Cogs in the Wheel

In Andrew Cogliano’s last 10 games, he’s ripping it up. Tom Renney is showing faith in the young speedster and is being rewarded with improved play.

 In the last 10 Oilers hockey games, Andrew Cogliano has been very good compared to his own established level of ability. Here are the Oilers centermen and their performance in the last 10 games:

  1. Cogliano 10gp, 3-4-7 +3
  2. Gagner 10gp, 2-3-5 -6
  3. Horcoff 10gp, 0-4-4 +1
  4. Fraser 10gp, 0-0-0 +1

Cogliano’s wingers during those 10 games have been varied: Hall-Eberle, Penner-Jones but most often Jones-Reddox. In the last two games (the ones with the top drawer wngers) Cogliano is getting 15 EV minutes and a couple more on the PK. He is an important Cog (sorry) in the Renney arsenal at this time.

When Cogliano was struggling early in the season, coach Renney was very patient:

  • "Andrew’s taking the right approach," said Renney. "He’s playing a pretty complete game right now and we’ll get him participating more in the penalty-killing. We’re going to give it a little bit of time here."  Source is here.

The results didn’t come early but Renney showed patience. That patience is paying off. He is not a good faceoff man, he is not the best player on his line. He is too old to be a still developing prospect. However, Tom Renney has found a role he can play effectively and Cogliano is responding.

Renney: “I’m really happy with his game, I’m really happy with his growth as a two-way player. For the most part over the last four or five games they’ve gone out against the other team’s best line. That’s not easy to go out and put up points. I’m really happy for Andrew and the growth of his game. What you’re seeing now, because he has a foundation of what to do off the puck and with it in transition, is points starting to come.” Source is here.

What’s the real dollar value to an organization when a struggling first rounder and the new head coach find a way to make things work? Andrew Cogliano is having a helluva run, and Tom Renney’s patience is a big part of the story. Andrew Cogliano’s hard work is the bigger part of it. Good on him.

  • O.C.

    I know I am supposed to say something, but I can’t for the life of me figure it out……

    His price point and attitude make him a keeper.

    Todd Marchant comparison anyone?

  • John Chambers

    Something Cogliano has had to learn since his rookie season is humility. When you dart out of the gates with 18 goals in your rookie season, you might take for granted that the learning trajectory requires more hard work. “Compare me to Marchant? Compare me to Briere or St. Louis.”

    The Oilers stripped him down to nothing; they gave him a meagre contract, a reduced role, and wounded him with the possibility that his NHL career would be a short one. They have done a remarkable job of building him back up again.

  • Mitch

    Guess I am going to be the fist one to say fist, even though Im not fist I still think I have the right to fist it up this time.

    Not too sure about him not being young enough to be a developing Prospect, how old is he, 23 or something, Omark is the same age..and he is definitely a developing prospect, probably already the most talented Oilers forward but still, he is developing big time..maybe a bit similar to Pavel Datsyuk..fist came the offence, then the Defence..with Omarks puck taking away abilities it wont be long before he;ll be regarded among the likes of Datsyk and Zetterberg..except for the fact that hes not a centerman, but still..

    Back to Cogs..if only he can improve his faceoffs he could be a solid 2nd or third line option..still not sure if he should be here after this season with Lander, Pitlick, and Vande Velde on their way.

  • It’s nice to see Cogs get some quality ice time. I don’t think he has ever received the same chance as Gagner for whatever reason. I think this has been a mistake. He scores at better clip on an ice time basis than Gagner and is arguably a better 2 way player. He has a higher level of compete and is harder on the puck. Don’t need two smurf centers so my vote is for cogs to staty and package gagner with someone for a number one center.

  • Golden Seals

    Players develop at different ages all the time. Look at Dan Cleary, who totally reinvented himself and matured as a player at age 29. Every player develops differently, Cogs I think has figured what it will take for him to be a long time NHLer. If he could just get the faceoff part of his game down.

    • Lowetide

      I would argue that a player is developed by Cogliano’s age. Now he may improve or fade based on how he’s used, confidence, quality of linemates, PP time and other considerations.

      But Cogliano is what he is imo.

  • Jodes

    a decent comparison to Marchant oilcruzer…

    but please, without the stone hands that i remember being what defined Marchant. Just looked up ‘ol Toddy’s stats to see he had SIXTY points in 02-03 season and wonder if 13 has that kinda points production in him, ever …do you suppose a fourth line centre on this team could get by on a steady 20-25 pts per season without being named in every trade in every off season?…especially if he killed some penalties. What’s ever been the attraction for him in any trade other than as a throw-in to sweet up a deal? Is he being called serviceable now that he’s ‘rippin’ up’ the thingy?

    for me he gets traded sooner than later while his stock is at an all time high…six more years, if we wait for a Dan Cleary type to emerge…hmmm maybe not

  • Always been a fan of Cogliano… but I just can’t understand why we have him at center, unless it’s because Renney et al want to say that they fully gave him a chance to succeed there (which they actually are). On the wing, I’d be OK with him, but I think long term, we’re weakening this team by having Cogliano as our center. Or at the very least, we’re missing an opportunity to find someone with size that can win draws to play in that spot.

