McDavid, Oilers End Blackhawks’ Win Streak

Remember how the Blackhawks hadn’t lost — or trailed — since Jeremy Colliton got fired? Those were four fun games.

Those were four fun games against teams that didn’t have Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl.

Unfortunately, the Hawks were in Edmonton on Saturday night to face McDavid, Draisaitl, Duncan Keith and the rest of the (healthy) Oilers. The list of healthy Oilers did not include Darnell Nurse, who is expected to miss a couple weeks.

Chicago got Brandon Hagel back from a sprained AC joint in his shoulder for the game, which was nice. Calvin de Haan was not available for the Blackhawks, who skated six defensemen including Caleb Jones. And Kevin Lankinen was a bit of a surprise starter; Marc-André Fleury had stopped 95 of 100 shots he had faced over his last three starts (all wins).

The Blackhawks didn’t trail in this game for ten minutes. While the Hawks were successfully keeping the Oilers off the board, it felt like they were trying their absolute hardest to keep up with the speed of the Oilers. Like their best effort was to just hang in there. And it was… for ten minutes.

But at 10:16 somehow McDavid found a loose puck to the side of the net and put it home. The Oilers had a 1-0 lead.

What’s the absolute worst thing the Hawks could do after surrendering a lead? Give the Oilers a power play. And Philipp Kurashev went to the box 31 seconds after the McDavid goal.

Check that — the absolute worst thing the Hawks could do is give the Oilers a two-man advantage with a key penalty killer in the box. So when Jonathan Toews joined Kurashev in the box, the recipe for disaster was complete. And Edmonton made the Hawks pay. Tyson Barrie made the lead two 63 seconds after McDavid’s goal.

The good news: the Blackhawks killed the rest of the Toews penalty and then the Blackhawks got a power play. The bad news: an ugly drop pass turned into a short-handed goal from Kailer Yamamoto and the Oilers had a three-goal lead.

When it rains it pours, and when they Oilers have the puck they score. They had the puck a lot in the first period, and Ryan McLeod made the score 4-0 with under two minutes left in the opening period.

It felt like the wheels were totally off (they were), but Chicago got on the board with 20 seconds left in the first period. Alex DeBrincat was credited with the goal, cutting the lead to 4-1.

To their credit, the Blackhawks actually out-shot the Oilers 17-14 in the first period. But Edmonton got quality looks and converted them.

The second period saw three things of note, none of which were a goal from either team.

First, the seemingly nightly stretch of 8-10 minutes without a stoppage came early in the second. It included a shift of almost five minutes for the Hawks’ defensemen as the Blackhawks were caught in their zone for a ridiculous amount of time. Connor Murphy and Caleb Jones officially clocked a shift of 4:50 while Dylan Strome and Juhjar Khaira were on the ice for 3:20. Mike Hardman escaped after 3:15.

From there, Lankinen was the story. He made a few amazing saves to keep the Blackhawks within three.

Neither team scored in a second period that saw Edmonton out-shoot the Blackhawks 10-6 and really control the pace of play.

One scary moment late in the second period came when Keith hit Hagel and it appeared Hagel’s night might be over. He left the ice favoring his shoulder again and went straight to the room. Thankfully, Hagel returned to the ice early in the third period.

If the Blackhawks wanted any chance to come back in this game, they needed to score the first (and second… and, ultimately, third) goal of the third period. But they needed to try to score them one at a time. So what did Derek King do to chase the first goal of a potential comeback?

The second group over the boards in the third period was Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat. Finally the nuclear option was on the ice.

Kurashev went to the box for a second time in the game, this time for holding McDavid almost seven minutes into the third. Chicago was able to successfully kill the penalty and, when Kurashev left the box, the puck immediately found him. He initiated a two-on-one that ended with DeBrincat’s second goal of the night.

The lead was down to two with 11 minutes left in regulation.

Unfortunately, McDavid drew a third penalty in the game with under seven minutes left in regulation — and it was Toews again. It looked like a soft call, but enough of an emphasis has been put on protecting players like (especially) McDavid recently that he was getting calls all night. Chicago would need to kill a penalty and then score twice to tie the game.

