Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers: Full Breakdown
The Oilers were looking for a good start, in a big way, as they start their long, nine-game road trip.
The Blackhawks were looking to extend their record breaking streak to 16-0-3.
It was a matchup between a team that is expecting to have a meteoric rise very soon against a team that went through the very same thing only a few years ago.
The game was sure to bring excitement, and it did not disappoint.
For those of you that missed it, here is a head-to-toe breakdown of all the goals that happened in the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Edmonton Oilers.
For #HawksTalk all the time;
First Goal: Edmonton 1, Chicago 0
The uncharacteristic fall by the Blackhawks' smooth-skating Duncan Keith led to the initial cough up of the puck in the neutral zone.
That was the first mistake.
However, Ray Emery was able to make a remarkable breakaway save on Lennart Petrell. It was absolutely fantastic.
So, here we are. One mistake and one great play. They both can cancel each other out. Where did everything go wrong on this goal by Edmonton's Jeff Petry?
Watch the play again and watch the upper left corner. What exactly is Brent Seabrook doing? Circles in the corner?
I understand that the Blackhawks were on the power play and things can get a little slack in the defensive zone during these types of opportunities.
However, as a defenseman he should have stopped and taken his position in front of the net. Especially after the chance the Oilers had.
If Seabrook played his position this goal could, and that is a big could, have been stopped.
Second Goal: Edmonton 1, Chicago 1
Sure, Patrick Kane got a little lucky but this was an excellent goal.
It all starts with Kane bringing the puck through the middle of the ice with speed. When Kane utilizes his speed he becomes that much more dangerous. It gives him another dynamic attack other than his stick-handling to wreck havoc with.
Wrecking havoc is what he did to the Oilers on this play.
Kane saw Marcus Kruger breaking on the far side and sent him a pass. The thing is however, he did not just lay up. Kane followed the play in and got a return pass with space open to go to the net.
Much attention can be given to Kane on this play, but there has to be some praise saved for Kruger.
Kruger brought the puck over the zone and forced the defenseman to come at him. He embraced the contact and protected the puck well. I am sure Kane was calling for the puck, but Kruger used his body perfectly to open himself up to make a pass.
Kane's backhand took a small deflection that may have allowed the puck to sneak by Khabibulin. Nonetheless, it was a perfect play and would have provided a quality scoring chance either way.
Third Goal: Edmonton 2, Chicago 1
You have to give the Oilers credit where credit is due.
They have a ton of seriously skilled, young players. No wonder they have a dangerous power play.
The Blackhawks got a little unlucky on this second goal by the Oilers.
With their top penalty killing unit out, comprised of Michael Frolik and Kruger, the team was probably confident they could get out of the two minutes being a man down.
However, that was not the case.
Frolik got a piece of the first pass coming cross ice, but not quite enough. If the puck was only a couple feet closer he could have cleared it.
Instead, it put him in a position of having to skate across the ice towards Sam Gagner. Not the best position you want to be in.
Frolik went down on his knee and guessed at a shot by Gagner. However, Gagner had other plans. He fired the pass through the open seem in the Blackhawks usually tight penalty killing diamond.
Before you knew it, Nail Yakupov had slammed it home behind the outstretched Emery.
Fourth Goal: Edmonton 2, Chicago 2
These types of goals seem to be a common occurrence for the Blackhawks.
It would not be crazy to think they actually view the goal line as a quality spot to score goals.
It is a tough shot for a goaltender to handle, especially if you keep it low, hard and aimed at their feet. A rebound of some sort is sure to occur.
On this play, Michal Rozsival is able to pick up the loose puck and decides to try his chances by firing the puck on goal.
One lucky bounce later and Victor Stalberg is able to jam at the puck as it sits in the crease.
Just two games before, against the San Jose Sharks, Stalberg was able to score a goal similar to this one. He streaked down the side and squeezed one through Antti Niemi with a shot from the goal line.
If you have players going to the net this play is not a bad idea. If all that is going to happen is a turnover in the corner caused by pressure from a defender, or a back-checking forward, then it can be a good play.
Nonetheless, with the success the Blackhawks have had utilizing this angle, expect it to continue, like it or not.
Fifth Goal: Edmonton 2, Chicago 3
Patrick Sharp did all the work but was not able to bury the puck.
Leave that for the master of clutch performances this season, Marian Hossa.
It all starts with the power turn Sharp employs on the boards near the blue line.
With speed he is able to beat his defender cleanly and push hard towards the net.
What goes unnoticed is the positioning of Hossa. He is situated right in front of the net, ready for a rebound. But, more importantly, he is able to keep the second defender in no man's land.
The Oilers defenseman in front of the net is not sure whether or not to attack Sharp or keep on Hossa in front. He ultimately chooses to stick on Hossa and gives up a glorious opportunity to Sharp.
Fortunately, for Hossa, the puck finds its way back in front of the net off the initial shot by Sharp.
Hossa battles, keeps his head down and his eyes on the puck, and puts it into the back of the net for the game winner.
He was not afraid to get hit and was ready to sacrifice himself in order to get a chance to finish the game.
You would have expected this to be a tough matchup for the Blackhawks after they had played three games in four nights.
The Oilers are young and were just starting on their long road trip. They should have been rested and ready to go, which they were.
The Blackhawks were able to score when it mattered all night and, like so many games this season, were able to find a way to win.
And most importantly, they were able to keep their incredible streak alive.