In the second half of our look at the Oilers’ forwards and their performance up to the All-Star break we have several who covered the bet.
In terms of boxcar offense, the troubles faced by the top line (save Hemsky) and the uneven play of Cole, Nilsson and Gagner gave way to efforts “in the range” of expectations from forwards 7-12.
The Edmonton Oilers, for the first time in years, have enough depth to overcome a few subpar performances.
This is pretty much dead-on as a prediction. Cogliano has played very well and in doing so taken on more difficult minutes as the season wears on. His 5×5/60 (1.86) is moving in the right direction as his Corsi (-4.1) trails (as always with this player). Cogliano is facing mid-level opponents with mid-level linemates and delivering nicely offensively. A continuation of his current level would make him a 20-goal man.
I don’t think Pisani’s offense is off based on these numbers. 16 games isn’t a huge sample and in fact it’s basically a one point difference above in terms of points-per-game. Pisani’s injury has had a major impact on the hockey club, but we also need to remember about where he was placed on the roster at the beginning of the year and his role. A return to the “RW mentor” slot with two youngsters feels right and I suspect he’ll produce on all levels in the second half. His 5×5/EV (1.32) is a little low for him and his Corsi (-17.9) is jackass crazy and a reflection of the early season chaos and his unusual role. In a way it’s a credit to MacT to find a role Pisani would struggle in (out of position facing tough opposition every night). He’s way better than that and the easiest bet on this roster is that he draws back to the median (if healthy) by season’s end.
A 1.26 5×5/60 is exceptional based on the guys he’s been hauling around all winter. Brodziak’s Corsi (-13.7) is also not as bad as it seems when placed in context. As Coach has been tracking, his ability in the faceoff circle has been a much needed skill and contributed to the steady play of late for the club. Remember when we wondered where the Stoll/Reasoner minutes behind Horcoff were going to go? Well a bunch of them (after the Pisani injury) ended up here. His numbers aren’t going to be pretty (14-17 GF/GA ON) but could be a lot worse based on the fact the count is 0-2 whenever he steps to the plate.
His performance is certainly in the range of expectations and this has to be considered a very good sign. Pouliot’s notorious slow starts and subsequent trips to the doghouse are legend, so the fact he’s played in 44 games already tells a story. 1.52/60 at 5×5 and a Corsi of -5.9 are solid if unspectacular and he’s played with some of the roster dregs for much of the season. When he does play with skilled men, Pouliot scores well. He doesn’t look like he’ll drive any results but can be along for the ride and chip in some.
Another player scoring in the range, Moreau has been very streaky this season. 1.81/60 at 5×5 and a Corsi of -12.1 tell the story (some good, some bad) and he’s been a lightning rod for the bizarre, erratic and downright crazy this year. In his last full NHL season, Ethan Moreau scored 11 goals so a second half with fewer than 6 goals shouldn’t be considered a surprise.
Another forward whose totals are about right, especially considering TOI and the linemates (Stick: optional) he’s been given this season. 1.04/60 at 5×5 and a Corsi of -14.3 aren’t that far from last season (1.24 and -9.2) and may in fact be more impressive considering the conditions.
Unlike the first 6 forwards from my “reasonable expectations” post, this group performed at expected levels. The real overachievers are up next: the blue.