GDB Game Notes: Blackhawks @ Oilers

How are you feeling this morning, Nation? After the Oilers rattled off three straight wins against the Caps, Preds, and Blackhawks, they fell short against the Wild on Tuesday night and it left some folks feeling down again. For me, I’m seeing the Oilers rocking a 6-4-1 record despite wandering through the brutal hellscape that was the first 10 games of the schedule and that makes feel pretty damned good about how things are going so far. Is there room for improvement? Always, but we should all take a moment to smell the flowers from time to time.

Tonight, for the second time in less than a week, the Oilers are going up against a Blackhawks team that’s playing their second game in as many nights. On Sunday night, Edmonton got outstanding goaltending from Cam Talbot and that smoothed over any bumps in the road and kept them in the game even when the Blackhawks ramped up the pressure. What should we expect from tonight’s rematch? We’re only 12 short hours from finding out.

1. In their last 10 games against the Blackhawks dating back to the 2015-16 season, the Oilers have a 4-4-2 record against the Blackhawks with a goal differential of -6 (22GF, 28GA) over that span. Of those 10 games, four were decided in overtime and others were slightly more lopsided. Sometimes it was like getting pie for breakfast and other times like a punch to the throat. You get it. For whatever reason, these two teams always seem to play well against each other and I’d expect nothing less from today’s game.

2. Coming into today’s game, Connor McDavid has only been held pointless once this season and the Blackhawks were not the team to get it done. In 11GP, McDavid is scoring at a rate of 1.63 points per game which puts him on a 133 point pace that would blow out last year’s total, and ranks him third in the NHL in PPG, behind only Mikko Rantanen (1.75) and Gino Malkin (1.9).

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3. Over their last 40 games played, no one has scored more goals than Connor McDavid which makes me laugh because I think of the fools that are still trying to pretend like he’s not a goal scorer. McDavid’s 27 goals over that span puts him ahead of Alex Ovechkin (25), Auston Matthews (25), and Patrik Laine (23). How many goes does the guy have to score before the rest of you jabronis figure it out?

What to expect from Kris Russell this summer

4. On Tuesday night, the Oilers were ruined by their lack of special teams execution but they had been good on the PK and PP up until that point. Before the game against the Wild, the Oilers had only allowed one power play goal on 11 attempts at Rogers Place.

5. Throughout the month of October, Chicago has mostly off-set their inability to keep the puck out of their own net (47GA) by scoring goals (43GF) in bunches. Only three other teams have allowed more goals against than the Blackhawks (Philly (48), Detroit (46), Ottawa (44)) but they’ve managed to keep pace with a very tough Central Division thanks to the offence put up by Kane (11G), DeBrincat (8G), and Jonathan Toews (7G).

6. While the Oilers have started to get some secondary scoring over the past week or so, they’re also far too dependant on their big three to score. McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nugent-Hopkins have scored a combined 19 goals which is more than the rest of the team combined (13) and Alex “The Answer” Chia’s son has four of those.

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7. Speaking of The Answer, Ty Rattie seems set to make his return to the lineup after working through a midsection injury that kept him out for the last six games. If he does get in the lineup for today’s game, a roster spot will have to be opened up in order to make it happen. Furthermore, because of his injury, Ty Rattie lost his ‘The Answer’ title belt to Alex Chiasson and he’s going to have to bust his ass to get it back. Chia’s son has four goals in six games and that’s the kind of pace that only The Answer can keep up. Personally, I think Rattie is still a strong contender for the title and it will be very interesting to see how this matchup plays out. In five games played so far, Rattie has one goal, one assist, 11 shots on net, and 52.0 CF%.

GDB +1.0 Wrap Up: A disappointing start to the series, Oilers fall 6-4 to Chicago in Game 1

8. Patrick Kane missed last night’s game in Vancouver due to illness and we can only hope that the bug carried over because that would take a lot of offence out of the Blackhawks’ lineup (12GP – 11G, 7A). Having Kane miss out on tonight’s game would be a massive advantage for the Oilers and I’m thinking that maybe we should try to pull some kind of Dumb and Dumber tea shenanigans just to be sure?

9. With Corey Crawford playing last night in Vancouver, it looks like the Oilers will get Cam Ward in net again. During Saturday’s game, Ward played well for the Blackhawks, making 24 saves on 26 shots and finishing the evening with a .923 save%. Going back to 2006-07 and never earlier than that for reasons I’m sure you can figure out, Cam Ward has posted a 7-4-3 record against our boys and it would be nice to see them tack another loss on today. Bonus-Totally-Unrelated-But-Possibly-Related-Stat: I’ve hated Cam Ward (and Marc Andre Bergeron) for 12 years now.