With 44 seconds left in the Toews penalty, Zach Hyman did the Hawks a favor and took his second stupid penalty of the night. Toews emerged from the box for a power play.

Unfortunately, the next goal came off the stick of Draisaitl, who scored Edmonton’s second short-handed goal of the game when a clearing attempt avoided a couple Chicago sticks and found the league’s leading scorer all alone in the neutral zone. Lankinen was left alone to defend Draisaitl, not an ideal situation.

Erik Gustafsson led the Blackhawks with five shots on net. Dach won five of 15 faceoffs, slightly above his 30 percent win rate for the season but not nearly good enough. He wasn’t alone; Toews won only six of 15 draws.

The win streak is over, the Blackhawks trailed for the first time under King’s coaching but they hadn’t faced the most dynamic two offensive players in the league. Chicago’s power play was a dumpster fire; two short-handed goals against is unacceptable. And the second half of the first period was a gong show that saw Edmonton score four times in less than nine months.

Lankinen played well. DeBrincat added two more goals. But the reality is simple: the Hawks don’t have the firepower to skate with a team like Edmonton.

Please consider adding your name to our Change.org petition to get Steve Larmer reconsidered by the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee. He should be enshrined already. We’re trying to make it happen now.

26 thoughts on “McDavid, Oilers End Blackhawks’ Win Streak

  • November 20, 2021 at 11:57 pm
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    Love them West Coast games. Yes we don’t have the firepower nor the depth to compete with the better teams in league. They didn’t quit. I wonder how the Hockey Guy search is coming along??? We only lost 5-2 with Gus playing 17 minutes on D!!! Penalties are killers.

  • November 21, 2021 at 12:31 am
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    Good news they tied Oilers 2-2 in even strength goals, shots and scoring chances as well. Bad news, the Oilers as mentioned got 2 sh and 1pp goals, the Blackhawks 0 special team goals for. Other than last half of 1st period and crazy long shift in their own end in 2nd, some sloppy puck work they did okay. Hung in and tried to make a game of it in the 3rd, didn’t quit after 1st, Lankinen the same, made some unbelievable saves to keep it reasonably close.

  • November 21, 2021 at 12:36 am
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    This, for me, was a barometer game. Winning against Seattle was not a given. They almost gave that game away. Then…Edmonton. Speed and skill and elite players. McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins. They didn’t even lead the team in shots. Those 3 players 2, 3, and 2 SOG respectively. On the faceoff…YIKES!!! Draisaitl just owned Toews and Dach. Interesting stat of the night? Duncan Keith led all skaters with 25:06 TOI. He hasn’t slowed down. He was playing Colliton’s system, while with the Blackhawks, and suffering the results. I wish him a great rest of the season.

    Okay…back to the game. Kane and DeBrincat were their usual offensive force. Dach was losing faceoffs left and right so…kudo’s to Coach King for giving Toews a turn with them to see what would happen. Unfortunately, not a lot. I wouldn’t give up on the Toews idea with Kane and DeBrincat. If Lukas Reichel keeps up his Rockford numbers, he would be a fantastic option. I’m not a fan of Kurashev, but…penalties aside…he was 100% on FO’s. 1 for 1. I’ll take it.

    The Blackhawks biggest issues are now their lack of net front presence. As much as some folks are not a fan of Carpenter…he fits the bill. He does that dirty work.
    Khaira gets a lot of ice time for not doing much. Borgstrom and Gaudette aren’t even sniffing the ice. I think it would be a good idea to give them that ice time versus Vancouver. Borgstrom on a 4th line to give him a kick in the behind. Send a message that he needs to up his game. Gaudette just needs playing time. He may not be as skilled as Kurashev, but he’s got hustle. Get them out there.

    Lastly, the defensive pairing of Murphy-McCabe were actually the best pair…strictly on defense. With de Haan sitting out with an injury, Gustafsson was seeing regular minutes. He wasn’t horrible. But…sans his perceived offensive skills, I’d rather see Phillips up…or Regula.

