The Chicago Blackhawks disposed of the Edmonton Oilers in a Sunday matinee, picking up two critical points
The Chicago Blackhawks jumped back to one point out of the Western Conference wild-card race by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 at the United Center on Sunday.
The Blackhawks thrived behind a strong outing at the faceoff dot and some critically-times goals. Let’s look at five talking points from the victory.
The Blackhawks continued their solid 5-on-5 efforts as far as possession is concerned. According to naturalstattrick, they achieved better than 53 percent Corsi-for as a team in each period against the Oilers, leading to a 56 percent mark for the game.
The Oilers thrive on puck possession, as they can use their speedy, talented forwards to blast by opposing defensemen and make things difficult for goaltenders. Edmonton still put 33 shots on goals, outpacing Chicago’s 29 shots, but it wasn’t as ridiculous as it could have been thanks to good possession.
The kids are all right
Nick Schmaltz and Alex DeBrincat got things going in the first period with two goals in roughly a minute and 30 seconds. While DeBrincat’s tally was a bit lucky, both events were products of players being in the right place at the right time.
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Namely at the front of the net, in this case. Both guys got themselves into prime scoring areas, and it paid off. This shows it’s not just Artem Anisimov who can score from near the paint.
Breaking their backs
Edmonton came up with some fire down the closing stretch of the second period after Darnell Nurse tallied a goal early in that frame.
Brandon Saad then stepped in, netting a goal with 10 seconds left off an assists Brandon Saad and Vinnie Hinostroza. The speedster got things going in this case with his passing, and is showing even more signs he needed to be called up sooner from the AHL.
Forsberg stepping up
Forsberg turned in a .970 save percentage against a team that makes life difficult against less-than-great defenses (which the Blackhawks have one of), and he seems to have gotten some of his mojo back after possibly losing his backup job to Glass. It’s good to have a little goalie battle while your starter is hurt.
Hartman back into our hearts
Coach Joel Quenneville appears to be happy with what Ryan Hartman is bringing to the table of late. While his assist on Schmaltz’s goal was a little more luck than anything, he also received 3:34 of powerplay time and more than 20 minutes of total ice time.
Hartman has been invisible for large swathes of the season, so it’d be nice to see him contributing more while the Blackhawks settle on an Anisimov-less lineup.
What did you think about the Blackhawks’ performance against the Oilers today? Let us know in the comments section, or on the Blackhawk Up Facebook or Twitter pages.