NHL Hockey Betting: Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton Oilers

NHL Hockey Betting:  Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton Oilers&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Edmonton Oilers have had a bumpy road ever since Connor McDavid was injured on November 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers. They’ve lost four of their five games since and it won’t get any easier as the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks come to town. This is the annual ‘circus trip’ for the Blackhawks who’ll play six straight away from the United Center. The Blackhawks are just 2-5-0 away from Chicago this season so it’s important for them to get every point they can during this six game stretch. The Oilers will also hit the road after this game and play their next six away from Rexall Place.

Edmonton was showing some nice progress before Connor McDavid went out but now Todd McLellan’s job is to keep his young players from getting dejected until their franchise player of the future returns. McDavid is everything that he was expected to be–in particular, he does a phenomenal job of making his teammates better. This extends not only to his linemates but to the entire team who feed off of his confidence and ‘swagger’. To the surprise of no one, the Oilers’ biggest issue is defense and goaltending. They were starting to show some improvement earlier in the season but they’ve regressed since and are currently the #27 scoring defense in the league. Anders Nilsson will get the start tonight–he’s 3-4-0 with a 3.21 goals against average and a 0.902 save percentage. Neither he or Cam Talbot have distinguished themselves this year–Talbot has more losses but has also started more games.

Chicago will respond with Corey Crawford who is playing decent hockey so far this season. The Blackhawks are tied for the #11 scoring defense in the league and while that needs to show some improvement Crawford’s numbers are acceptable–he’s 8-5-1 with a 2.40 goals against average,a 0.918 save percentage and 2 shutouts. The Blackhawks have had trouble scoring goals at various points in this season but have shown improvement of late. The Blackhawks have taken advantage of the weaker teams on their schedule and have won 5 of their 6 matchups against teams with losing records. On the other hand, Edmonton has a 3-8 record against opponents over .500.


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