Picking up where they left off is likely not where the Chicago Blackhawks want to start what is essentially the second half of the season, as the Blackhawks are currently on a three-game losing streak.
Instead, the Blackhawks will look to stop that skid when the play the Edmonton Oilers on the road on Wednesday night.
Edmonton lost on Tuesday night against the Vegas Golden Knights, having gone into the All-Star break off of a victory. However, the Oilers are a hard team to beat with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, both All-Stars.
Edmonton is led in points by Draisaitl, who has 63 in 42 games, including 32 goals. McDavid is not far behind with 60 points, including 23 goals, in one fewer game than Draisaitl. The next highest Oiler has almost half as many points: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with 33 points in 35 games.
Edmonton is actually a team capable of moving the puck this season, something they largely haven’t been with McDavid and Draisaitl in previous years. Edmonton is a top-ten team in shot attempt share this season (52.04 percent) and is in the top half of the league in quality as well: 15th in expected goal share at 51.08 percent.
Edmonton’s defense, once a weak spot of the team, is also 15th in the league with 2.39 expected goals against per 60 at 5-on-5. However, Edmonton’s penalty kill remains subpar compared to the rest of the league (which is to say, not as weak as the Blackhawks’) and is only killing 77.4 percent of the team’s penalties, however.
The Oilers’ power play remains one of the best in the league, which makes sense, considering that the team has McDavid and Draisaitl, both of whom have scored 25 points on the power play so far this season.
The Blackhawks stand a chance because the Oilers do have one definitive weakness: goaltending. Edmonton has a .898 team save percentage, with Mike Smith at a .898 on the season and Stuart Skinner leading the team at .908.
The Oilers have plenty of scoring talent at the top of their roster, but do not have the most depth in the league. The key to winning is to limit McDavid and Draisaitl, and if the Blackhawks do that, they could stand a chance to secure their first win in February.
Blackhawks — Statistic — Oilers
46.85% (26th) — 5-on-5 Corsi For — 52.04% (10th)
46% (26th) — 5-on-5 Expected goals for — 51.08% (15th)
2.37 (29th) — Goals per game — 3.31 (10th)
3.37 (25th) — Goals against per game — 3.29 (22nd)
49.3% (18th) — Faceoffs — 52.1% (7th)
19% (19th) — Power play — 28.5% (3rd)
74.6% (27th) — Penalty kill — 77.4% (21st)
Projected lineups (subject to change)
DeBrincat — Strome — Kane
Kurashev — Dach — Hagel
Kubalik — Borgstrom — Lafferty
Connolly — Carpenter — Entwistle
de Haan — S. Jones
McCabe — Murphy
Kalynuk — Gustafsson
Kane — McDavid — Yamamoto
McLeod — Draisaitl — Kassian
Hyman — Nugent-Hopkins — Puljujarvi
Foegele — Shore — Ryan
Nurse — Bouchard
Keith — Ceci
Lagesson — Barrie
How to watch
When: 7:00 p.m. CT
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton
TV: NBC Sports Chicago