This third period had so many things go wrong with it, and so many things to get upset about. But honestly, woof just sums up this third period.
The Oilers had put this game away with ten minutes left in the third, and Draisaitl and Cagguila put their names all over it. A minute and a half into the third, Draisaitl drove to the net and gave Cam a run for his money in the crease. Follow that up with the shorthanded opportunity Draisaitl had, plus the assist he sent to Rieder to Chiasson, Draisaitl had a powerful period. Cagguila also had an easy shorthanded goal after Khaira waited out a pass blocking slide by DeBrincat. The Oilers ran this period and bullied the Hawks, simply demoralizing and destroying their game.
After watching this third period, I have a bone to pick with Gustafsson. First, you get beat on a pinch, giving up a shorthanded goal. Not only that, but you have DeBrincat sprinting back to cover your mistake, getting embarrassed by Khaira waiting out his block. Then to top off the incredible period you’ve had, you draw a penalty with 7 minutes left after your team is already behind 4-0. Honestly, take your time out in the box and get off the ice. You’ve done enough.
Ward was sold up a river by his defense this period, but boy did he pull out some incredible saves. Looking at these first 5 minutes of the period, Ward was doing somersaults in the net to keep the puck out. If there are any defensive highlights to have, Cam Ward takes the trophy. While the Oilers got 4 goals on 29 shots, this stat doesn’t represent Ward splaying himself out to give the Blackhawks a resemblance of a chance.
To give some praise out, DeBrincat and Johnson both had decent periods, even if the stat sheet doesn’t show it. DeBrincat nearly had a great opportunity on a turn over by Nugent-Hopkins, before getting stick lifted. Plus, his hustle to try and save a goal shows how hard he’s working for this team. Johnson tallied another shot block with a dragging skate, again putting his body in front of a puck. Taking a puck to the skate is going to hurt, and seeing him willing to put himself in front of a puck when the game is already over shows heart.
Overall, this game hurt. The Blackhawks out shot the Oilers 40 to 29, but the Oilers finished their shots and created great chances. While Kane is still recovering from his illness, Toews needs to pick up some slack, and Saad needs to be putting passes in the right place. When your newest faces are laying out and giving their heart all around, they shouldn’t be the fire under the old guard to keep working. The Blackhawks are still trying to use their core players to produce, and when they don’t it shows.
Coach Q said it all. “Nowhere to be satisfied.”