Could the sticky Edmonton Oilers make it three for three
against the Stanley Cup Holders The Chicago Blackhawks? Stranger things have happened, but it’s the
way these teams’ seasons are going that stops me betting the house on Chicago….Anything
Chicago lifted the Stanley Cup last season and were expect to add
good to good, but they rebounded badly and only managed two wins in their first
four games, then managed just seven wins (one OT and one SO) in all of October.
The true Blackhawk low point of October was when the
struggling Oilers turned up in Chicago
and trounced them 7-4!
November started badly for the Blackhawks as they
had back to back losses against the Rangers and the Devils, before they got a
win against the Atlanta Thrashers, then came the re-match with the Oilers on Madison Street.
The last time these teams met (7th
November) most analysts (including me) expected a Chicago win and we were WRONG!
Chicago got off to the best possible start as former
Oiler Fernando Pisani opened the scoring that night in Chicago, but former Blackhawk Nikolai
Khaninulin got the last laugh, as the Russian aka The Nyet Minder backstopped the
Oilers to a 2-1 win.
Chicago got 24 saves from backup Corey Crawford in his fourth start and fifth
game of the season. But for the fifth time in their six home setbacks, the
Blackhawks lost the game in the third.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville attributed the blame to that tricky
final period and unreliable home ice, “I think that's our sore spot this year:
The inability to close teams out and win at home.” Wise words!
It was a pair of third-period goals in 14-seconds,
from Kurtis Foster and Sam Gagner for Edmonton, which gave the club a perfect
start to their five-game road trip.
It was no comfort to the Hawks that Edmonton failed to match
that performance during the rest of their tour and lost all four of their
remaining away games. Their road trip ending 1-3-1, letting in a total of 25
goals in those four games; 7-1, 6-2, 4-3, and 8-2 respectively, (the team are
4-9-3 overall), and sit in 15th place in the NHL's Western Conference.
In their last game the Oilers managed to keep up
with the New York Rangers for the first 25 minutes of the Sunday matinee, but
were soon overwhelmed and New York
scored seven straight goals to seal an inspiring 8-2 win.
Now Chicago start a six game, 11 day road trip!
After the second Edmonton defeat Chicago
defenseman Brian Campbell said, “Losing two games to these guys in our own building
is not a good thing. It's unacceptable. We've got to get a little mad in the
locker room and go out there and win some more battles."
Since the 7th the Hawks have managed
one shoot out loss (3-4 against the Predators) and a 3-2 OT win against the Anaheim
Ducks, so expect the real bounce back to come at Edmonton.
It’s what the Blackhawks want, to humble the
Oilers on their home territory, and more importantly it’s what they need.
Losing a third time to the Oilers simply isn’t
acceptable for the Cup Holders.
However….when two unpredictable teams meet, expect
NHL betting odds are not out yet for this game,
but bookmark the page and come back as we will have live lines from top
Best betting tip of the day, take a coin out your
pocket assign one side “Blackhawks Revenge” and the other “Oilers make it
three” and toss it.
I just have….
NHL Free Pick: Blackhawks revenge, 4-1.