The January story for the Edmonton Oilers is twofold: injuries have once again taken their toll, and the remaining veterans can’t hold back the water.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has played less than 4 minutes for the Edmonton Oilers during 2012. He was 3:44 into his game against Chicago when in his 5th shift of the game he tripped and hurt himself. Since then, the forwards on the Oilers have performed thusly:
- Taylor Hall 7, 5-2-7 -5
- Ales Hemsky 9, 1-5-6 -4
- Sam Gagner 9, 1-4-5 +2
- Jordan Eberle 5, 1-3-4 +2
- Ben Eager 9, 3-0-3 -1
- Anton Lander 9, 1-1-2 -1
- Ryan Smyth 9, 1-1-2 -2
- Josh Green 7, 1-1-2 -6
- Ryan Jones 9, 0-2-2 -4
- Shawn Horcoff 9, 0-2-2 -9
- Magnus Paajarvi 5, 0-1-1 -3
- Milan Kytnar 1, 0-0-0 E
- Teemu Hartikainen 3, 0-0-0 -4
- Ryan O’Marra 4, 0-0-0 E
- Darcy Hordichuk 5, 0-0-0 -1
- Eric Belanger 6, 0-0-0 -6
Horcoff is climbing Everest again this season, Smyth is also facing tough competition and even in January showing a lot of heart in every battle even though things aren’t going his way. The kids are showing better than most of the vets, in fact Gagner is gaining some confidence. We aren’t looking at toughness of opponent, but Horcoff, Smyth and Jones have the toughest Qual comps.
Hemsky is posting some crooked numbers that will improve his trade value (if Poni is worth something, Hemmer sure as hell is worth something) and Nashville is apparently very interested. Eager appears to be finding the range a little, and the kid Lander is doing some things too.
Eric Belanger needs to be better.
I think it’s time we remind ourselves of the good things about this year’s team:
- Taylor Hall is still on pace for 30 goals.
- Jordan Eberle is still on pace for 79 points.
- RNH is still a strong Calder candidate.
- The injured guys should be back in February.
- If you’re a draft nut it’ll be another fun summer.
- The Russian goalie and 83 should make for an interesting trade deadline.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Oilers are going to struggle and lose for the immediate future. The blue is missing Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney plus Cam Barker; the powerplay is missing RNH and Taylor Hall, and Jordan Eberle is not yet up to highway speed. These are the dog days of winter. Again.
Nation Radio hits the airwaves today at Noon. The best questions are always yours, so please feel free to email nationradio@theteam1260 or leave your thoughts in the comments section here. You can also tweet @ItsNationRadio and @lowetide_ as well.
- Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus. Smart guy with a unique perspective, and we’ll discuss the 2012 draft, Oilers fans impatience with Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton and others from the 2009 & 2010 draft and focus on development differences between NHL organizations.
- Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report. Kirk gives us a unique view of prospects and their progress, we’ll talk about Boston’s development template, some of the 2010 kids who have outperformed their draft position and injuries impacting the top end 2012 eligibles.
- Ryan Lambert from Flames Nation and Two Line Pass. We’ll set up the Baffle of Alberta and I’ll ask Ryan if Jay Feaster’s response to a badly needed re-stocking of prospects is to go for it one more time.
- Corey Graham, play-by-play voice of the Edmonton Oil Kings on Team 1260. Corey will give us updates on the Oilers prospects on the Oil Kings and I’ll ask his opinion on the Marincin trade, the WJ’s performances of some draft eligibles and the growing sense that Griffin Reinhart might just be the real deal.
- Kent Wilson from Flames Nation. Kent is a brilliant stats guy and we’ll touch base on some of the deals already made in the last couple of weeks and some of the deals that could happen as we head to the deadline.