Dustin Penner’s 09-10 season is somewhat similar to the life of Le Grande Orange 1969-71 with the Montreal Expos. Big Rusty Staub would score 95 runs, hit 30 homers and drive in 90+ each season on a club with also-ran’s and never-were’s. He effectively got himself on base AND drove himself in for three seasons on an expansion team.
Dustin Penner’s season towers over the other Edmonton Oiler forwards.
- Boxcars: 82gp, 32-31-63
- Shots: 203
- Plus Minus: +6
- Corsi (Rel): 16.8 (1st F)
- GF/GA ON: 58-48
- 5×5/60: 2.43 (1st F)
- 5×4/60: 3.97 (4th F)
- Quality of Competition: 9th F
- Quality of Teammates: 3rd F
- FO Percentage: 47.6% in 420FO’s
- OZone FO %: 45.4 (toughest F)
- Cap Hit: $4.25M
- What Do These Numbers Tell Us? Penner improved across the board (except for SP) in a very difficult season. By boxcar or by magnifying glass the evidence is overwhelming for Penner. In the fall I wondered if he could deliver enough offense to stay on the 1line, and by spring I’m convinced he could be the cornerstone of a 1line for years to come. This was a wonderful season delivered by a player in his prime and with many years of similar level production straight ahead.
- How Could These Numbers be Better? He isn’t perfect: Penner was inconsistent again this season and there are periods of indifference in his game.I could also point to his level of competition number (9th according to Desjardins) but I think he’s probably been nicked too much by the measurement (from what I can tell, a late-season checking line of Horcoff-Moreau-Pisani blurred earlier work done by Penner’s line). Honestly, I don’t know that the numbers could be better. I guess Penner could have played in better luck (by playing on a better team with a stronger powerplay) but it is terribly difficult to be critical about this season.
- What about Horcoff? Penner, Horcoff and Hemsky did play together early but injuries and ineffective play meant shakeup early on. Horcoff’s ability to play well away from the puck combined with awful puck luck meant he was utilized in a more defensive role and Penner was relied on to produce an offensive line nightly. I don’t really know anyone who would have thought their roles should be reversed. After Hemsky went down, they were the two best F’s on the roster and the coaching staff (eventually) got around to using their strengths.
- What about Quinn? I think Penner would have flourished under any coach not named MacTavish but another huge benefit for him was OTC’s tendency to roll 4 lines consistently. It gave Penner a nice chance to get a few easier matchups and that may have benefitted his final number (this is another reason why I don’t really believe the toughness of opposition numbers–or at least I don’t think they’re as big a consideration as in previous seasons).
- What about Hall? What about Hall? Hey, we can hope that Taylor Hall has a season similar to Duchene/Tavares but Dustin Penner is an actual NHL player. I’d be shocked if the Oilers hired a better LW by next fall.
- What Else? I’d like to see what Penner could do for a kid like Seguin. Put him with a responsible RW and Penner on the portside and the Oilers might be collecting hardward (Calder) next summer. Penner finds people and he can score goals by finding open spots. A kid like Seguin (or Gagner) should benefit from an entire year of Penner on the portside.
- Will they trade Penner? I don’t think so. The club is so damn small they can’t afford to deal him away. Hell, if they could they’d clone the guy.
- 06-07 5×5 per 60m: 1.92
- 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 1.34
- 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.71
- 09-10 5×5 per 60m: 2.43
- 06-07 5×4 per 60m: 4.01
- 07-08 5×4 per 60m: 4.07
- 08-09 5×4 per 60m: 3.15
- 09-10 5×4 per 60m: 3.97
Predictions Past 2009-10: 80gp, 20-21-41 (.513 per game)
Performance in 2009-10: 82gp, 32-31-63 (.769 per game)