The Edmonton Oilers (5-3-1) were in Chicago this afternoon to take on the Blackhawks (6-3-2), fresh off their most impressive performance of the season yesterday in Nashville. Cam Talbot returned to mind the Oilers net after one game’s rest and Cam Ward was in goal for Chicago. No changes for the Oilers after their win in Tennessee, but we’ll dive into that later. Nobody cares what Chicago’s lines were before today. Unless you have some of them in fantasy, of course.
Here’s tonight’s tweet thread:
Is it something when the #Oilers have a RW who is actively looking to leave the org and they still play him over their 20 year old 4OV who is also much better than the wantaway?!— Copper & BOO (@CopperandBlue) October 28, 2018
In fairness to me, I’ve given this team too many hours this weekend already, so this one will be brief. Now, let’s get it.
First Period in Brief
The Oilers were probably the better side on balance in the first period. Perhaps a function of the Blackhawks having even less turnaround time between games than they did, but the hosts didn’t offer too much to their guests in period one.
The two teams traded unsuccessful power plays before the #Oilers took two more in succession and were facing a two man deficit. They were roughly twenty seconds from killing the first when Drake Caggiula was called for hooking. The Blackhawks made them pay via Brent Seabrook from the most prime of locations in short order. 1-0.
The goal wouldn’t dissuade the Oilers, who continued to press and look for an equalizer. It finally came via apparent wantaway Zack Kassian who collected a rebound in front of Cam Ward and flicked in his first of the season to tie the game 1-1.
The rest of the period would yield little and the first ended with the score 1-1, and the shots 9-4 in favor of Edmonton. Edmonton were pretty far ahead by most of the important shares, too.
Second Period in Brief
The second period marked the start of the Blackhawks’ eventual takeover of this game at 5v5. The Oilers relied on their goaltender to carry them through a few hairy moments, including a Nick Schmaltz breakaway he got just enough of.
The Oilers did well enough to stabilize during the latter half of the period but found themselves needing the second intermission as the Hawks would again gain some steam as time ticked down.
Fortunately for our heroes, the Blackhawks couldn’t solve Cam Talbot and the score remained 2-0, with Chicago’s edging the Oilers 17-16 in shots. The home side began close the gap - or take over - in the important shares, as well.
Third Period in Brief
The third period began as most of the second period played out: with Chicago doing most of the attacking and Edmonton doing a good bit of reeling.
Cam Talbot had to stand tall to weather a few net-front scrambles, and the Oilers had to get through a couple of Blackhawks power plays. The Oilers spent more of the third period in their own zone than their opponents’.
But remember, the Oilers were playing their second in two nights - and their third in four - and perhaps this alone is a simple enough explanation as to why they limped toward the finish in this contest.
And to the finish they did limp, as the Oilers managed to do just enough to keep the Blackhawks at bay and extend their point streak to four games.
The third period ended with the Blackhawks firmly in control of all the important shares and a 32-25 advantage in SOGs. The score remained 1-1, however, and this one would need extra time.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Edmonton Oilers have perhaps the most lethal OT setup in the league.
As I’ve mentioned before, betting on anything other than what eventually happened would be inexplicable.
This time, a heads up play by 196 foot player Connor McDavid to disrupt a Brandon Saad rush started the Oilers in transition. They marched, three-wide, up the ice against a helpless Someone Gustafsson, and a still-in-the-league Cam Ward.
This time, the doctor found the captain, and the Oilers went streaking again.
The Oilers are not doing right by Jesse Puljujarvi. Sitting him over a guy who literally doesn’t want to be on the team anymore is batshit insane to me, and the ‘don’t adjust a winning lineup’ crap is just that - crap. The Oilers made three changes in between the Washington and Nashville games, too, so it’s not like it’s not something they do.
The Oilers (6-3-1, 1st Pacific) get the Minnesota Wild (6-2-2, 5th Central) on Tuesday. We’ll have everything you need come gameday. Til next time.