    Lankinen stat line looks really bad, those goals were mostly because of the guys in front of him.
    This game was a barometer game and the Blackhawks were outclassed in every respect.

    Coach King, please consider Borgstrom and Gaudette and sit Kurashev and Hagel…just to rest that arm/shoulder.

    Crazy line thoughts:

    DeBrincat-Toews-Kane
    Kubalik-Dach-Carpenter
    Khaira-Strome-Gaudette
    Hardman-Borgstrom-R. Johnson

    S. Jones-Stillman
    Murphy-McCabe
    Gustafsson-C. Jones

    Goodnight all…on to Vancouver!!!

  • November 21, 2021 at 12:57 am
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    They lost most of the 1st period 50-50 puck battles,no surprise there, and were slow and sloppy on both the penalty kill and powerplay. How did we ever conduct a powerplay in the past without the illustrious blind drop pass to a forward??? Dach lost McDavid on the 1st goal as he was puck watching. This team does not have enough fast twitch players to compete for 60 minutes. DeBrincat,Kane,Hagel,and sometimes Dach are about it for now. Great job by Lankinen the last 2 periods,the game should have been about 8-2. The 1st Line Center for the Hawks tonight was a MINUS 3,yes TAB I know that according to great hockey minds that does not mean anything,but he was a MINUS 3 had an entire 1 SHOT on goal,was 6 out of 15 at the DOT,of course had 0 GOALS and 0 ASSISTS and was in the box for 4 minutes. Has any top line Center ever played 17 more non-consequential games as Toews has played to begin this season? It is aggravating when 9 of your team,s forwards do nothing to attack the net or generate their own offense. They look like now they are just trying to keep the games close. The post game interviews of course marveled at how very talented that the OILERS are. King and other Hawks were very complimentary. Sorry Coach,the Oilers weren’t your problem tonight. Angry Canuck team awaits them tomorrow night,

  • November 21, 2021 at 4:57 am
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    Back to reality. This is not a good hockey team, regardless of who the coach is. You can play like garbage for 1/2-2/3 of a game against teams like Arizona and Seattle and still come away with 2 points. Play like cow dung for 15 minutes against the better teams and this is the result.

  • November 21, 2021 at 5:59 am
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    Yup. They are what they are.

    I can cheer for them anyway, something I had a hard time doing with the previous coaching staff and GM. I couldn’t stand their arrogance, smugness and incompetence. King and Davidson, although temporary, are the complete opposite – genuine, earnest and capable. They are guys you want to see succeed. Yes, I admit I had a bad case of schadenfreude.

    Because I don’t have high expectations I am seldom disappointed. The Seth Jones turnover that lead to a goal was really, really bad. Lankinen was Lankinen, sometimes good, sometimes not. On the 2nd or 3rd goal he wasn’t even in the net and was flopping around like a fish out of water, something he does too often.

    DeBrincat and Kane is something special. DeBrincat reminds me of Steve Larmer in some ways and Kane of Denis Savard. We just need an Al Secord to round out that line.

    Now let’s have fun and enjoy the rest of the season.

  • November 21, 2021 at 7:11 am
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    I watched more of the Hogs tonite then the Hawks

    Reichel- is better than most of the current roster… speed/IQ/ and fast twitch that Tim W mentioned
    I am OK w him seasoning another 20-20 games… but kid is clearly better than what Hawks are skating- aside from 12/88/Hagel.

    Slavin- deserves a look too. He looks as engaged as Hardman/Johnson- with possible more Offensive upside… just want to see him get 10-15 games to see if there is something playing w better NHLers

    Hogs D- really sad how nobody “Stans-out” – considering the many picks that Stan invested over the last several years- and Forwards he passed on. Best D prospects are probably low budget picks like Crevier and Del Mastro and Kid Kaiser… REALLY SAD STAN. Not to mention the highest picks have all ready been sent packing.

