Yesterday’s Papers

I’ve always felt you should wait at least 3 seasons to come up with an “established level of ability” for specific players. Had Andrew Cogliano scored 18 goals in 09-10, then 18 goals would be his established level of ability.

18 goals is a pretty good number for a young player in his 20 and 21-year old NHL seasons. Math tells us he was in some kind of “shooting percentage heaven” during those years (18.4 and 15.5) and a market correction was in order.

Consider the market corrected. Sam Gagner (a fellow 2007 rookie) has been marching along at about 10% since he arrived in the show and Shawn Horcoff has averaged around 13% in 700 NHL games. Dustin Penner is also a 13% shooter over his career.

I’ve been wondering which of the Oilers forwards will graduate to the median during this season’s second half. By eye we can see that Horcoff has a little more jump and that Sam Gagner seems to be gaining some steam. Dustin Penner is just exiting a period of ineffectiveness and good times appear on the way.

But Andrew Cogliano? After riding the wild surf for two straight seasons he can’t hit the broad side of a barn door.

It’s been a tough season for Cogliano. His name was made public in the Heatley deal, he’s been asked to adjust to a new coach and average-to-poor linemates and he’s not progressing at lots of things. His 5×5/60 is 0.95, his FO percentage is 39.7, he’s still small and he rarely has a good chance at doing something in the offensive zone anymore.

Some guys have three years experience by now, and some guys have one year’s experience three times. Andrew Cogliano is not a center, he is not a scorer and he is not a difference maker in any zone. More than any other time since fall 2007 he is lost and has no confidence.

I don’t know which Oiler forward is going to have the biggest turnaround in the second half of 09-10, but I’m hoping it is Andrew Cogliano. However, as each games passes and he shows no real specialty or strength, we’re left with the conclusion that Lady Luck was his friend for longer than normal and then abandoned him like yesterday’s papers.

I still can’t believe it.

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