It’s been a tough time for Mark Arcobello. While manifestly better at hockey than every member of at least one entire line the Oilers have been running in recent days, he’s been stuck in the press box as a healthy scratch. The official reason of late has been that a winning lineup deserves to be rewarded.
Thanks to Monday’s loss, the Oilers no longer have a winning lineup. Which should mean that Arcobello is back in.
To borrow a line from Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson, we all know how big Mark Arcobello is. His size would seem to be why he didn’t get a shot on the Tambellini-run Oilers last year, and it’s the only real explanation for why he isn’t getting minutes this year. Everything else he’s done has been pretty good:
- Is one of four Oilers (with Perron, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle) to score more than two points per hour five-on-five
- Has the best on-ice scoring chance numbers of any Oilers forward
- Has the best on-ice shot numbers (Corsi, Fenwick, etc.) of any Oilers forward
- Kills penalties, averaging 1:35 per game with the Oilers down a man
- Wins 52.2 percent of his faceoffs, second only to Boyd Gordon
- Leads all Edmonton forwards with 41 hits
Seriously, he’s been ridiculous. And to have him sit while guys who struggle to hit the 20-point mark at the AHL level keep getting minutes despite mediocre performances is indefensible.
If there is a bright spot to Edmonton’s loss against the Blackhawks, it’s that a very deserving player should find himself back in the lineup.