The Chicago Blackhawks are a very bad hockey team. They have their sights set on winning the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery. Obviously, the chances of that happening are much better when you are the worst team in the league and there is a chance that could be the case this year.
One team that is decent and should be in the playoffs is the Edmonton Oilers. They have some good players like Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, and Evander Kane but they are led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl who are two of the five best players in the world.
McDavid is far and away better than everyone in the league and it isn’t close. Draisaitl can be argued as the second-best player in the league but guys like Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning amongst others rival him for that title.
One thing that is non-negotiable is the fact that these two come into the league as the leading scorers in the NHL. McDavid has 40 goals and 49 assists for 89 points in 49 games played. He does what elite junior players do in their leagues in the best league in the world.
The Chicago Blackhawks will have their hands full against the Edmonton Oilers.
Those 40 goals and 89 points are each the league lead in those categories. He only trails Kucherov in assists but only by three. Don’t be surprised if he ends in the lead for all three of those stats.
As far as points are concerned, as mentioned before, Daisaitl is the NHL’s second-leading scorer with 73 points. Kucherov is close on his tail in third with 71 but Draisaitl is expected to stay in this spot for the rest of the season based on recent history.
With a very weak Chicago defense and forecheck coming to town, these two have to be so ready to play this game. You’d think that Edmonton’s speed and skill will help them absolutely destroy the Hawks.
The Hawks were terrible against the Vancouver Canucks on this trip but awesome against the Calgary Flames which makes it so confusing. Regardless, Edmonton is the best of the group and they have the best players. There is a chance that this one is not pretty.
McDavid uses the best speed that anyone has ever seen to make big-time plays which might be hard for the Hawks to contain while Draisaitl has a big-time shot that allows him to be an awesome two-way threat.
In order for the Hawks to win, they are going to have to make it physically demanding for both of these guys (which is obviously really hard) so that they can’t burn them.
If the Hawks do manage to have the puck every now and again, they need to be hard on it in their own zone and get bodies in front of the goalie. Edmonton is beatable but achieving these goals could be the difference.
You also don’t want to take a penalty because they are lethal when they go to work on the power play.
Don’t expect much out of the Hawks in this one other than gaining some valuable learning experience here. At the end of the day, it should be very fun to watch.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.