It would be had to write a piece today without mentioning Sam Gagner, no matter what team you write about. What he (and his line-mates, lest we forget) accomplished last night was nothing short of extraordinary! As I was at the game last night I, like everyone else in the hockey universe was astonished at what unfolded before my eyes. But, since everyone on earth including our very own Jeff Chapman will have a post regarding Gagners performance, I thought I would discuss a few other players in the game that was Sam’s

I want to give some kudos to the two players that aren’t getting any love today at all, even though their accomplishments last night would’ve been heralded today on any other post game day blog where Gagner didn’t score 8 points.

First of all, Ryan Whitney last night looked like a sniper with that point shot that rung off the post with authority and in the back of the net. (Gagner assisted)…

Pretty Sweet! With Whitney’s foot not 100% healed, and the Oilers Defense lacking point production lately while Gilbert has been injured, it was great to see Whitney make the most of his game last night with a goal!!

Secondly, Cam Barker also deserves some credit here, for his first goal in his first game back from a long injury. (also assisted by Gagner)

While not as hard a shot as Whitney’s still nice to see that our D is getting it done. I was concerned that Barker was going to be a bust for this team, as he did not play very well at the beginning of the season before he was injured. Getting this goal, sort of put my mind at ease about this player a little bit. he was a high draft pick (3rd I believe) and yet he has bounced around the league a little bit, not really solidifying himself anywhere. If Barker can build on this start, I will feel alot better about the Oilers blue line moving forward.

Taylor Hall & Jordan Eberle both had 4 point nights last night. This is freaking awesome as well! This would’ve been the topic du jour if Gags hadn’t been so unbelievable. This puts Hall at 38 pts on the season while Eberle has hit 50! Get used to it folks, these two players should, and will be playing together for the next several years here in Edmonton and we will see a lot of this in the future.

Now to the Goats in last night’s game…

In an 8 goal victory, how does your highest paid centre-man end up with a -2 on the night? When your name is Shawn Horcoff, that’s how. I have been reluctant to criticize Horcoff in the past, as I appreciate the other thing he brings to the table than just goal scoring. But, when the power-play struggles when Horcoff is on it with Hemsky (we’ll get to hin in a sec…) and Hall, And Hall seems to be on a whole other plane of existence, why can’t Horcoff get anything accomplished? Is Horcoff declining as he gets older? Or is he truly a 3rd line centre-man? At least Horc had a couple of shots on net though.

Ales Hemsky, did worse that Horcoff last night (if that’s possible), he too was a – 2 on the night, but Hemsky didn’t even register a shot on net all game long. Remember, the Oilers scored 8 GOALS!! No shot for Hemmer. I don’t even know what to say about this player anymore. It’s obvious to me that he has basically given up on this team. He no longer gives me any reason to believe that when he’s on the ice, magic will happen the way he used to make it happen. If the Oilers are going to trade Hemsky & Gagner, I say pull the trigger on a deal today! So you can catch some lightning in a bottle from Gagner’s game last night. This way you might be able to maximize the return.

Next up, the Detroit Redwings tomorrow night on HNIC and the triumphant return of THE NUGE!

GO Oilers GO!

Tags: Ales Hemsky Cam Barker Edmonton Oilers Jordan Eberle Ryan Whitney Sam Gagner Shawn Horcoff Taylor Hall

  • smokinmonkey

    I only made it home to watch the 3rd period of last nights game and man! I honestly took a knee slide through my living room and fist pumped on Gags eight point! I never thought we should have traded him in the first place and look what happens when he gets comfortable playing with talented players and top minutes! There is NO way we trade him now. Look for him to put up 2 points on Saturday in a 4-3 win over Detroit.

    • Realoilfan

      @smokinmonkey lets be honest here though, gags had 22 points going into this game last night. it was just one of those nights where the stars aligned for him. If we can get some value out of it, and get what we really need in a defenseman because of it, personally i would like to see that happen.

      • smokinmonkey


        What kinda D man could he get us back than? Another 3/4 d man. Sorry don’t need that. Need a 2nd line center though. Let him play with the talented kids for a few games and see where he fits.

  • ibleedoil

    Cut Horc and Hemmer some slack. They were on shutdown duty on Toews and Kane all night, and how many goals did those two score?

    Plus Minus is a completely worthless stat.

    • Realoilfan

      @ibleedoil i would cut them some slack if i thought it would ever get any better. Horcoff has been offensively stimied for awhile now. and like i said in the piece, i do like the other skills he brings to the table. I don’t see hemsky getting better, at least not on this team. I think hemsky is a great player, just not here. he needs a change to get back to what he once was IMO. he had his shot here and was magic for the first several years, but i think that this is the time for him to go, and you have to admit that his play is not improving even though he’s healthy.

      • ibleedoil

        @Realoilfan Hemsky’s been one of the better right wingers in the league in terms of point per game production since the lockout. Even with his disappointing play this year he’s still at .88 PPG since the 05-06 season. Yes, he’s going to post his worst season in terms of production since before the lockout, but he’s also coming of two injury plagued seasons and major reconstructive work on his shoulders. That can’t be easy to come back from. I don’t really see why he should get run out of town over one bad year. It’s not like there’s no place for him on the roster. We’re not swimming in Top 6 talent yet. There’s Hall, Eberle, Huge, and Gags. Still two spots open. Hemsky as a second line RW sounds pretty good to me. But I’d only resign him to a one year deal.

        Horcoff? We’ll, we’re not getting rid of the contract, so we might as well ride it out. Not much use in complaining there.

        • Realoilfan

          @ibleedoil if all that you siad were true, which it is…why only sign him to a year? I want to be clear here, i dont want “run him outta town” so much as i would like to adress some other obvious holes on the team like defense. Personally i feel like Omark would be able to take Hemsky’s spot as we are not going to win a cup next year either. Just like this year when management wanted to ” play the kids” on defense, why not address that hole and see what a RW like Omark can do? We still have some talented depth at forward on the farm but the D prospects like Klefbom are still a year or two away.

        • ibleedoil

          @Realoilfan I’d only sign him for a year so if he doesn’t return to form, or doesn’t stay healthy, we don’t have another contract we can’t get rid of. Risk management. If he returns to form he was before he got hurt, then reward him with the multi-year deal. And also, I prefer going with proven top six guys over unproven prospects, Omark needs to work his way back up from the AHL first, before he even sniffs at top six time. (Same with MPS, who I think was rushed in last year.)

    • Realoilfan

      @ibleedoil forgot to mention, if they were on shut-down duty…they were both -2 on the night and the Hawks scored 4.

      • ibleedoil

        @Realoilfan but what is the context? Dubnyk gave up two stinkers, and another goal was a direct cause of Potter not knowing how to play a 2-on-1. Is that Hemsky or Horcoff’s fault? This is why I don’t like the plus/minus stat.

    • OilOnWhyte

      @ibleedoil While I would argue that plus/minus is not the end all, I stop somewhat short of calling it useless. Corsi is a stat that hasn’t quite caught onto the mainstream, and it’s a better stat than plus/minus,

      And then Fenwick, which really isn’t all that different.

      That being said, if the sum of all this team’s parts is an 8-4 victory over the Hawks, I’m not all that concerned until the negative parts become a factor.

      • Realoilfan

        @OilOnWhyte @ibleedoil Jeff, i knew you were the more refined one! hell, you are the more classy one too! anyone that level headed about this whole thing, and wears old spice…

  • realoilfan

    @OilOnWhyte and you call me the text carpenter!

    • OilOnWhyte

      @realoilfan Not often I can work a Morrissey tune into a tweet. Today is different.