10. Chicago-style pizza can vary in style depending on the varying styles developed around the city. The most famous, obviously, is the deep dish variety of pie in which it is baked with a characteristically high crust and a mound of toppings. In fact, some pizza purists say that deep dish pizza is not pizza at all and should be considered more of a casserole or lasagna.

11. Should we watch a replay of how the last game against Chicago ended? Of course we should.

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You’ve spent the last week pining away for a new episode of the Real Life Podcast and the wait is finally over! This week, the boys are bursting with excitement as the Oilers find themselves near the top of the Pacific Division standings for the first time in a while and they just can’t hold it in.

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/01/2018 – 9:00 am MT

  • Rama Lama

    This is exactly the type of game where we need everyone to show-up……..yees Chicago is a little banged up and playing a back to back game, but they seem to always show up.

    Good to see TR back, gives the coach another option, speaking of options, I predict that our coach will bench Jesse after a couple of shifts ……just a hunch, but I suspect Jesse is not here much longer. This coach seems to hate him.

  • The future never comes

    I’m torn to who should start it net. Mikko was good in his only game but Talbot usually rebounds nicely after a bad game. I would do Talbot tonight to make up for his last performance and play Mikko against Detroit. Hopefully Rattie and Jesse draw in to bring in some fresh energy. Last game was disappointing because it was a game they could have easily won if they played like the three games prior.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    The Oilers last game they didnt show up at the start of it, I am hoping they show up and play a full 60, the defence need a change up, I think Benning and Garrison need to both sit, both on for 2 goals against last game.

    The Oiler should be the team with more enegery as the Hawks played last night but as we have seen the Oilers seem to have trouble against teams that are doing back to back games, why? Who knows but this is 2 points they could use and they need to show not only the fans but other teams they are going to make it hard for you to get two point from them

    I hope Koskinen plays, not because Talbot is bad or anything but I think he needs to get playing to know whether we have a viable back up who can spell Talbot off when needed. The Hawks could be a good test for Koskinen too.

    We will see how the line up changes do, Lets hope the Oilers play their butts off the Hawks had a lot of good chances last game, so the Oilers better be sharp tonight, because after losing last Night I think the Hawks will be a little peeved and be pressing for 2 points to get back in the win column, and the Oilers ought to be looking to get back in the win column as well.

  • Dynasty No More

    Vancouver beat the Wild then 2 nights later the Wild beat the Oilers. Last night the Canucks beat the Hawks so I suppose we are now due to lose to them as well? Will we take another bunch of stupid penalties that we STILL haven’t figured out how to kill as well as a bunch of power plays we STILL haven’t figured out how to score on? Rinse and repeat? And why are will STILL struggling with the same old problems year after year after year with this endless rebuild?

  • Beer_League_Ringer

    Chiasson/”Chia’s son”. Some might groan, but I think this is solid work BM. Somewhat Principe-esque in bouquet, with undertones of Dad joke. Keep’em coming!

  • chezzychez

    I’m thinking we’re all jumping in the pool tonight. Chaisson, Kassian, Brodziak, Cagguila all played better after sitting some games and Puljujarvi has way more upside than all of them. He’s getting 2 tonight! Book it!

    • Romanus

      We can only hope. He looked good in preseason, but looked lost in the couple of games I saw live live.. Forecheck consisted of stick swinging and no hitting. When he had the puck seemed to make bad decisions. Guessing its a confidence problem and may not be in his nature to throw hits?

  • Oiler Al

    Although his 5X5 game is better this year, “Slowhand Luc” needs to be replaced on the first power play unit! A lot of muddling and not much else.If you must,put him on second unit.The gorilla infront of the blue paint is old school.Try Rattie or Chaison for blue paint duty.

  • Quoteright

    I’m a little bit of a Luddite and listen to the games. Last game when they were winning, or tied it still sounds quiet at the rink.
    Home atmosphere of negativity and Klefbom might start trying too hard and holding his stick too tight.
    All this city does is complain or golf clap.

    • Rufio Barcoli

      MK Ultra
      Controlling your brain,
      Suggestive thinking
      Forcing your position to change.
      Went and rearranged
      Their whole view of a Talbot,
      When the whole fanbase
      Was ready to settle.