Coming off of an improbable win against the tough Pittsburgh Penguins, the Edmonton Oilers had to feel fairly pumped up heading into their next game. That excitement might have been slightly tempered by the fact that their next game came against the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks but if so, it didn’t show on the ice. They took the game to the champs for 60-minutes and made them earn the 5 – 3 win against them.
Though they were lucky on a goal or two, the effort was there against a Blackhawks team that is clearly one of the top couple of teams in the NHL. There weren’t many who figured the champs would have to fight hard against the Oilers and that doubles when you consider the Hawks had 5 Power Plays to the Oilers 1. Yet it was a one-goal game until the final minutes and still remained a hard fought win for the Blackhawks.
It was a back to backer for the champs but they nearly doubled the Oilers in shots 41 – 21 and showed why they are the champs. Two things came out of this game in addition to the fact that Devan Dubnyk showed that it’s possible to give up 5 goals and have a great game in net at the same time. Firstly the Blackhawks are just as tough this year as they were last and the path to the Cup definitely goes through Chicago. Secondly it is clear that the Oilers are the most exciting 35-point team in the NHL.