TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (5-9-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (7-6-1)
Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Time: 6:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
To be the best, you have to beat the best. Tonight’s game against Chicago will be a good litmus test for our Edmonton Oilers after coming off a strong showing against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite the fact we lost 2-1, I think the moral victory of playing the way we played was a good thing – but for heaven’s sake, can this team actually play a full 60 minutes?
The fact that the team comes out and plays such a weak first 20 minutes of a game is not helping. We are being forced to play from behind, and even though we have come back to win a few games this lack of drive early will hurt us moving forward.
I do not believe that constantly having to come from behind is sustainable hockey over the long term. In saying so, I think moving forward the team needs to work on coming strong out of the gate. We have the ability to compete with teams, so I would like to see us put together a full 60 minutes.
I was impressed with the Hall – Draisaitl – Eberle line a lot against the Penguins. The three drove play very well in all situations (58 CF%, 51 CF% and 60 CF% respectively) and that is what we need from our top line.
Todd McLellan said that “we have to play our game. It doesn’t matter who we play against, we have to play to our identity and to our structure and to our foundation.” He speaks lots about this, and it shows what the focus of this staff is.
A win against the Blackhawks would be a huge one for this team, and would help instill some confidence as we prepare for a four-game road trip.
Walter Foddis’ Pregame Shot Metrics:
Chicago, which did not practice Saturday, has allowed 20 goals in its past five games. All were played without injured defenseman Duncan Keith, who remains out for at least two more weeks recovering from surgery Oct. 20 to repair a meniscal tear in his right knee. The Blackhawks are 4-3-1 in their first eight games without Keith, but all three of their losses in regulation happened on the road. Right wing Marian Hossa and center Artem Anisimov are each day-to-day with lower-body injuries. – nhl.com
Line Combos and Starting Goalies via Left Wing Lock:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Oilers Defensive Pairings:
Andrej Sekera – Darnell Nurse
Oscar Klefbom – Mark Fayne
Griffin Reinhart – Eric Gryba
Blackhawks (Corey Crawford):
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Now I know this has nothing to do with the Blackhawks game, however can we just take a moment to appreciate the diamond cutters Messier had for elbows? Oh how the game has changed.