Gagner Powers Oilers Past Blackhawks

By Blake Schuster

In Tort law, if one decides to help someone in need they take on an obligation to complete the treatment they are giving.


According to that law, Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjarlmasson, Brent Seabrook, and Nick Leddy should all be thrown in jail.


The trio were a combined -7 in Friday night’s 8-4 thrashing courtesy of the Edmonton Oilers — or more specifically Sam Gagner.


The former London Knight line-mate of Patrick Kane factored into every one of Edmonton’s goals, scoring four of them and assisting on the rest.


In fact only two Oilers before him, Paul Coffey and Wayne Gretzky, had done what Gagner accomplished against the Hawks.


And the aforementioned defensemen for Chicago made it look like they were as mesmerized by Gagner’s antics as the rest of Rexall Place — idly standing by while the Oiler’s swarmed the crease and took advantage of both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, who relieved Crawford after he let in five goals.


For a team that has been desperately needing, and advocating, the acquisition of another stay at home defenseman tonight was the equivalent of screaming bloody murder for one.


If only it would get easier for the Blackhawks — who have garnered one point in their last four games — yet tomorrow they will meet a Calgary team as frantic for a win as Chicago, and if the Blackhawks exert the defensive effort they gave against the Oilers, the Flames will come out with a win.


The offensive effort however was a different story.


Patrick Sharp scored twice — his first points since returning from Injured Reserve earlier this week — the Hawks peppered the Oilers with 47 shots, and Jonathan Toews won 57% of his faceoffs.


Yet it may have been the offensive drive that caused the defensive breakdown.


Seabrook was regularly jumping into the play up front leaving a gaping hole on the back end, and while he did help generate offense — taking eight shots and hitting the net on three of them — the overall result of his near 27 minutes of ice time was a -2.


Simply put, if the Blackhawks are going to start picking up points they are going to need to play with the same level of intensity on both sides of the ice.


Perhaps having heard the chant “We want ten!” in two trips to western Canada will allow the Hawks to get the memo.

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