GDB 44.0 Wrap Up: Winning streak reaches 15 games as Oilers shut down Blackhawks
1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers are on the third longest winning streak in NHL history.
On Thursday evening, Edmonton hosted the lowly Chicago Blackhawks and the Oilers got the job done with a 3-0 victory, giving them their 15th win in a row. Calvin Pickard turned aside 27 of 27 shots for his first shutout with the team and Connor McDavid led the way with points on all three goals.
Let’s take a look at the Player of the Game along with some other things worth mentioning.
THE WRAP UP IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY
Oilersnation’s Player of the Game: Calvin Pickard
Who saw Calvin Pickard picking up a shutout for Edmonton’s 15th-straight win? It was Pickard’s first shutout since all the way back on November 23, 2018 when he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Although the Hawks are terrible, let’s just be frank, they are a team that punches up against much better competition. Thursday’s game was no different, as they put 27 shots on Pickard, including this penalty shot.
All game, Pickard gobbled up the puck or pushed it to the corner, earning tonight’s Player of the Game.
It’s also worth mentioning that with this performance, the Oilers may have to think long and hard about using assets to get a backup netminder. After Thursday’s game, Pickard has a 2.34 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in eight games, along with a 4-2-0 record. He’s still not the 1B they may need, but he’s serviceable.
Things worth mentioning…
Connor McDavid went eight straight games without a multi-point game, the longest streak since his rookie season. That ended on Thursday, as he scored two goals and an assist, getting a point on all three of Edmonton’s goals. His opening goal was also the game-winner.
Zach Hyman scored his 29th of the season and is on pace for 55 goals. Somehow, his contract has gotten better the longer he’s been an Oiler, and that’s because Hyman himself keeps getting better.
Leon Draisaitl also had a three-point night, picking up an assist on every goal scored. It was fairly controversial to put him and McDavid back together at the start of the third period on Tuesday, but it paid off big time on Thursday.
Dylan Holloway has been great since coming back. In his first three games, he has a goal and an assist, and while he didn’t pick up a point on Thursday, he was incredibly noticeable. The third line of him, Ryan McLeod, and Connor Brown have already shown a lot of chemistry, and hopefully, Brown can score a goal soon.
In seven of their last eight games, the Oilers have let three or fewer shots hit their goaltender with under 10 minutes left. To me, it feels like the Oilers are playing playoff hockey, very close games in the first two periods, before turning it up in the final period and just shutting down the team in the final ten. It’s worth noting that the one game where they allowed more than three shots against in the final 10 minutes was against Columbus, where they allowed four shots in the final 10 and five shots in the entire third.
As for the standings, Edmonton has a 28-15-1 record with 57 points. They sit five points back of the Vegas Golden Knights, but have four games in hand. With a win tonight, Edmonton also has four more points than the Los Angeles Kings with a game in hand, and are seven points clear of the St. Louis Blues, who sit on the outside looking in with 50 points.
The Oilers play their final game before the All-Star break on Saturday at 2:00 PM against the Nashville Predators. They’ll have a chance to match the 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets’ streak of 16 in a row in this one.
If they win, they’ll then have an opportunity to match the all-time record of 17 wins in a row set by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93 when they face the Vegas Golden Knights after the break. Talk about the stage being set. Get the job done on Saturday!
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