Take a breath! The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a very tough contest.
Before the game, I talked about how the Blackhawks needed to play with a sense of urgency going into this game, and yet for most of this game, it was rather slow. There were some great performances tonight by both teams, and it was a rather close game down to the whistle tonight.
I have to hand it to Dylan Terry who wrote our game two recap, these 9:30 starts are hard to stay up for and write about. However, we are going to do our best today. So let’s jump in with the first period.
First Period (B Rating)
The Chicago Blackhawks had a hard time moving the puck in this first period. So many times we got caught in the neutral zone and turned over the puck. We just need to simplify our puck movements and focus on working up to ice.
With six minutes left in the game, I saw Jonathan Toews pass the puck back to Keith who then fumbled the puck and tried moving the puck over to Boqvist. Three different players touched the puck while only one Edmonton player was out against them. We need to just focus on working up ice.
Olli Maatta was a big player in the first period. Not only did he score the first goal of the game, but he managed to help give the Edmonton Oilers their first goal of the game when he got caught behind the net and was out of position.
The Blackhawks had a few opportunities on the power play in the first period, and they even managed to score on one of their chances with a few seconds on the clock. I was worried that the goal by Jonathan Toews was not going to count as it did look like a kicking motion for a second, but after seeing the replay it counted. Plus we had a power play going into the second!
Second Period (D Rating)
The Blackhawks had momentum going into the second period. We had a late power-play goal in the first period that gave us the 2-1 lead, and we had a power play to start the second. We followed that all up with a horrible showing in the second.
Not only did we fail to capitalize on our first power play but we also failed to score on the next three power plays we had. While the Blackhawks have been doing a better job on their penalty kill, at some point they are going to score.
Edmonton scored twice this period. One goal came thanks to Matthew Highmore who turned over the puck in the Blackhawks’ own zone and then deflected it as it went towards the net, Crow had no chance on the play. The power-play goal for Edmonton was also thanks to the Blackhawks failing to cover Crow and giving McDavid the puck right in front of the net.
If the Blackhawks want to win they made it a lot more difficult with their performance in the second period. Hopefully, they can just play more five on five in the third.
Third Period (B Rating)
The Blackhawks did have a few good moments in the third period, but things were not great for the team. The Highmore goal provided the Blackhawks a spark with under five minutes to go in the game, but they just looked out of gas throughout most of this period.
We almost lost Kirby Dach to a hit to the knee this period, and yet the Blackhawks did not look like they were going to answer physically for that hit. The Blackhawks just kept pushing. While they were not great at all times they did manage to keep pushing, and they got a nice bounce in front of the net from the shot by Connor Murphy to help give the Blackhawks the win 4-3.
I did not think the Blackhawks played that great of a period, but with 1:16 left in the game, Jonathan Toews deflected a great shot into the net. I think Jonathan Toews is reminding people why he is one of the greatest leaders in the game of hockey!
Overall (C Rating)
The Blackhawks did not play they great. We just got some great puck bounces tonight that helped put us ahead of the Oilers. The bounces for both of the Blackhawks’ third-period goals were very lucky, and Crawford had to stand on his head a lot tonight to help give the Blackhawks any type of opportunity.
"Liam McHugh’s tells the Blackhawks to get physical with McDavid"
Any game that Edmonton only scores three goals is a win in my book. It was not perfect, but here we are! Now the Blackhawks have an opportunity to send the Edmonton Oilers home next game!