The Oilers beat the Blackhawks 3-0 on Thursday.
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EDMONTON, Alberta — The Blackhawks matched their longest road losing streak in franchise history after falling 3-0 to the Oilers on Thursday.
Back in January 2004, the Hawks coincidentally set the record of 19 consecutive losses with a defeat against the Oilers, then finally broke the streak the next night by beating the Flames. This year’s team will have to pull off the same feat Saturday to avoid setting a record of futility, having not won outside of Chicago since Nov. 9 in Tampa.
“That’s a long time ago,” forward MacKenzie Entwistle said. “The most frustrating part is we’re in these games and then we just can’t find a way to finish and get the job done.”
Maybe the drought should be deemed the “Curse of the Jellyfish.” It began the day after forward Philipp Kurashev was stung by a jellyfish while swimming in Florida in early November. Kurashev might have a hard time finding another jellyfish in Alberta to undo the curse, though.
Entwistle created the team’s best scoring chances Thursday, hitting the post in the first period and drawing an unsuccessful penalty shot in the second, but there wasn’t much beyond that.
Despite reinserting Lukas Reichel into the lineup, offense remained extremely difficult to create against an Oilers team that has won 15 straight. The Hawks, meanwhile, have now been shut out three times in their last five games.
“We hung in there, we stuck in there, we were in it to the end of the game, which was a good thing,” Entwistle said. “But no goals is not good enough.”
Insecurity a privilege
Hawks prospect Louis Crevier was making his bed in Rockford on Tuesday night last week when he got a call from Mark Bernard, the IceHogs’ de facto general manager.
“You’ve got to leave in 15 minutes to catch the plane,” Bernard told him.
Ninety miles east, Hawks defenseman Nikita Zaitsev had suffered a knee injury against the Sharks, and the Hawks needed Crevier to travel with the team to Buffalo that night as his replacement.
The fact that the game went to a nine-round shootout ended up giving Crevier a little more time to scramble to O’Hare, but it was a chaotic night — a chaotic night the 22-year-old greatly preferred over going to bed early.
“Going up and down, I can’t complain,” said Crevier, always full of positivity. “That means I’m doing good things if I’m called up. It’s part of hockey, right?
“It’s a privilege to have that insecurity.”
Crevier was a healthy scratch against the Oilers but has still logged 15 NHL appearances this season, something nobody expected from the 2020 seventh-round pick. He hasn’t been perfect by any means — the Canucks gave him a particularly rude welcome back to the NHL during his first few shifts Monday — but he has held his own.
It has helped that his roommate on the road is Isaak Phillips, who has experienced tons of bouncing between the AHL and NHL and has been able to impart some advice on how to handle it.
“Since I’ve been up here, one thing I’ve tried to focus on more is really going one period at a time,” Crevier said. “If you feel like a period has been good, you’ve got to erase it. Same thing if a period was bad — you’ve got to erase it and focus on the next period.
‘‘It’s like small games within the game for me. I don’t think you can dwell on something too long because it’s going so fast. You’ve just got to learn. For me, that’s my main objective.”
Blackwell battling through
Forward Colin Blackwell missed practice Tuesday in Seattle for maintenance — but realistically, every day could be considered a maintenance day for Blackwell.
He played in his 19th straight game since finally returning in December from sports-hernia surgery, but he’s still far from 100% healthy as he battles through discomfort related to that hernia.
“It’s going to take awhile for him to get back and feeling great,” coach Luke Richardson said. “And he’s not going to feel 100% playing in the NHL and banging the way he bangs around every night. This will be something that he’ll commonly get used to as he gets going along, as long as he maintains his body.”
Blackwell has been working hard to do just that, going to the gym and the trainers’ room early every day to get treatment and strengthen his core.
“It’s been a lot of hockey, and [I’m] making sure I’m doing stuff before and after and outside [games] to make sure I’m ready to go,” Blackwell said. “It’s [about] listening to your body and taking care of yourself the best.”