I think it must be fairly difficult to be a successful professional hockey player in Los Angeles. There are a lot of activities and distractions. Historically, the Los Angeles Kings have played like a team with one eye on the ice and the other checking out the crowd.
Here’s hoping the young Kings have that problem today. The Kings offer us a really nice look into the future and are the counter argument to flusing the season. You can say the current Oilers should flush the season, trade Roloson to the Wings for a pick or a prospect, and live to fight another day.
However, they’re already behind several teams who are in rebuild mode (Chicago the obvious example) and some of the trailing teams (LA, PHX) are coming on strong.
The Los Angeles Kings are frightening now that they have goaltending. They are loaded:
- Drew Doughty is 19.
- Oscar Moller and Wayne Simmonds are 20.
- Anze Kopitar is 21.
- Jack Johnson is 22.
- Jonathan Quick is 23.
- Dustin Brown and Patrick O’Sullivan are 24.
Let’s compare that group to the Oilers:
- Sam Gagner is 19.
- Andrew Cogliano is 21.
- Ladislav Smid is 23.
- Robert Nilsson and Kyle Brodziak are 24.
Talk rebuild all you want, that ship has sailed and the contenders for a Stanley in 2012 are miles ahead. The Edmonton Oilers are as they’ve been since the Messier trade: between a rock and a hard place. I think the better plan is to add a few pieces and get Hemsky, Horcoff and Gilbert some more playoff experience (in Gilbert’s case his next playoff game will be the first).
Either way, the Oilers have to address defense today. This time next week may be too late.