EDMONTON, Alberta – Oh, you thought the Blackhawks would come back again? Nope, not this time.
So much for learning lessons out of Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. There was no comeback from a 5-0 deficit on Monday, as the Edmonton Oilers kept the pressure on in the third.
Oh, Canada, you’ve been fantastic as always. But it’s time for us to head to California. Before we do, let’s look at the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 5-0 loss to Edmonton.
1. Costly late-period goals. This could also be listed as “poor late-period discipline” but we’ll go with this title. The Oilers got power plays late in the first and second periods. They scored in the waning seconds on the first and right after the end of the second. Leon Draisaitl’s goal came with 34 seconds remaining in the first period; Andrej Sekera’s came with 7.6 seconds remaining in the second. Just deflating.
2. Kids more noticeable than the veterans. Sorry for calling them kids but since they’re half my age, I’m sticking with it. Anyway, the Blackhawks’ young players were energetic and trying to build off the work they did on Saturday night against Vancouver. It was another game in which Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and others weren’t nearly as noticeable as they should have been.
3. Cam Talbot stymies. If the Blackhawks had any thoughts of coming back in this game like they did on Saturday night, Talbot erased them. Talbot had a great night, especially when the Blackhawks had a power play early in the second period (six shots, including a scorcher from Duncan Keith from the slot and an Artem Anisimov attempt from the doorstep). Yes, Talbot had great help in front of him; the Oilers blocked 21 shots and kept the Blackhawks more to the perimeter as the game wore on. But his second-period work loomed large.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
4. Connor McDavid is mesmerizing to watch. Doesn’t matter if you’re watching him in person or on television: McDavid is dazzling. The rookie is smooth with the puck and obviously garnered a lot of the Blackhawks’ attention on Monday night. That didn’t stop him from gathering assists on two of the Oilers’ goals.
5. Talk needs to become action. The Blackhawks have been talking about slow starts, falling behind early, all season. They’ve gotten away with it a lot, thanks to goaltending or their third-period prowess. But on this trip it’s cost them twice. It nearly cost them a third time. Over the last few seasons the Blackhawks have been a team that’s played great with a lead. They need to get back to attaining one early.