Friday, March 24 2023

Draisaitl, McDavid put on show against Blackhawks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks have seen the Edmonton Oilers twice at the United Center this season, and in each of those games, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have put on an absolute show.

On Oct. 27, McDavid recorded a hat trick and an assist while Draisaitl posted a three-point night, which included scoring the game-winner in the final minute of regulation. They controlled the game.

On Wednesday, the two of them picked up where they left off with Draisaitl registering two goals and an assist and McDavid recording a goal and an assist in Edmonton’s 5-4 win over Chicago. They combined for 15 shots on goal; for perspective, the Blackhawks had 25 as a team.

“Those are two of the best players in the world, right?” Max Domi said. “When you give them that much time off the rush and they’re going to make those plays, it’s tough to come from behind when you’re giving them that many chances.”

McDavid’s goal in the third period was a thing of beauty. He turned on the jets and blew past defenseman Jack Johnson then snapped a wrist shot past Arvid Soderblom.

McDavid later connected with Draisailt on a 2-on-1 for what turned out to be the game-winning goal. There was no chance to stop it.

“If they’re on a 2-on-1, the damage is done,” Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said. “Even when they’re on a 2-on-4, it’s difficult. It really is.”

“They’re obviously incredible players,” MacKenzie Entwistle said. “It’s pretty crazy what they can do when they have time and space with the puck. We have to try and limit that. Giving them a couple 2-on-1s, guys like that, you have to stay in front of them and sort of block their speed and slow them down. I know it’s tough.

“Those guys are going to get their looks. They’re incredible players, so it’s just about limiting them. I don’t think we did a great job for the full 60 minutes. Dicky’s line did a good job for most of the game and we did well on the penalty kill against them. The 2-on-1s is what really killed us.”

In the first meeting, Draisaitl and McDavid did their damage while playing on separate lines. In the second meeting on Wednesday, they did it on the same line.

When Draisaitl and McDavid were on the ice together at even strength, the Oilers led 19-6 in scoring chances, per Natural Stat Trick. When they weren’t on the ice, the Blackhawks led 16-7. Total domination.

“Oh, they’re special players,” Richardson said. “Putting them together, it’s a great idea. At times through the year, they’ll probably separate them because in the playoffs you have to do different things.

“They’re great hockey minds. They probably feed off each other and can play with each other anytime. It’s really difficult. They’re so strong on the puck and they’re moving at full speed. It’s really hard when they get going in our offensive zone. There’s nothing you can do except collapse and hopefully they miss the net, or you get a save and then you can get the rebound and hopefully go out from there.

“It’s difficult, and we’ve watched it on other teams in the pre-scout, but you just hope it doesn’t happen to you. But eventually, at some point in the game, it’s going to.”

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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