Senators at Oilers, G66, 09-10

The Edmonton Oilers are on something of a roll. While it is always enjoyable to see these young players find their way, the long term goal of the franchise is best served by an immediate step into the elevator shaft.

OTC recently put Horcoff on a line with Penner and Pisani and has two “lightning in a bottle” minute men units going (Cogs with O’Sullivan and Brule, along with Gagner and Nilsson playing with Pouliot) and the pistons are working. The blue makes short, precision passes that avoid danger areas and clears the abundant rebounds from the “garbage goal” area that has been such a problem this season. Even Jeff Deslauriers seems to be in a zone. The timing is awful. What is the cure? A good hockey team. If Ottawa is over the flu, that Edmonton winning streak should be cured by 10 PM tonight.

One final item. Since the season has been lost since the first snow, I haven’t been paying much attention to the 5×5/60 numbers for Oilers forwards in 09-10. Here they are, courtesy Desjardins.

  1. Hemsky 2.85
  2. Brule 2.33
  3. Penner 2.22
  4. Pouliot 2.15
  5. Gagner 1.67
  6. Potulny 1.58
  7. Stone 1.54
  8. Nilsson 1.44
  9. Comrie 1.39
  10. O’Sullivan 1.31
  11. Jacques 1.26
  12. Horcoff 1.14
  13. Stortini 1.14
  14. Cogliano 0.93
  15. Moreau 0.83
  16. Pisani 0.42

Some of these guys played in bad luck, some of these guys played through injury. Some of these guys can’t play. Pat Quinn’s opening night roster decisions and choice of lines have been talked about throughout the season; looking at these numbers and reflecting on the prominent roles given to some of the underachievers it might be time to discuss OTC’s role as it pertains to the Oilers future.

If development is the watch word moving forward, is it wise to cast Mr. Wilson in the role of coach?

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