  • November 21, 2021 at 7:55 am
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    Yes as J.G. said they are what they are-but at least now they can form some sort of identity.
    Debrincat , all 5’7 (the novelty act-lol) has become the leader of this team and along with Jones should lead this team. Dach, I hope grows into that role as well. I’m not convinced he survives physically in the long haul.
    They will add players but the chances of them becoming the Hawks of 09-16 are so slim. Adding a 20 something Kane, Toews, Keith/Seabrook and Hossa is a rarity in sport-it was amazing but the odds of this team staying as middle of the road team are high and as a fan I’m OK with that.
    19 and 88 can take a bow with the Hawks or decide they want to move on for a legit chance with another team-nobody can blame them either way.

  • November 21, 2021 at 8:25 am
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    Agree Wijg this a year to grow and improve with no expectations of winning every game. Enjoy the wins and learn from the losses. One thing to me last night stood out, at least first 2 periods, was their 1-2-2 forecheck that King has them playing, wasn’t able to be a factor with Oilers speed. That put the pressure on the man and half in their own end without much support from the forecheck, definitely something that neds to be and can be improved on as they get used to it. They almost doubled the Oilers in credited hits last night, a stat they have been on the positive side the majority of games this season, most of those seem to be in 2nd half of game, the big hitters coming out throwing hits out the gate could’ve helped slow down the Oilers early dominance.

  • November 21, 2021 at 8:45 am
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    The nuclear option is not as potent as it used to be given how diminished Toews is at present. It is certainly worth trying and maybe would be the thing to break Toews out. But when Toews is not even winning face-offs it is a tough situation. It is not time to give up on Toews yet. He has earned a great deal of leeway. If his body is deserting him, which appears possible, that will really be difficult to overcome and all we can do is hope. Yes, “Hope is not a strategy,” but what else can you do?

    Dach needs to be a wing. His face-off efficiency is showing no signs of improving. When you watch him take a face-off, he’s not even competitive. He looks as hapless as a forward taking a face-off after the center gets thrown out. He sort of waves at it.

    Strome had a nice chance to get the Hawks back in it but shot the puck right in to the goaltender’s gut. The announcer called it and Strome knew it and shook his head. Strome continues to lose every puck battle along the boards. There are many Strome advocates on the blogs, but it’s getting harder and harder to see why.

    Wasn’t Seth Jones out there for the first 3 goals? You can’t count a 5 on 3. That was an automatic goal given the Edmonton PP. This was after the announcers were praising Jones to high heaven. Anyone can have a bad game and he is generally excellent. Since the “push em back entry” became popular, the Hawks seem to be the only team I can think of that gets in to trouble with it. We’ve seen fiascos like we saw last night before with it. Two shorties against is pretty amazing – and disgusting.

    When the Hawks play a good team, this is probably going to be the outcome more often than not.

    Watching McDavid is a treat, except that he is playing for the other side. Everything is quick and effortless. Some people just have great genes for doing what they are doing with their lives and he is one of them.

    I liked the announcer last night. His “Oh ohs” were spot on. Actually, I have liked them all so far. The Hawks should be in good hands moving forward from a play by play standpoint. Colby Cohen needs to stop telling as many stories as he does. Other than that, he has some good insight.

    The Hawks were outclassed badly last night. It should not be a surprise. The were against the Kraken in the second and third periods as well, but Fleury saved their asses. It does not appear that the moves that were made have made the Hawks competitive with good teams yet. We will probably see more of this kind of result against good teams and when they beat a mediocre team we will get our hopes up.

  • November 21, 2021 at 8:50 am
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    Forgot to mention last night: The play by play guy: “meh”. Still rooting for the 1st young guy they had.

  • November 21, 2021 at 9:06 am
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    Toews- is done… hoping he realizes that and takes early retirement

  • November 21, 2021 at 9:15 am
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    Was not a bad game overall ,Hawks where not outclassed but giving 2 goals when your on a power play is unacceptable and please sit kurashev for 2-3 games .
    Without those 2 goals given At 5 on 4 they loose the game 3-2 against a really good team .
    DCat is a really good player who shows up every game ( lucky we didn’t listen to some guys here he wants to trade him for a third rd pick 2 years ago hahaha)
    Hawks could use Reichel but I prefer to see him in Rockford to continue his learning.
    I would bring Slavin for a few games ,he is More mature physically and mentally at 22 y o .
    Just my two pesos.

