The Edmonton Oilers have enjoyed a positive start to the 2018/19 National Hockey League season and plenty of punters will be backing the Canadian outfit to continue their good run of form here. With six wins and an overtime defeat in their last 10 games, Edmonton have been competitive if nothing else and the Oilers will be quietly confident of challenging for supremacy in the Pacific Division this year.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks have struggled for consistency after just four wins in their opening 10 league games. Head coach Joel Quenneville is a man under pressure after Chicago’s struggles last season and some Blackhawks fans are already disgruntled after a hit and miss start to the campaign. Watch this space, we could have trouble in the Windy City in the not-so-distant future…
There has been an even split in this fixture since December 2015. With both teams winning four of the last eight meetings, it is difficult to call a winner based on form in this encounter. Edmonton have lost their last two home games against the Blackhawks and that might be enough to swing a few neutrals in favour of the road team.
Both Teams In Contention In Respective Divisions
Despite Chicago’s lack of consistency, the Blackhawks find themselves just three points adrift of early Central Division leaders Nashville Predators. You won’t find too many punters backing against Nashville topping the division, they have been dominant in recent years, but Chicago could spring a shock in their bid to reach the playoffs. Write the Blackhawks off at your peril.
Meanwhile, Edmonton are in a much tougher division and the Oilers cannot afford to drop off for a sustained period. The Canadian side have the strength in depth to go close in their pursuit of divisional glory this season but it will not be easy; the San Jose Sharks are looking very strong whilst the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks are always tough opponents.
This matchup isn’t season-defining by any means but it may show the gulf in class between the two Western Conference divisions if Edmonton secure a convincing win. The Oilers will want to send out a statement of intent to their closest rivals if nothing else and Chicago will be wary of an early onslaught at Rogers Place.
Kane And McDavid: Two NHL Superstars
Much of the focus will be on Patrick Kane and Conor McDavid – and with good reason. The Blackhawks star has notched 18 points through 12 regular season games in 2018/19 and he appears to be back at his brilliant best. Kane is some way clear of his teammates in terms of goals scored (12) this year and Edmonton’s main priority will be stopping him in this clash.
On the other side of the ice, McDavid is arguably the most complete player in the National Hockey League. With nine goals and nine assists so far this year, he is capable of making an impact on offense every time he takes to the ice – scoring goals for fun whilst assisting his teammates too. McDavid could have a major impact on the outcome of this contest.
Take McDavid and Kane out of this game and it suddenly becomes a much less attractive clash on paper. However, both men are likely to play and that makes this one of the games of the week. The Oilers are the classier outfit whilst Chicago’s consistency issues continue to hinder the visitors. With that in mind, opting for Edmonton to prevail could be the best bet.
- TIP: Edmonton Oilers to win
- CORRECT SCORE: Edmonton Oilers 4-2 Chicago Blackhawks