The Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Smyth scores on Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery on Saturday night. | John Ulan~AP
Updated: December 21, 2011 8:17AM
EDMONTON, Alberta — Maybe it should be the Edmonton Oilers who get the two days off. They certainly earned some time to celebrate with their flattening of the Blackhawks Saturday night at Rexall Place.
Better yet, call it an annihilation.
Plenty of heads were hanging low as the Oilers pounded the Hawks for a 9-2 victory. It was one of the Hawks’ worst performances — ever.
“That was thoroughly embarrassing [and] humiliating across the board,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Tonight was a complete breakdown.”
That’s two bad losses in a row for the Hawks against two teams thought to be struggling. The five goals scored by the Calgary Flames on Friday were a season-high for them. The Oilers did the same.
There was never a response from the Hawks. In the end, there were only “We want 10” chants to hear from the Edmonton faithful. So much for all the fun and games during their scheduled trip to Las Vegas.
“We came into the game with the mind-set of wanting to rebound,” said Duncan Keith, who was a minus-4 for the second game in a row. “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. ... Right now, it seems like every mistake we make is in the back of our net, and we’re making a lot of mistakes.”
The Hawks looked nothing like the team that blew out the Vancouver Canucks a few days ago — again. Starter Ray Emery (seven goals on 27 shots) and Corey Crawford (two goals on seven shots) weren’t good, but they were hung out to dry too. The Hawks’ defense was on their heels all game, and their offensive attack was impotent.
Ales Hemsky’s goal just 48 seconds into the game began the rout. Patrick Sharp tied it minutes later on the power play, but then Edmonton scored four more times.
All the Oilers’ young guns got into the action as Jordan Eberle (goal, three assists), Taylor Hall (hat trick) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (five assists) starred. Tom Gilbert (goal, three assists) and Shawn Horcoff (goal, two assists) also had big nights for the Oilers.
It was all ugly. There are no excuses for the Hawks even if they were without Brent Seabrook (leg) and Michael Frolik (shoulder). The Oilers’ blue line has suffered more losses than any team. Edmonton had lost four in a row before Saturday.
“We’re embarrassed,” Jonathan Toews said. “We have ourselves to blames. We’re not making excuses. Every single guy could have been better out there.”