So the Oilers face the unbeaten-in-regulation-time Chicago Blackhawks. 18 games in, and their mere 3 losses came in overtime. That’s friggen amazing. They have nearly double the points as the Oilers. Their goals differential (goals for minus goals against) is a league leading +23 to Edmonton’s -6. Edmonton’s -6 really isn’t that bad. It’s bad.. but not awfully bad. They haven’t been scoring, but they’ve been keeping teams off the score sheet fairly well. Edmonton is actually 12th in goals against (12th lowest) which is actually quite phenomenal for a team near the bottom of the heap. However, they have 3 more goals for than Minnesota, who sit 30th in goals for. So that definitely is how we got here. Who in their right mind would have said that the Oilers would be a defensively sound team but provide next to no offence? What happened to the run and gun…. or at least, what happened to the gun part? We do a lot of running around.
Last year, the Oilers smoked the Blackhawks not once, but twice. This is the team that Sam Gagner scored his 8 points against. The Oilers also scored 9 against them in another game. The Oilers outscored the Blackhawks 24 – 15 in their season series last year. This is a team they CAN beat. It’s not likely they will though, especially with the Blackhawks being on such a tear. It could be an ugly loss. But hey, they play the games for a reason. I’m hoping we can be the team that ends the Blackhawks’ crazy streak.
Too early yet to figure out what the lines are, and who starts. I’m going to guess that we’ll see similar lines and a start from Dubnyk tonight. I’ll update these later.
OILERS LINES (GUESSED)
Smyth – Nuge – Eberle
Paajarvi – Gagner – Hemsky
Jones – Belanger – Eager
Petrell – Vande Velde – Yakupov
Smid – Petry
N. Schultz – J. Schultz
Fistric – Potter