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Hot Links: Wednesday, February 12

Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto’s big nights power shorthanded Oilers past fading Blackhawks.

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Chicago Blackhawks v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Morning, folks!

Basking in the glow of a MASSIVE win last night for the home town outfit, who were victors over the waning Chicago Blackhawks despite Connor McDavid missing out through a quad injury.

In his absence, Leon Draisaitl swung his big ol’ nuts around last night, putting the club on his Bavarian back and dropping four points (on five goals) on the hapless Hawks. A wonderful performance that should lay to rest any question as to whether Draisaitl can carry the load without McDavid. Granted, his performance since Kailer Yamamoto’s recall has done plenty of that already, but last night he got the tough matchups with no reprieve, as Tippett kept his line loaded and let them go to work.

Kailer Yamamoto again impressed, notching his first career two-goal game, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins found the scoresheet, too. Encouraging stuff, for sure.

Of course, the reality remains that McDavid will miss the next handful of games, as he headed back to Toronto in wake of the injury news, and the Oilers will require these kinds of herculean efforts from Draisaitl to stay afloat.

But staying afloat is likely good enough, as a 0.500 clip without McDavid would certainly keep them right in the thick of it in the Western Conference.

Big Nuts Energy

Draisaitl’s four points move him to 89 for the season, a full 8 points clear of McDavid (who won’t be accumulating any for the next 2-3 weeks) and 11 clear of David Pastrnak and Nathan MacKinnon. I felt Draisaitl deserved a little love after a massive effort last night.

If he was goalless through 56 GP, he’d still be 17th in league scoring and over a point per game with his 57 assists.

Leon is Team Iceland in the round robin when he wants to be. Stronger, faster, with more facial hair than his opponents. And ruthless. And unstoppable. Swing those big nuts big man.

From Us

Leon Scores Four Points, Oilers Take Two Points In 5-3 Win Over Blackhawks (Copper and Blue)

GAME THREAD: Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks (Copper and Blue)

Tracking the western conference (Copper and Blue)

GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks (Copper and Blue)

From McDavid To Matthews, Breaking Down The Contenders To Win NHL MVP: Pizzo (CBC)

Draisaitl And Yamamoto Lead Oilers Past Blackhawks In McDavid’s Absence (Sportsnet)

From Elsewhere

Legend (Lowetide)

Nielson’s Notes: Oilers 5 – Blackhawks 3 (Oilersnation)

Oilers Re-Sign Nygard, Archibald Next? (Oilers Rig)

For Money

‘We Want To Take It As A Challenge’: Oilers Survive First Game Without McDavid As Room For Improvement Remains (Athletic)

Lowetide: Why Connor McDavid’s Injury Is Unlikely To Alter Ken Holland’s Trade Deadline Plan For The Oilers (Athletic)

LeBrun: Taylor Hall’s Future In Arizona And How Connor McDavid’s Injury Impacts Oilers’ Deadline Plans (Athletic)