In a sport like hockey or baseball, it’s almost always easy to spot the players who are about to break out. If a starting pitcher is 0-3 but has an ERA of 2.90, a 3-to-1 k/w and a whip of 1.10 AND he won 16 games and lost 9 a year ago there’s every chance he’ll rebound unless he’s 40, injured, the team is much worse, or a combination of all three.
It’s the same in hockey. Players who are off to fast starts compared to their career numbers will fade as the weeks wear on, and the players who have a solid resume but have started slowly will begin to migrate toward the median their career numbers suggest for them unless there are circumstances comparable to the paragraph above.
With that said, we can say with some confidence that:
- Ales Hemsky will have an awesome run soon.
- Jarret Stoll isn’t himself.
- Raffi Torres has been asked to do something new and his brain hurts.
- Shawn Horcoff is on course.
We can’t say that Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano are playing above their heads. Why? We don’t know their established level of ability. We can “guess” that Andrew Cogliano won’t score 68 points this season and there’s a high degree of probability we’d be correct. Same with Gagner and his expected total based on current numbers (55 points).
Desjardins’ NHLE for Gagner (55 points) is weird right now, real weird. If that held we would have to make a special “Desjardins is a witch” notation. His NHLE for Cogliano (36 points) is less aggressive and seems to be reasonable even based on the kid’s start.
Bottom line: if someone wants to bet you that any roster player is going to beat Hemsky in overall points this season, take that wager and increase the bet until your nose bleeds.
Ales Hemsky will win the Oilers scoring championship. Book it.