  • November 21, 2021 at 9:27 am
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    Well,That’s it , 4 goals in 10 minutes of the 1st , all done ,not focused ,still on the plane ! Mistakes ! End of story ! POPS 4

  • November 21, 2021 at 9:28 am
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    ok so what was new about this game compared to the last 3-4 seasons……NOTHING.
    same complaints, same core getting old, small frame, Dach and Dom are lost, beating bad teams and taking it against good teams, management is in the clouds, players have concrete in their skates.

  • November 21, 2021 at 11:13 am
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    Goose
    And nothing will change for a while ,we are are week 3 of the big landslide that Beach created ( glad he was brave and that he decide to talk to kick some ass out off Chicago. )and we will need to start the rebuild from there.
    Chicago and Paris where not built in a year. .
    ;)

  • November 21, 2021 at 11:33 am
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    Retool, rebuild, retool, rebuild, what’s it going to be Danny? This season is lost and while they have a slim chance of making the PO’s what then, get blown out?

    An outside guy needs to come in and revamp the organization from top to bottom, until then we get mediocrity although all the beat writers will do nothing but praise King for being a nice guy and righting a sinking ship, but guess what people the ship is still taking on water.

    #Play Gaudette……Strome is what Strome is and needs to traded, I’d take a 3rd for sure. Carpenter needs to move on also, bring up Connelly

    19-88-12
    38-77-8
    Borg-Gaudette-Connelly
    Hardman-Kurashev-Khjaira

    Roll all 4 lines and let em play that way for 10 games to develop chemistry.
    As many have said it’s a year with no expectations, so at least try to develop
    one player maybe two

  • November 21, 2021 at 11:44 am
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    $$ Bill- I was kinda thinking same on Connelly- he is NOT the answer. But watching Hogs last nite-
    He has much better/harder shot than most guys on roster- which is having heck uv time getting hard shots on net- Top 2 Centers 77/19 are horrible at shooting puck on net … and 77 refuses to give the puck up early and often to best playmaker in last 10 years.

    Nothing to lose on Connelly (assuming he fits -cap wise)

    Hawks are still in denial… they are not a PO team… and need to “make Strome/MAF/others -look attractive” so they can be traded for some picks at TDL.

    Therefore- Strome should really Center 88/12- yes they might crap the bed in D zone… but Unlike Dach – Strome will give the puck up- and spot up around the Goal.

    If you consider all the points 12/88 have so far- it is actually pretty Hard to have as few points as Dach has right now- think about it. Centering 12/88

  • November 21, 2021 at 11:51 am
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    This team is not going to be a speed killer or most skilled, it will have skilled forwards who play a less physical game. It appears for the rest of this season, is a team whose identity is, like or not staying with same defensive syrtem and learn to master a forecheck to support it in center ice area. A few forwards who can throw their weight around and need to learn how to impact a game in a bigger way with their physicality. Play with less mistakes to stay close and win their share of games. Won’t be a secret recipe to win a cup or even make playoffs but should be competitive and be entertaining at least. Hopefully pp finds their groove again, pk remains as an asset plus some secondary 5 on 5 scoring emerges.

  • November 21, 2021 at 3:02 pm
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    This game really wasn’t unexpected. This roster can’ hang with the best of the NHL and there are few if none better than Draisaitl and McDavid…

    The Oilers put it way early and then kind of toyed with the Hawks after that. They have a roster that can dictate play. The Hawks, sadly do not. But this doesn’t change anything, this is who the Hawks are this year, a mid level team trying to fight their way into the playoffs.

    Not a lot to say about this game other than to try and learn what you can from it and move on. Hawks have a game they should be able to win against Vancouver and need to come in with the idea that they can and will stop the Canucks. Hawks have to get two points this weekend.

