Blackhawks can clinch Presidents' Trophy vs Oilers tonight
Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks play in Edmonton for the first time this season. Their previous two games were both on United Center ice, and the series is split 1-1.
The last time the Blackhawks saw the Oilers, it was the second game after their record-making season-opening points streak. Chicago will look not only to correct that performance (a 6-5 loss), but to also clinch the Presidents' Trophy. The Blackhawks have 73 points (34-6-5), and if they win in any fashion tonight, it's theirs for the first time since 1991.
Additionally, coming off a poor performance and rough 3-1 loss in Vancouver, the team should be looking to get back into form with the playoffs looming next week.
Ray Emery is expected to be in net tonight for Chicago.
Another trophy that Chicago has in reach is the William M. Jennings Trophy, which is awarded to the team whose goaltender(s) have notched the lowest team GAA in the league. Chicago currently stands at 92 (2.04 GA/game), sitting just ahead of Ottawa at 95. Emery is 16-1-0 with 1.91 GAA and .923 sv%; Corey Crawford 18-5-5 with 2.03 GAA and .923 sv%, the best goalie tandem in the league. Goalie controversy? No, goalie luxury in Chicago.
Edmonton has lost the past two games, and the Oilers (17-21-7/41 points) have been eliminated from the post-season for a while. A couple weeks ago, the Oilers were as high as 8th in the West; now they are 13th. There's no doubt that they would enjoy preventing Chicago from clinching the scoring trophy on their home ice - or just simply for beating the best team of the NHL. The Oilers are 2-8-0 over their past 10 games; Chicago is 7-1-2 over theirs.
Injury report: Chicago: Patrick Sharp (shoulder), Dave Bolland (groin); Edmonton: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder), Ales Hemsky (foot); Magnus Paajarvi (foot) and Theo Peckham (ill) are questionable
Time: 8:30 p.m. CDT
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB
Where to watch: CSN Chicago, TSN
Where to listen: CHI- WGN 720 (phone app available)
Injury report: Chicago: Patrick Sharp (sprained left shoulder); Columbus: Derek Dorsett (broken collarbone), Artem Anisimov (lower body).
Next 2 games for Chicago: Friday April 26 at 7:30 p.m. vs. Calgary (Fan Appreciation Night); Saturday April 27 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Louis (final game)