The Blackhawks have improved to 3-1-0 without Patrick Kane (broken clavicle) in their lineup. But they sure aren't making it easy on themselves along the way.
While they won 2-1 in the shootout tonight, they were lucky to get to overtime. They allowed the Oilers 47 SOG (+20 attempts blocked/9 missed shots) - 18 in the first period alone - while only managing 39 SOG (+22/17) of their own. Corey Crawford has gone 3-0-0 in his last three starts, including a shut out, with a .968 sv%: Chicago's challenges aren't on his shoulders. Ben Scrivens took the loss for the Oilers despite an excellent performance.
Derek Roy had the first goal of the game with 4:45 left...
This game definitely falls within the category of trap game facing the worse team in the entire NHL the Hawks will be putting to the test the new found energy and jump provided by the trade deadline acquisitions.
To add insult literally to injury the Oilers are banged up and missing many of their key pieces both in goal and their big scoring threat Taylor Hall which makes them appear easy prey. The Hawks will need to guard against complacency in this game for sure and continue to try to gather as many points as possible.
It also does not help the Hawks that they have had an unusually long break from action this week and may need to shake off some rust themselves.
The Hawks came into this game on the second of back to back games and it looked like as the game wore on the fatigue factor caught up with the team.
The Hawks actually opened up the scoring with a two on one play with Jonathan Toews shooting the puck and a rebound going conveniently right to Brandon Saad who just tapped it past Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens.
Saad had the only other Hawks goal in the second period with a similar play to his earlier goal with another two on one with this time with Marian Hossa. Unfortunately the Oilers were able to muster goals from Pouliot, Roy, Yakupov and an empty netter by Taylor Hall.
The Avalanche had a "goalie win" versus the Blackhawks earlier this week; last night, Chicago did the same versus the Wild.
There's been few games this season where the Blackhawks have been held under 25 SOG; last night, they had just 20 - but 4 of them were goals, including one empty-netter.
Chicago broke the streak they were on by scoring first, for the first time in seven games, a Patrick Sharp goal 5:08 into the opening period. Patrick Kane would stretch the lead to 2-0 by the end of the period with a power play goal on Thomas Vanek's 5-minute penalty.
Jason Zucker put the Wild on the board just 1:03 into the second.
The Hawks were looking for some young energy from rookies Adam Clendening, Joakim Norstrom and making his NHL debut Phillip Danault. Antti Raanta was supposed to be manning the Hawks nets but due to illness Corey Crawford plugged the pipes for the Blackhawks.
The captain Jonathan Toews lead the way early in the first period when on a beauty of a two on one Saad was able to find a wide open at the far faceoff circle Toews who got it past Oilers goalie at the time Ben Scrivens.
Before the announcer could finish crediting Toews with the goal Marcus Kruger scored from almost the same spot on the ice after much hard work on the boards by line mates Ben Smith and Joakim Norstrom to ...
The Chicago Blackhawks (11-7-1) continue their circus trip with a game at the Oilers tonight in Edmonton.
This season, the Oilers are languishing at the bottom of the Pacific division with a 6-11-2 record. They're having problems scoring, and more importantly, they're having problems keeping the other teams' goals out of their net: they have 3.37 GAA versus 2.53 G/G. Their power play is more like a power pffft and their penalty kill is below 80%. The Oilers have won just 2 of 10 games they've played to date in November, and they're hungry for a win - or even just points. Edmonton is 0-9-1 versus the Western Conference so far this season.
Today we look back at an individual who was nothing but a consistent scorer and a fan favorite during his 6 seasons on Long Island. Mariusz Czerkawski was part of the New York Islanders from 1997-2002 and then again during the 2003-2004 season.