The Edmonton Oilers will take on the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs starting next week on Monday. The Oilers and Kings are facing each other in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season after both finished in the same position last year. That series gave us seven games of madness, something not uncommon in the NHL playoffs. Here we’ll go over everything you need to know for Oilers-Kings this postseason.
The Oilers have won nine games in a row and will be very trendy as a pick to make it out of the Western Conference. Getting past the Kings won’t be easy, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty both back and an improved goaltender situation. Joonas Korpisalo was brought in to couple with Pheonix Copley, replacing veteran Jonathan Quick, who is now on the rival Golden Knights as the top seed in the West.
But back to the Oilers. The defense is as good as it has been in McDavid’s tenure, solidified by the move for Predators D Mattias Ekholm. Stuart Skinner and Jack Campbell have solved some of the issues in net from last season (neither of them is Mike Smith). Connor McDavid is elevating the entire team now, not just Leon Draisaitl. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a career year. Zach Hyman and Evander Kane provide some depth scoring. The Oilers appear primed to make a run at the Cup.
The Kings are in a transition from the old guard to the new. Kopitar and Doughty still have plenty left but its almost time for players like Adrian Kempe, Gabe Vilardi, Kevin Fiala and Sean Durzi to take over. The Kings are up against very tough odds having to take out McDavid and the hot Oilers. Shutting down McDavid will be key. The Kings have the personnel with Kopitar, Vilardi and Doughty. Plus, Phillip Danault and Mikey Anderson. Still, that likely won’t be enough for the Kings to prevail.
2023 NHL Playoffs: Oilers vs. Kings schedule
Game 1: Kings @ Oilers, Monday, April 17, TBD
Game 2: Kings @ Oilers, Wednesday, April 19, TBD