Feb 6, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Oilers 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Top 10 Oiler Stories of 2011-12: #8 - Edmonton 9, Chicago 2

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WE WANT TEN

After this past week’s callup debacle, it’s time for something a little bit more palatable.

It was a few weeks since Hot October ended.  After starting a most impressive 7-2-2, the Oilers had cooled off in November, going 2-5.  They faced what surely would be an uphill battle against the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks.

What happened on that November night was almost as unbelievable as Sam Gagner’s eight point event later in the year.

Six days prior to this game, the Oilers had dropped a 6-3 decision to these same Blackhawks.  Even the most optimistic of Oiler fans couldn’t have seen what this game was going to bring.  By the time the final second had elapsed from the clock, the Oilers had managed to tally nine goals on Ray Emery and Corey Crawford; the Blackhawks were able to net only two.

Nine goals.

  • Taylor Hall had a hat trick.  Here’s a look back at his third goal of the night, assisted by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • Your goaltending is likely experiencing some issues if nine goals are yielded between your tandem.  For Blackhawks goaltenders Ray Emery and Corey Crawford, a red letter night it wasn’t.  Hawk goaltenders combined for 25 saves on 34 shots, or about a .735 SV%.  Nikolai Khabibulin was still seeing the puck like a beach ball at this point, turning aside 34 of 36 Hawk shots en route to a resounding victory.
  • Nugent-Hopkins had five helpers.  We get to Sam Gagner’s crazy game later in this countdown, but five assists is nothing to sneeze at for a rookie with about twenty games experience at that point.
  • Jeff Petry is has emerged into a solid option for the Edmonton Oilers.  He was +5 on this night.  Know who else was +5?  Theo Peckham.  Read that last one if you missed it.  Peckham had 19 penalty minutes.  No Oiler was lower than even on the plus/minus scale.  Duncan Keith of Chicago was -4.
  • The team was playing out of their minds.  Over their heads?  Probably.  The team had enough wins in October plus a couple of wins in November, and then this game.  Khabibulin’s save percentage was still through the roof. We wanted to believe that it was going to last.  It wasn’t going to (the club was allowing over 30 shots in way too many games, injuries, suspension, and so on), but this one was one  to remember.
The countdown rolls on all this week.

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Tags: Eric Belanger Jeff Petry Nikolai Khabibulin Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Taylor Hall Theo Peckham

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