Ales Hemsky’s season ended in late November, and since that time the Oilers have played in 13 games. Their record during that run is 5-8 and the powerplay has the look of 5 kittens chasing string. The penalty kill has been called out by thecaptainethanmmoreau who should know all about it since he’s in the penalty box watching the PK do its work so damn often.
When Hemsky went down some of us (not as many as you think, though) felt the Oilers were buggered. I felt it might be an opportunity for Sam Gagner to emerge but he’s spent most of his PP time with the second unit during this run.
Here are the Oilers main forwards and their totals during this time. These are the boxcars, with no regard for PP time, total time-on-ice, linemates, toughness of opponent, where they start a shift, etc. Boxcars.
- Dustin Penner 13gp, 6-6-12 +1
- Gilbert Brule 13gp, 3-6-9 +2
- Robert Nilsson 11gp, 4-4-8 +1
- Ryan Potulny 13gp, 4-3-7 +2
- Sam Gagner 13gp, 3-4-7 -1
- Shawn Horcoff 13gp, 3-2-5, -14
- Patrick O’Sullivan 13gp, 2-2-4 -12
- Zack Stortini 13gp, 1-2-3 +3
- Andrew Cogliano 13gp, 1-1-2 +2
- Ryan Stone 11gp, 0-2-2 +5
- Ethan Moreau 13gp, 0-2-2 E
- JF Jacques 12gp, 0-1-1 -8
Anyone who has 8 points or more would be on a 50-point pace over the entire season. Based on the boxcars it looks like Penner is the only impact offensive player and that Brule, Nilsson, Potulny and Gagner are finding ways to get some things done. The thing I find interesting are the PP time on ice totals. Here they are, with player offense in brackets.
- Penner 134:07 (5-6-11)
- O’Sullivan 108:51 (1-2-3)
- Horcoff 105:26 (3-3-6)
- Gagner 102:54 (2-6-8)
- Nilsson 52:22 (3-2-5)
- Brule 45:23 (0-2-2)
- Potulny 40:46 (2-1-3)
- Cogliano 23:24 (0-2-2)
- Stortini 20:19 (1-0-1)
Finally, over the season so far (this is Gabe Desjardins now) here are the 5×4′s/60.
- Nilsson 5.79
- Cogliano 5.26
- Gagner 4.90
- Penner 4.79
- Potulny 4.52
- Horcoff 3.63
- Stortini 2.97
- Brule 2.67
- O’Sullivan 1.16
I know that these are small sample sizes and am not suggesting that the Oilers run Cogliano out there every PP chance but there is some evidence here that Gagner and Nilsson might be good candidates (with Penner) for the #1 PP and that O’Sullivan needs to have a long rest from powerplay situations. Potulny’s number is also interesting (and understanding it isn’t a large sample size).
I don’t have much to say about tonight’s game. The Flames have bested the Oilers for years now (I remember a 1-0 win with Marc Savard scoring the winner years ago and that game seems to have changed the culture of the matchup) and wouldn’t bet 5 cents on Edmonton tonight.
Which means they’ll win. Book it.