Blackhawks

Podcast: Blackhawks' chances vs. Oilers in Edmonton, possibility of No. 1 pick

Podcast: Blackhawks' chances vs. Oilers in Edmonton, possibility of No. 1 pick

The Blackhawks' next matchup when the NHL returns is against the Edmonton Oilers, but are the Hawks at a disadvantage this time around in the best-of-5 play-in series in Edmonton? Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis, and Scott King discuss the matchup as the Hawks prepare. The crew also discusses the possibility that the Hawks may get the #1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, and the new collective bargaining agreement that is closed to being signed by the players and owners.

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(1:30) - Edmonton Oilers vs Chicago Blackhawks

(8:00) - Updated details of the Bubble

(13:00) - Can the Hawks get the number 1 pick

(16:50) - Details of the new CBA between the players and owners

(27:44) - Will Brent Seabrook play when the Hawks return to play

How Blackhawks can beat Golden Knights in first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

How Blackhawks can beat Golden Knights in first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

The key to beating the Edmonton Oilers was simple: stay out of the penalty box and contain Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid at even strength. The execution part of it was challenging, but the Blackhawks were up to the task and eliminated the Oilers in four games to advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The key to beating the Vegas Golden Knights isn’t so simple. And neither is executing a plan to do so.

The Golden Knights have always been a dominant possession team, ever since they entered the league in 2017-18. But this might be their most well-rounded group yet, which is saying something considering they reached the Stanley Cup Final in their first year of existence.

The Golden Knights ranked No. 1 this season in a variety of offensive categories at even strength, according to Sportlogiq and Natural Stat Trick:

  • Shot attempts from the slot (25.4)
  • Shots on goal from the slot (15.1)
  • Expected goals for per 60 minutes (2.81)
  • Scoring chances for per 60 minutes (31.1)
  • High-danger chances for per 60 minutes (12.7)

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The Golden Knights are as good as it gets when it comes to generating chances. That's a problem for the Blackhawks, who ranked 31st in the five defensive categories at even strength listed above:

  • Shot attempts from the slot against (25.7)
  • Shots on goal from the slot against (15.2)
  • Expected goals against per 60 minutes (2.84)
  • Scoring chances against per 60 minutes (30.1)
  • High-danger chances against per 60 minutes (13.0)


Unlike the Edmonton series, it will be extremely difficult for the Blackhawks to win the 5-on-5 battle. Which means the only way to beat the Golden Knights in a best-of-seven series is to capitalize on the few mistakes they make — all four lines must be clicking — and win the special teams battle.

The Golden Knights finished the regular season ranked No. 9 in power play percentage (22.0) and, most notably, No. 27 in penalty kill percentage (76.6). The Blackhawks were tied for No. 8 in penalty kill percentage (82.1) and 28th in power play percentage (15.2) but showed progress in the latter department by going 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) in four qualifying-round games.

When the Blackhawks get their power-play opportunities, they must take advantage of them. If they don't, it could be a quick series. If they do, and Corey Crawford is at his best, the Blackhawks have a fighter's chance against a Golden Knights team that's 8-1-0 and has a plus-15 goal differential all-time against Chicago.

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2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Blackhawks-Golden Knights full first-round schedule

2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Blackhawks-Golden Knights full first-round schedule

The Blackhawks will open the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. CT. You can catch the action on NBC Sports Chicago, starting with Pregame Live at 9 p.m.

The Blackhawks are 1-6-2 all-time against the Golden Knights, who won two of the three matchups this season. The two teams will square off in a best-of-seven series after the Blackhawks eliminated the Edmonton Oilers in four games of the qualifying round to secure the No. 8 seed while the Golden Knights won all three round-robin games to lock up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Check out the full first-round schedule below:

Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 9:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Chicago and live stream on MyTeams app)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 4:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Chicago and live stream on MyTeams app)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. (NBC)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 5:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Chicago and live stream on MyTeams app)
*Game 5: Tuesday, Aug. 18: TBD (NBC Sports Chicago and live stream on MyTeams app)
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20: TBD (NBC Sports Chicago and live stream on MyTeams app)
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22: TBD (NBC Sports Chicago and live stream on MyTeams app)
*If necessary

As the lower seed, the Blackhawks are slated to be the home team for Games 3, 4 and 6. As the higher seed, the Golden Knights will be the home team for Games 1, 2, 5 and 7.

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