That wasn’t very fun. Final Score: 5-1 Blackhawks
There were plenty of times over the past 10 years when Oilers fans would have loved a few CBA mandated weeks off, but with the team finally in the playoff hunt having a six-day wait between games felt like an eternity. To make matters worse, the Nation was saddled with a feeling of uncertainty in regards to how our boys in blue were going to perform in the first game back from whatever it was that they got up to doing during the break. These points are too important for the Oilers to be coming out flat. While they did have some jump to start the game, the Oilers didn’t do much to make their own lives any easier.
With Chicago playing last night in Winnipeg, the Oilers had a chance to use their fresh legs to their advantage and get themselves back up and running on a better note than the last time they were off for a few days. Regardless of whether or not the Blackhawks were a “tired” team, Edmonton needed a strong effort from their entire lineup, to play a simple game, some strong goaltending and they needed all of it for 60 minutes. It was too much to ask. The game started out well enough with Patrick Maroon scoring the opening goal but the tides turned quickly as Chicago tied the game up within two minutes and ended up with the lead before the opening frame was over. What the Oilers may have gained in rest, they gave up in their ability to execute
After taking the lead the Blackhawks never looked back. They worked the puck well through all three zones, took advantage of the Oilers’ generosity, and got sound goaltending from Scott Darling that carried them to victory. Make no mistake, the Oilers didn’t play well tonight and this was a game that they’re going to have to review and improve upon. They didn’t lose because of a lack of energy, they lost because they couldn’t overcome the warehouse worth of mistakes and giveaways that they presented to the Blackhawks on a silver platter. The Oilers were rusty in all three zones and even though they outshot Chicago their sloppiness repaid them with a loss. It’s not that they were completely outclassed in terms of effort, but the Oilers seemed to look for ways to shoot themselves in the foot.
Wrap like Kanye.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Patrick Maroon scored his 19th goal of the season being getting himself to the front of the net and keeping himself ready for Connor to find him. McDavid gave an excellent second effort to strip the defenceman of the puck and set Pat Maroon up on a tee in the slot.
- Connor’s takeaway on the Maroon goal was so good it’s worth its own bullet point. Connor flew into the zone, stole the puck lick a bandit, and set Maroon up perfectly. Magic.
- Jordan Oesterle looked good again tonight as he continues to fill in for the injured Kris Russell.
- It was good to see Matt Benning back in the lineup after getting crushed in that game in Carolina. He’s been a highlight of the season so far and the Oilers were lucky that he only missed the one game.
- You don’t see it often but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins dropped the gloves and chucked up with Hinostroza and handled himself quite well. The two players were chirping back and forth on the shift before the fight but I’m not sure I expected them to drop them. You can see the fight over on Nuge’s fight page at HockeyFights.com.
- The Oilers were 57% in the faceoff circle which is a silver lining for a team that often struggles on the dot.
- They outshot the Blackhawks 31-25 tonight.
- Louie DeBrusk was with Kevin Quinn tonight and I was a big fan of it. More Louie! Thank you.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Richard Panik scored the tying goal under two minutes after Patrick Maroon opened the scoring with a seeing-eye single through traffic and past Talbot. The puck took a Chicago friendly bounce and beat the keeper to tie the game at one. Panik scored a second goal on the power play in the second period by banging home the loose puck on the third or fourth crack at it in tight. Talbot made the first couple saves but he couldn’t stop them all.
- Patrick Kane scored a power play goal from behind the goal line after he was able to bank the loose puck off of Talbot’s skate and just past the goal line. The Blackhawks got a few whacks at the puck from within a few feet and it was only on the third such chance that they were able to put the puck in the net.
- Oscar Klefbom got caught with a bad attempted pass on the breakout. Klefbom tried to feed the puck up to one of the forwards but it ended up pass through all of them right to Trevor van Riemsdyk and he made no mistake.
- Cam Talbot made his 50th start of the season tonight, and it wasn’t a great night but I don’t think it was as bad as the stats will tell you it was. Talbot didn’t get much help from the team in front of him, but there were also goals that he would like to have back. After missing practice yesterday you know there’s going to be a bunch of storylines that spin out from this over the course of the next few days and I’m not looking forward to it. Talbot was pulled after two periods and finished the night with 16 saves and a .800 save%.
- Laurent Brossoit wasn’t overly busy in relief of Talbot but he did allow a scramble goal that wasn’t necessarily on him. Brossoit finished the night with four saves and a .800 save%.
- Edmonton allowed two power play goals which were a huge difference for the Blackhawks. Not good enough for the home side.
- They only got the one chance but the Oilers couldn’t score on the power play to keep up with Chicago.
- The NHL site has the Oilers with only 18 giveaways but I’d bet money on it being more than that.
- The Oilers were sloppy with the puck on too many occasions and it gave the Blackhawks more chances than they should’ve had.
|04:01||Edmonton||Patrick Maroon (19) ASST: Connor McDavid (43)||0-1|
|05:49||Chicago||Richard Panik (13) ASST: Nick Schmaltz (6), Brent Seabrook (25)||1-1|
|09:54||Chicago||PPG – Patrick Kane (19) ASST: Richard Panik (13), Jonathan Toews (23)||2-1|
|08:37||Chicago||Trevor van Riemsdyk (3)||3-1|
|18:26||Chicago||PPG – Richard Panik (14) ASST: Jonathan Toews (24), Patrick Kane (38)||4-1|
|15:49||Chicago||Artem Anisimov (20) ASST: Patrick Kane (39), Brian Campbell (10)||5-1|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
— Lärvinen (@Larvinen12) February 12, 2017
— Wolfram (@CityOfChamps14) February 12, 2017
@OilersNation At least someone in Edmonton is improving. That rum count is up from before the break.
— Zachary Zillman (@ZachZillman) February 12, 2017
@OilersNation Do you think Panarin wears 72 to reflect his birth year like Connor wears 97 to commemorate his?
— Jeremy Fresz (@jfresz) February 12, 2017
RYAN ANDREW MICHAEL NUGENT HOPKINS! You go to your room, Mr!!
— The Towel Boy (@TheTowelBoy) February 12, 2017
The Oilers lost but I got a Mcflurry so I’m happy
— gordy in 140 (@TheNationChris) February 12, 2017
VOTE FOR TEAM NUGE!