Reporting from Castel del Piano, Italy
It was embarrassing for the visitors as the Chicago Blackhawks were thumped 9-2 against the Edmonton Oilers last night at Rexall Place.
"It's personally embarrasing, I want to play better than that. We have to remember how bad this feels because we don't want it to happen again." said Chicago's goaltender Ray Emery who let in 7 of 9 goals before being replaced by Corey Crawford.
Leading the charge was sophomore Taylor Hall who recorded his second career hat-trick, while rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins earned a career game high by collecting 5 assists during the thrashing.
"It definitely gives us confidence, it's great we won all three periods. It's easy to let off the gas pedal, but we didn't." said Hall after his club snapped a four game slide.
And why ease off the gas pedal after scoring 5 goals in the 1st? It was clear that the Oilers needed to press hard with offense in order to put to rest a tired Chicago team, who one day earlier lost to the Flames.
"The way we won, I think everyone chipped in. And on an individual note you always want to focus on how your own game is going and to score three goals coming out of a slump like that definitely gives me some confidence." said Hall.
The Oilers who have been struggling to find the back of the net received points from the usual suspects with Jordan Eberle who had a goal and three assists while, Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth and Ryan Jones found the score sheet. Even Tom Gilbert decided to post post four points of his own including a goal. Last night's contest eerily felt akin to those magical days when #17 fed #99 to light the lamp for imminent win.
But after their 4 game slide, what stimulated the sudden change in play?
"We had a couple of good days off and just re-grouped. We knew we needed to be better and that's exactly what we did. Games like that are definitely fun when the puck is bouncing your way and everybody is flying. said Nugent-Hopkins.
Nikolai Khabibulin was solid once again for the Oilers as kicked aside 34 saves to earn his 8th win.
Two of Hall's goals were on the power-play where he pounced on both rebounds. His third was a beauty when wristed a shot between the wickets of Steve Montator to find the top shelf. The last time Hall scored a hat-trick was back February of last year vs the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers
Smyth and Nugent-Hopkins each now have 19 points while Eberle is two points behind the aforementioned players with 17. Hall's trick boosts scoring 14 points.
The Oilers will now face Sheldon Souray and his Dallas Stars in Texas this Monday.