Edmonton Oilers @ Chicago Blackhawks
25 FEB 2013 – 6:30 MST
Television – Sportsnet West
Blackhawk Up is the Chicago Blackhawks page on the Fansided Network
The Oilers begin a 9 game road trip tonight. They’ll need to win at least five or six games if they’d like to talk about the playoffs sometime in March. They’ve got a heck of a task tonight when they face off against the NHL’s only undefeated team in regulation in Chicago. Hey, Oilers? Those 5 on 5 goals can start coming tonight.
- ZE HOCKEY PLAYER? The Oilers will have plenty of Blackhawks to worry about, but they ought to keep an eye out for their leading scorer Patrick Kane. Kane currently has 23 points (9-14-23) in 18 games. Set a reminder or scribble on a post-it. Him and Toews. And Hossa too.
- LINE CHANGE - Teemu Hartikainen has been placed on injured reserve with what appears to be a shoulder injury. This from a guy who scored a goal on the power play in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Coyotes. Lennart Petrell has passed the concussion test and will play on the fourth line with Chris Vande Velde…and Nail Yakupov. Notice the three dots between Vande Velde and Nail Yakupov. That’s because I’m not at all jacked up about Nail Yakupov on the fourth frickin’ line.
- This is Taylor Hall‘s second (and final) game served to suspension.
- In another move that I’m also not jacked up about, Coach Krueger is giving Khabibulin his third consecutive start. Since Khabibulin has come on in relief of Devan Dubnyk in last Saturday’s 6-4 win, Dubnyk hasn’t played a minute of action. I hope Khabibulin stops every shot he faces tonight, but you know and I know that Khabibulin’s successes run for fleeting moments in a season. Still, Khabibulin is 2-2-0 with a .942 SV% to go with a 1.89 GAA in four games. The Blackhawks will go with Ray Emery, who (along with the rest of the Blackhawks) has been pretty spotless this year. Emery is 7-0-0 with a .930 SV% and a tidy 2.10 SV%.
- For the Oilers, Sam Gagner has 17 points (5-12-17) in 17 games. Gagner had 9 points against the Blackhawks last year (including an eight point outburst you’ll likely remember). As a result, I’ve determined that Gagner is THE PLAYER TO WATCH for tonight’s game. Unless Khabibulin starts leaking goals, in which Khabibulin will then become the PLAYER TO WATCH. Let’s hope it’s Gagner.
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