For a team that’s historically struggled in matinees, the Edmonton Oilers probably couldn’t pick a more difficult spot to roll out of the rack and get a win than the Windy City.
Given the distractions of Chicago, particularly the nightlife in the trendy district around Rush Street, which is where the Oilers hotel is, answering the alarm clock for a 1 p.m. start against the Blackhawks at the United Center is no easy feat at the best of times. This is not to imply anybody in the Oilers entourage — aside from Rod Phillips and Jim Matheson — spent last night “out looking for Kovy,” to borrow from Boris Mironov, but morning always seems to come way too early in Chi-Town.
All-time, the Oilers are a sleepy-eyed 34-48-4 in afternoon games, which hardly makes them morning people. Add to that, they’ve lost three straight in Chicago dating back through last season. It likely won’t help that the Blackhawks have been on something of a roll of late with a 10-4-1 record in their last 15 games.
SAM SAYS: Blackhawks win 4-2.
SAM’S RECORD: 1-0.
—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m. on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer on Team 1260.