    I think the “numbers game” will only get worse for him too as we start to consider guys like Pitlick, Lander, Martindale, may O’Marra, any future draft picks and anyone else I may be forgetting.

    I hate myself for saying it, but I say sell high (OK, high is definitely an exaggeration..) .

    Edit: BTW, I am in the group that doesn’t consider his development years over.

  • John Chambers

    Waiting for Dan Cleary to emerge, Dan Cleary totally re-invented himself at 29.
    I wouldnt exactly call a career high of 42 points be totally re-inventing, Gagner has already passed that and Cogliano has had 45 points before..if we are waiting for a Dan Cleary type to emerge then it has already happened…

  • ItsTheBGB

    I know Cogs is not too good at faceoffs but if you look at the Oilers roster, neither is Gagne. Most nights none of them are at 50% and lately Cogliano is closer to 50% than Gagne. Horcoff keeps getting thrown out of the faceoffs. This is defenitely a week part of Cogs game but as I mentioned, it’s not anyones strength on the team.

  • ItsTheBGB

    I find it kinda funny how Cogliano was getting kicked out of all the draws the other night, and when Hall stepped in he won like 70 percent of the draws..Maybe play Hall at Center for around 20-30 games a year for the next few the time he;s 23 he may be ready to be the Oilers number one Center..that is if Lander or Pitlick arent Superstars by then.

  • Mitch

    I like Cogliano but what worries me is size, you can’t have 2 small centres like Gagner and Cogliano slotted in the 2 and 3 holes. I will make a prediction that Lander ends up with Paajarvi and Omark next year. If I had to choose right now I would pick Cogliano over Gagner, based on his speed, I also feel Gagner is easier replaced and there isn’t much differnce in the two players. What the oilers really badly need is defense that pass the puck well with mobility to defend. Not sure what the oilers thoughts are considering they tried moving him twice, but Ive always liked Cogliano.

    • John Chambers

      Reading all these comments has made me realize something: even our veteran players, guys like Cogliano and Gagner who are playing in their 4th NHL seasons, are only 23 and 21 respectively.

      On other clubs that boast more veterans, these guys would’ve only recently cracked the line-up. Instead, our guys are on their second contracts and have been through the ups and downs of several full NHL seasons.

      Lowetide, I couldn’t disagree more with your comment about players being more or less formed by the time they’re 23. Marc Savard, Dan Cleary, Marty St. Louis, The Sedins, Kesler, Briere, hell – Bill Guerin. All these guys figured out how to become above-average NHL players in their mid-to-late 20’s.

      We keep wanting this to be “the year” when our guys break out into elite status, but we’re calling for that year to happend pre-maturely. Success will come … we just have to let it continue to build for the 2013-2014 season and beyond.

      • Lowetide

        John: I don’t think we really disagree that much in this area. I think a player like Cogliano is finished developing physically.

        That doesn’t mean he can’t use his God given abilities (including his brain) and his experience to find a role on a successful team and then keep that job for years.

        The example I usually use is Blair MacDonald. I remember him as a pretty good player before Gretzky but if you look at his numbers when 99 arrived MacDonald looked like a guy who had improved greatly.

        He didn’t. Once he was traded he went back to being a pretty good player. What made him an impact player was being on a line with Gretzky. No improvement, save for role.

  • Dan the Man

    I’m trying to look at this from a glass half full perspective but if Andrew Cogliano has been our top centre in the lat 10 games I guess that explains why we haven’t won.

  • Rogue

    If he keeps this up, it will increase his trade value greatly!!! Does another small forward fit on this team, in the long run? Fourth line center? Third line winger? Second line winger? Sit down and pencil it out. He has been the best Oiler lately. I just do not know how you keep Omark,Gagner,Horcoff,Cogs,Penner/Hemsky,Eberle as part of your top 9 players. We need at least 2 players with size, grit and tenacity to play in the top 9.The Problem is, who do you move?

    @pelhem grenville

    The reason Marchant had 60 points was he centered the Oilers top line that year. Marchant may of had more breakaways then anyone else in Oiler history. Just about the only one he scored on was the playoff game with Dallas. Also, that was his contract year and he was wayyyyy overpaid by Columbus as a FA the next year. Marchant also thought highly of himself when he was here.

  • Rogue

    A trade/draft idea for your thoughts:

    Hemsky+Cogliano+ 2nd 2011 + whatever else to get deal done


    Boston (Toronto’s) 1st 2011

    Best case: Draft Larsson 1st, Couterier 4th/5th

    Other possibilities: Draft Larsson 1st, Strome with other pick or

    Couterier then Dougie Hamilton


    Worst case: Strome and Hamilton

    Each case brings potential #1 center, big D, and all Oilers related problems will go away

  • Is there some sort of technical difficulties with Oilersnation Radio?

    I can’t understand why Cogs hates being compared to Marchant. If he has half as good of a career as Marchant he would still have a pretty good career. I think he has better hands than Todd, but there aren’t a whole bunch of 3rd line comparisons I can think of.

    Edit: After reading the Radio Radio article I see Millard was wrong saying that the show was coming up after today’s episode of the The Pipeline Show.