    One final note on the Hawks special teams, it would be nice to see the Hawks mix things up a little on their entries. It’s clear the Oilers were waiting on the Hawks push them back entry, let’s maybe throw in other options to make them less predictable? Just a thought…

  • November 21, 2021 at 3:28 pm
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    @Bluto….gotta agree Hawks are in total denial. Hopefully Strome can get us a 3rd round pickis ok by me. Yes Connelly is not the answer, but let him try and maybe he performs and we can get another lottery pick.

    Stan’s mo of bringing up Boquist, Dach, Joki, etc.etc. early has killed this team long term. Neither Stan nor JC knew what talent is and how to get a team to mesh.

    It’s sad to see Toews struggle so much, he’s but a shadow of his former hockey self, maybe he should do the Hossa and go on LTIR. As for Dach he needed another years in the Jr’s but Stan needed a feel good story

  • November 21, 2021 at 8:33 pm
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    This game was expected. Wasn’t expecting two shorties but the score yes.

    Get rid of that drop entry. Skate the puck out. Good Gus can skate it out bad Gus has to play defense.

    Someone should’ve gone after Hyman after he got out or punched McDavid for Kane.

  • November 22, 2021 at 7:15 pm
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    I know they are getting more experienced in the league but when we had a half three qtr roster a yr ago we man handled edm in playoffs. Cant wait for us to get our roster where they are in a few yrs in terms of having a young core and then deep ness.

    Edm is better and col should be the top team in league after rob can’t keep everyone with salary cap yet those teams donot know how to play playoff hockey, yet.

    What I mean is I want us to build our roster like Tim says with the right kind of players. So we’re in it to win not look pretty in regular season then see a team like mtl who is a boarderline top 20 team but being build for playoffs style roster that’s how you win. I know they played an al Canadian division that’s only reason why they beat a couple teams.

    Anyways you have to have good young core and some of the core can be 27-32, you know what I mean. Get that core and add elites from ufa as we go.

    Get another top pair defensemen and a few elites from ufa. Get another top 3 quality player from draft. Then fill in with Tim players. We’re on our way. Remember we want top 5/10 skill when we’re not good donot win too much this yr please I want to win again.

  • November 22, 2021 at 7:25 pm
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    Norman, yea we’re not going to get that many top players like that again but no other team will. That’s what it takes to have a dynasty in the salary cap. Th could win three, we really won four, and people might think like pit was equal to us, not. Pit was bookend and the was is was the best team like us for five yrs and deserved to win but no dynasty either even if they get three. The league is watered down since then.

    Chi was five in seven conference finals and basically won four. That I donot think will be done again. Some team could get three like pit or rob but it’s not even close in terms of dupynastu because it’s not yr after yr and agasint lots of top teams from 2008-2015. Pit won again when league got watered and that’s why I think was still finally broke through because those teams couldn’t touch bos la chi during those yr.

    Not arguing just saying big difference in how many top yea,s there was then that decade and how much more it’s watered and balanced now per say.

    Anyways reality is we can win the Cup by building for the playoffs to win one Cup at a time there’s no more dynasty’s for awhile/from anyone.

    Here’s to building the roster to what we want here and being a top 5 team again and getting that feeling we had from 2008-2015 not a dunasty feeling just a we want the Cup feeling to win once.

  • November 22, 2021 at 7:30 pm
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    I think any form of nuclear line would be a whole lot better if we had four quality lines to roll and a deep enough defense. It’s hard to play when you donot have that. That’s the base we need to get to really before we have a legit chance to play and win.

    Four lines top four defensemen.

    Load young wave!

  • November 22, 2021 at 7:36 pm
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    We’re still in the hunt for first picks in draft just can’t have teams like la sj Ana buf det start to tank when league starts to ‘play’

    Ari is still out there so we have good chance % wise. Have to stay in that area or we’re playing for the 32-35 pick. Getting one of the first picks is one way to get a top team again.

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