Blackhawks: Defense will decide the whole series vs Oilers

Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks have been gifted a playoff spot, which has some fans angry. They only thing the Blackhawks can do about it is make the most out of it, which starts with playing good defense.

The Chicago Blackhawks‘ defense is not the same as their Stanley Cup runs. Before 2017, the Blackhawks had an elite defense with big names, names that are either gone with other teams or names that have regressed over the years.

Once the Blackhawks defense regressed, the team regressed. The more successful they were defensively, the more successful Chicago became, especially in their deep playoff runs.

If the Blackhawks need to outwork the Oilers defensively this series, as both teams have elite playmakers but lack a solid defensive core. In Chicago’s situation, they have Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, two guys who play a two-way style, which could help slow down Connor McDavid.

From there, their defensive players have to tighten up, as the players on the Oilers have elite talent, the talent that is impossible to stop but possible to slow down, as Chicago beat the Oilers two out of three times this season.

The issue is, Chicago cannot get into an offensive matchup, where the games end up 6-5 or 5-4, they need to play defense and Corey Crawford has to step up and be an elite goalie. The more the OIlers score, the harder it’ll be to match them.

Luckily for Chicago, the Oilers aren’t great defensively. They do have more depth than Chicago, but they’re not locked down defensively where it’s impossible for good teams to light them up from time to time. If Patrick Kane is on his game, he will be able to score as he pleases.

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To finish up, this will be an interesting series. If Chicago wins, it’ll be off of Crawford and their defensive play. If they lose, it’ll be off of the offense of the Oilers.