I mentioned in Saturday’s game day thread that at some point during the season’s first 10 games we should get an idea about the men who’ll do the offensive work for the Oilers in 09-10. We know Ales Hemsky will create and that Mike Comrie has a history of being able to score goals. We know Dustin Penner has scored 29 goals in a season, Shawn Horcoff has had a couple of 20 goal seasons, that Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano have some nice offensive skills.
O’Sullivan is kind of a key because if the Oilers can wrap a second scoring line around him (using some or all of Mike Comrie, Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and the rest) then Pat Quinn might be able to roll Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky for the last 72 games of the season. If he can create with someone like Ryan Stone on a consistent basis then this team has something to talk about moving forward.
A player who can score 3 goals in the first 10 games of a season is on his way to a solid year (barring injury and some kind of “we’re taking Warren Young off the line” kind of thing). In the season’s first 4 games, the Oilers have goals from 8 different forwards and have scored 3 goals in three games and 4 in the other.
Is there a 30-goal man on this roster? Are there 5 men who can top the 20-goal mark? The first 10 games should tell us more, but at least there are more than a couple of candidates this season.