    • Whoever characterized Cogliano as at any time hating being compared to Marchant is overstating in the extreme. It’s not true. Matheson and I were asking the questions when the Marchant comparison was first made. It didn’t unfold that way.

      At the time — after one 18-goal season and on the way to a second — Cogliano indicated he thought he might have a little more offensive capability than Marchant, who hit 20 goals and 60 points ONCE.

      There was no “I’m better than him” or any hint that 20-40-60 was anything to sneeze at. The fact is Cogliano’s numbers in his first two full seasons were better than Marchant’s first two full seasons (45 to 38 and 38 to 33) and he said he thought he could improve on those.

      I thought he could, too. I still do and said so earlier this season when people were crapping on the kid like it was personal. Cogliano rebounding to play better is being treated like an unexepected surprise when the fact is he had two pretty good seasons to start, then one bad one and a lousy first month this season. On balance, should it be a surprise he could be a useful third-liner who gets 40-50 points?

      • forestscooter

        I hate this draft. RNH is great, but small. Couturier is big, but questionably slow. Larsson is great, but a defenseman, which is always a worry. Landeskog, maybe. Sighhhh… lol

        Thanks for clarifying on that Robin. I’ve heard the ‘Cogs comments’ on Marchant many times but never heard the full story. Knowing the full story he seems more humble and I like him more.

  • forestscooter

    This seems to be a very good win/win situation for both the Oilers and Cogs. I really like him as of late, last night with Hall he played well, he seemed to always be on the right side of the puck which let Hall do his thing. Being able to play from the 1st to 3rd line is valuable.

    I’d say keep him until some of our prospects show they can take over from him. Then he is trade bait in say 1-2 years ?

    • I agree.

      Would it be the worst thing if eventually Cogliano was pushed out of the Centre position by someone else and took the role of a Ryan Jones? He can be someone who can play on every line, except Cogs actually plays against the toughs and has some pedigree moving forward.

      I know it has been documented that he doesnt think he’s as good a winger as a centre, but at some point the team will need someone that can win a faceoff. That doesnt mean Cogliano has to be moved off the club, just out of the dot and onto a wing.

      He’s my Star and it is my duty to support him, but I’m glad that he’s been making it easier for the last few weeks.

  • RNH might have had his best week in the WHL:

    6G 11A in 5 games… (6pts last night)

    Jonathan Huberdeau is listed at center but he’s only taken 245FO in 50Games..

    Compared to Couturier taking 1023FO in 43games..

    Not even close when Couturier is 56% to Huberdeau’s 42%

    Landeskog’s finally playing again..

  • I’m a fan of players who work hard, and Cogliano has always done that. It’s nice to see him get his offensive game going. He had a similar burst of offense last year near the tail end of the season, so hopefully he continues that down the stretch.

  • A couple of things:

    – in trumpeting 13’s recent play and possible emergence as a different player I would be hesitant to list his PKing role as part of any kind of personal improvement. The Oilers PK has a chance to be historically bad and considering that Great Man Renney only uses four forwards on the unit then we can surmise that 13 has a lot to do with how bad it’s been.

    – 13 has the work ethic and the try but he doesn’t have the head or FO ability to remain at pivot so is he worth keeping as a winger or would he have enough value to get us another D? I guess the first thing we need to see is which winger we keep of the 27-89 duo – hard to imagine we keep both – so let’s see what comes back and who’s drafted and where 13 might fit in.

    – in talking about the old inevitable Marchant comparisons and bringing Cleary into the conversation it reminding me of when we first saw Cleary bringing the kind of edge and approach that he now uses regularly with the Wings. It was either ’02 or ’03 when Cleary and a young Horcoff played on the Wings on a new checking line with Marchant and I can’t remember why they broke up but I remember it was the first glimpses of both those kids being able to look after their own ends.

    Now, Cleary would still have to wash out the Yotes AND do a year on the nightshift with the Wings before he was anything worth talking about so that’s a cautionary tale of how long it might take. Also, 13 never spent any time in the A and I guess LT could come up with a formula to measure all this but I don’t believe 13 has the hands or skill that Cleary had; or still has for that matter.

    So, I would Like this comparison to be apt but I’m not sure it is. 13’s future seems to be as a winger who’s hard on the puck every night and maybe that’s where the Cleary comparison works the most.

    • Lowetide

      Dennis: Earliest info I have is from 97-98. Here are the top 5 faceoff men for the Oilers that season:

      1. Jason Arnott 51.8 (577 sorties) 2. Todd Marchant 49.6 (220 sorties) 3. Mats Lindgren 49.0 (1377 sorties) 4. Doug Weight 47.6 (1741 sorties) 5. Rem Murray 40.2 (629 sorties)

      The following season Marchant was 50% (exactly) in 1449 sorties and then in 99-00 he was in the black for the first time I can find (52.9% in 1593 sorties).

      Marchant was 26 that season.

  • I love having a player like cogs on the oilers everytime he,s on the ice he,s a threat. It was tough to watch Big Mac sitting on the bench you could tell he wanted to be on the ice so bad he could taste it. Oil will score five tonight. khabby will get his win