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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

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Oilers host Hawks before heading out East, McDavid to miss 2-3 weeks with quad injury

Edmonton Oilers v Arizona Coyotes
Out for 2-3 weeks
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (29-20-6) 2nd, Pacific vs

Chicago Blackhawks (25-22-8) 7th, Central

11 February 2020

Rogers Place

7 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Second City Hockey

A COSTLY TWO POINTS

The Oilers would power past the Nashville Predators by a 3-2 margin on Saturday night. Fuelled by a pair of third period goals by Leon Draisaital (and a power play goal by Alex Chiasson), the Oilers would come back from a 2-0 deficit to take two big points from the Predators. It would come at a cost, as Oilers captain Connor Mcdavid would get his knee tangled with Nashville’s Dante Fabbro before colliding awkwardly into the boards.

It’s not like McDavid has had any recent history with knee injuries, yeah?

McDavid’s status for tonight’s game is still up in the air. The Oilers have recalled Colby Cave just in case 97 doesn’t make the ice tonight. Can the Oilers take two points from Chicago before heading out East?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING:

“I thought as the game got on we got our legs going, we got feisty on pucks and we created some power plays for ourselves and capitalized on a big goal at the end of the second and had a great third and we were able to get a big two points.”

Source

Leon had a pair of goals which directly contributed to the comeback. Nugent-Hopkins stuffed a pair of assists, so did Oscar Klefbom. Mike Smith turned aside 27 of 29 Predators shots to pick up his 14th win of the season. Now if you could just erase that whole McDavid thing from happening, things would be A+.

THE BLACKHAWKS ARE SAYING:

“I thought we had an excellent first [period]. I really liked how we played. Obviously, the scoreboard reflected that. Obviously, the power plays was a huge momentum killer for us. Not only did they score, but we didn’t react well to that adversity and it seemed to affect the rest of the game.”

That’s Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton after his club’s 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead before yielding five straight goals to the Winnipeg Jets. Chicago looked to be making some moves in the ultra-tight Central Division, but they have dropped their last three in a row.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Sorry if I’m going all tin-hat here, but trust absolutely no one when it comes to this sort of thing. If it’s a “garden variety knee bruise”, that’s great. It’s on the same knee that was injured in the final game of last season versus Calgary. I’m glad Connor McDavid is saying that there’s nothing bad long term, I’m glad that the team is saying the same thing. Until McDavid’s tearing ass on the ice at 40 km/h, I’d play my cards close to my chest.
  • UPDATE:
  • Yeah, I’ve gone from growing concern to pretty mild panic after that one. 2-3 weeks will move into the end of February / beginning of March, or something like 10-ish games. Does this get the second line broke up? You’re still looking at centre depth like 29/93/ and some weird combination of Sheahan / Haas / Cave. Who wants a shot?
  • LEON, AGAIN: Two more goals for Leon Draisaitl and he’s up to 85 points (31-54-85) on the season. I’ve still got him pencilled in to hit the 100 point mark during the first week of March, though your mileage may vary.
  • CAVEMAN: The Oilers recalled Colby Cave over the weekend, who is certainly going to get in now that McDavid is shelved for a few weeks. Cave has one goal in five games with the Oilers so far.
  • NET GAINS: Robin Lehner is likely to go for the Blackhawks (15-8-5, .923 SV% / 2.83 GAA). Mike Smith will likely counter for the Oilers (14-9-2, 14-9-4, .901, 2.96 GAA / 1 SO)
  • SICK BAY: Connor McDavid is out for the next few weeks (quad injury). Kris Russell (concussion) and Joakim Nygard (hand) are out as well James Neal (foot) is day-to-day. The Blackhawks will be without Calvin de Haan and Brent Seabrook (shoulder). Andrew Shaw (concussion) and Adam Boqvist (shoulder) are day-to-day.