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Hot Links: Friday, March 6

Oilers drop points to Chicago on their last game of the road trip. Will look to bounce back tomorrow night when the Blue Jackets are in town for HNIC. Oscar Klefbom can’t come back soon enough.

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Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Morning, folks!

The good vibes are harder to come by this morning after the Oilers lose the one game you’d have expected them to win coming into this road trip.

Granted, four banked points in Nashville and Dallas take the edge off some, but it’s hard to look at last night’s game as anything other than a missed opportunity. A slight disappointment. A bit of a letdown.

Of course, the Oilers did make it interesting in the third period, with two goals in the first half of the final frame keeping hope alive after an admittedly brutal effort in periods one and two, but it was a case of too little, too late in the end.

Mike Smith had his first real tough game in a long time and was pulled for the first time in forever. While he made a couple of key stops, the goals he did concede were of the ‘should’ve had it’ variety, and the Oilers were staring up at a 4-1 lead at one point last night.

Mikko Koskinen was good in relief, but the Oilers left themselves too much to do. Ah well.

One thing I think we can all agree on after that game is that Oscar Klefbom needs to get right ASAP. The Oilers D is wobbly these days, and the return of their 1D will go some way to calming them down back there.

The newly formed line of Connor McDavid, Tyler Ennis, and the recently returned James Neal struggled mightily last night, being outshot by a 2:1 margin and being outscored 0-2 at even strength.

Andreas Athanasiou saw a bit of time with The Captain in the third period, too. It’s clear that Dave Tippett has some decisions to make about who flanks McDavid. The Captain should never be on the wrong side of such a lopsided evening.

From Us

Oilers Comeback Comes Up Short in 4-3 Loss In Chicago (Copper and Blue)

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

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

Hot Links: Thursday, March 5 (Copper and Blue)

From Elsewhere

Badlands (Lowetide)

Deep Dive Into Remaining Schedule (Oilersnation)

Oilers’ Draisaitl On Team’s Effort In Chicago: ‘We Didn’t Deserve To Win’ (Sportsnet)

Oilers Comeback Falls Short Against Blackhawks (Sun)

DeBrincat Helps Blackhawks Top Oilers For Fourth Straight Win (Sportsnet)

Oilers’ Late Push Not Enough To Make Up For Sloppy Start In Loss To Blackhawks (CBC)

James Neal Back On Oilers’ Top Line With Connor McDavid (Sun)

Oscar Klefbom Not Ready To Return (Oilers Rig)

For Money

Determining Connor McDavid’s Linemates Remains A Pressing And Perplexing Problem (Athletic)

Lowetide: Expectations for new Oilers Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Ennis (Athletic)