November 18 2008 07:00PM
Robin Brownlee wrote a great piece on Dustin "PDP" Penner yesterday and called out all the Penner Lovers for making excuses for the tubby bugger. Not having been irrationally en amour with an Oiler since Ryan Smyth left town, we feel qualified to pen a rebuttal.
The knocks on Penner are glaring and obvious: soft, not particularly driven to improve, soft, not very physical and he's soft.
Basically, Dustin Penner is today exactly what he was when the Oilers threw everything in the vault at him during the Summer of Desperation in 2007. It's really paying dividends, isn't it?
What do the Oil want out of Penner? Do they want him to fight? Re-invent himself completely? Sweet Baby Jesus in His little manger! Had the Oil brass ever seen any of Penner's game tapes prior to signing him? When exactly was he some dynamic physical force, exactly? Not in college, not in the AHL and certainly not for the Ducks.
Dustin Penner is what he is. A big teddy bear who scored mad goals and collected mad points when he played with Perry and Getzlaf. Do the Oil have Perry and Getzlaf? No. They have him with Brodziak and Pisani, Horcoff and Hemsky, Deslauriers and the Team Dentist or whatever pairing suits MacT at any given moment.
If the Oil throw Penner in with the Brodziaks and the Pisanis of the world, he won't be the Dustin Penner they signed to the big contract. He will be the Dustin Penner who used to play with Getzlaf and Perry but is now not playing with Getzlaf and Perry. That's not Dustin Penner's fault. That's the Oilers’ fault.
Could he be playing better? Undoubtedly. Is he performing at a lower level then when he was signed? Not really.
The coaching staff seem unable to get more out of him than what he was in Anaheim. That's your failure, MacT, as well as his. Good coaches find ways to get more out of players. You continue to receive status quo performances AT BEST from 5/6 of your entire team.
Think there might be an X-factor here?
This is why some players hate Edmonton. Who really thinks that the reason the Oil are so crappy is because of Dustin Penner? Who really looks to Penner to lead them out of this funk? So why single out an already unpopular player and destroy what undoubtedly remains of his confidence? To encourage others on the team? To appease a rabid fan base? We don't feel any better seeing Penner shredded.