The Gambling Pit is staying consistent, starting 0-1 for the day. I’m on the Oilers -1.5, so congratulations to the 12th seeded Chicago Blackhawks on taking an important early lead in this best of 5 series. Stay here for regular updates to see how they’ll do it.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba spoke before the anthems, delivering a powerful message on Blake Lives Matter and the sports need to be more proactive in the fight for racial equality. He then took a knee for the U.S. national anthem, becoming the first NHL player to do so.
Oilers 1, Blackhawks 0
McJesus strikes early with a beautiful finish. I’m no goaltending expert, but Crawford seemed to be a bit too deep in the net. Unfortunately for the Hawks, you’re often damned if you do, damned if you don’t, as McDavid can easily find an open teammate if you come out to challenge. He’s so friggin good.
Oilers 1, Blackhawks 1
Strome evens the score with a nifty bank shot off of Mike Smith after Smith loses the puck then loses the post. This is going to be a fun series.
Blackhawks 2, Oilers 1
The Blackhawks powerplay gives Chicago the lead after all four Oilers penalty killers get caught in the corner, leaving Captain Serious alone with space. If both teams are going to leave their opponent’s marquee offensive players completely open, I’m going to switch to over bets on this series. I can hear every coach in America: “YOU CAN THROW A NET OVER ALL FOUR OF YOU!”
Blackhawks 3, Oilers 1
Great face-off win, get traffic to the net, easy peasy. Great execution by the Blackhawks off the draw. My goodness the offense. I did tell you to fade that Oilers bet, right? Is the Saad/Zod a thing? Because if so, I completely missed it, and if not, kudos to the Blackhawks’s social media.
Blackhawks 4, Oilers 1
A lazy turnover by McDavid and the Oilers can’t pick up their defensive assignments in time, once again leaving Jonathan Toews wide open. Things are getting ugly for Edmonton, who still has the ability to win this game 7-5.
Blackhawks 4, Oilers 2
Immediately following a brilliant but unsuccessful 2 on 2 shorthanded rush led by Toews, the Oilers counter with some zone time. The Oilers are able to control a chaotic scrum, work it around the net to find Draisaitl open in the slot. The Blackhawks need to stay disciplined and avoid giving Edmonton’s potent power play any more chances.
Blackhawks 5, Oilers 2
Another great face off play by the Blackhawks, leading to a goalie change for Edmonton. Edmonton was very passive after the clear loss in the circle, allowing the Blackhawks man advantage plenty of room to set up the one timer.
Blackhawks 6, Oiler 2
The power plays are buzzing. The Oilers goaltending is not. Kubalich with 5 points on the night in his playoff debut, NOT TOO SHABBY.
Blackhawks 6, Oilers 3
The Real Deal James Neal picks up the garbage during garbage time for another Oilers power play goal. Too little too late for Edmonton. The Blackhawks dominated the play today, and despite McDavid producing on the score sheet, kept the Oilers from getting any tempo. If the Blackhawks stay out of the box this game is even uglier. One of the more chaotic outcomes of this mess would be if the Blackhawks won the Cup and the Oilers won the first overall pick, and we’re off to a good start.
Blackhawks 6, Oilers 4
Dave Tippett pulls the goalie early, and Nugent-Hopkins gets a redirect off the face-off win, just to make things interesting. All four of Edmonton’s goals have come when they had more skaters on the ice. Maybe they should just pull their goalie from the jump in game 2.