Blackhawks 3, Oilers 7 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways
If you read my pregame notes, I mentioned the Oilers lost their last game on home ice to the Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime. When the Blackhawks hung around and were trailing only 1-0 after 20 minutes, the second period was either going to be another 20 minutes of the Oilers taking the Blackhawks for granted of they would remember their last loss and blow the doors off Chicago. Sadly, they chose the latter. Four unanswered goals gave them a decisive margin heading to the third.
How far off did the wheels go? The Oilers brought in Matthew Berlin to handle the goaltending duties in the final three minutes. He signed a contract a few hours before the game to be the emergency back-up when Stuart Skinner got sick. And he made an NHL save late in the game. Good for him!
Star 1: Connor McDavid
He is the best player on the planet and is on a trajectory to be one of the all-time greats in this game. If you have a chance to see him in person, you should absolutely do it. He’s incredible. In this game he had a few moments of brilliance that took my breath away, including his backhand goal in the second period. He’s pretty much the No. 1 star every night, and should already have a space at home prepared for another Hart Trophy.
Star 2: Kyle Davidson’s Draft Board
San Jose beat Pittsburgh, Arizona and Anaheim played each other and Columbus won in Edmonton earlier this week so a loss on Saturday night is strategically perfect for the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks didn’t stand much of a chance anyway unless the Oilers failed to show up like the Flames did on Thursday.
Star 3: Jason Dickinson
After a lengthy goal drought (Nov. 3 to Jan. 21 — 29 games), Dickinson has now scored in back-to-back games and three times in his last five games. He worked his butt off despite not getting the results (note: good story by Ben Pope about that) so it’s good to see him finally getting the payoff with a few lamp-lighters.
- Jonathan Toews returned from his illness and scored a power play goal in the third period. He came into the game slotted on the third line and stayed there most of the night. It was good to see him still working hard in a blowout to get in position and make the play for the goal.
- As has been his MO this entire season, Max Domi didn’t stop working. He did a nice job of starting a break and getting the puck to Taylor Raddysh for Chicago’s third goal. With two points tonight, Raddysh is up to 10 points in 13 games in January — a terrific month.
- Seth Jones was terrible tonight. He took a penalty in the first period that led to Edmonton’s first goal and then had great seats to watch McDavid’s goal in the second. He got beat regularly and found himself chasing plays (or just watching) far too often in the second period. Hopefully he enjoys the free trip to Florida as the Blackhawks’ All-Star this week. On this night, he made the case for someone else to be there a little stronger.
- Edmonton’s seventh goal getting banked in off Seth’s skate and then fished out of the net like nothing happened was perfectly on-brand for the effort tonight. It was still credited to the Oilers because the eye in the sky rarely lies.
- Seven Oilers had a multi-point night.
- Patrick Kane had two assists in the game, which adds to his position on this fine list.