, their stars look like stars. This is not surprising coming from the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid is leading the playoffs with 10 points, while Draisaitl is close behind with eight.

Moreover, the rest of the top players showed up too. Evan Bouchard has nine points in five games and has averaged 22:03 time on ice. If he can continue to be a dominant number one defenceman, this Oilers team will be dangerous. Mattias Ekholm and Darnell Nurse are there to help, and having all three has to be exciting.

Additionally, the “second” level of stars has also performed. Zach Hyman had a hattrick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had five assists in five games, and Evander Kane even managed to get on the scoresheet. Obviously, Kane likely still has more to give than just three points, but his Game 3 Gordie Howe hattrick was fun. In any sense, it has to be encouraging.

Kings Stumped Again

For Kings fans, this has to be a very frustrating time. The Kings have built a solid roster by re-tooling but not committing to a full rebuild. However, they keep running into the same problem every year. And that problem is the Edmonton Oilers. This season, the Kings tried to match some of the Oilers high-end skill. They brought in Pierre-Luc Dubois to complement other names such as Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala from years past. But it still wasn’t enough.

Not only that, but Dubois had just one point all series and was only counted on to play 14:50 a night. The previously mentioned Fiala averaged 18:36 and had just two points. A lone bright spot was Adrian Kempe who had four goals in the series. At the end of the day, this Kings team once again could not match the Oilers.

So the real question is, where do they go from here? They have already taken some swings on big-name players via free agency and trade. Now, they owe some of those players big raises which will squeeze everyone else. On top of that, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty are not getting younger, and one has to wonder how much they will continue to contribute every year.

The fact of the matter is, it may come down to internal improvement from players such as Quinton Byfield, which is possible. However, it is also a tough ask when you keep seeing the Edmonton Oilers.

Oilers Wait for Round Two Matchup

The Edmonton Oilers playoffs will continue against either the Nashville Predators or Vancouver Canucks. The Predators forced a Game 6 that will go on Friday night. Now, the Oilers get to rest and recover. This could be a benefit to the team as the Predators and Canucks have had a very emotional series with lots of back-and-forth. The Oilers will be well-rested and have the advantage of a team that went through a long series.

On top of that, if it is the Canucks who win, Thatcher Demko may still be out. Casey DeSmith was also hurt in this series leaving Arturs Silovs to start Games 4 and 5. If he or DeSmith have to go again in round two, the Oilers explosive offence may be able to take advantage of that. On the other side, if the Predators make it through the Oilers will feel confident in their high-end talent winning out. Regardless, the Oilers should be setup well for the second round, but they know as well as anyone that doesn’t mean you can take your opponent lightly.

Hopes for a Deep Run

The Edmonton Oilers now sit in a Western Conference that could see multiple top teams be knocked out by the second and third rounds. The Central division is a war,such as the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights series. The Oilers will want to keep winning series as quickly as possible to take advantage of that.

If the team rounds into form like they did against L.A., they may be a very tough out. The most impressive thing about this series is they found ways to win in multiple ways. They won the tight games, low-scoring and low-event games, and the high-scoring shootouts. That is what successful teams do in the playoffs. Take what their opponents offer and capitalize on it. The Edmonton Oilers playoffs has started off amazingly, and now we see how they do in Round Two.

Main Photo: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

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