The Edmonton Oilers have scored 641 goals over the last three seasons, good for 27th in the NHL over that span. They've scored 156 power play goals over that same time period, good for 22nd in the NHL. The only Oiler to score 30 goals in a season over the last four seasons is Dustin Penner in 09-10. Since the Stanley Cup run of '06, only Ales Hemsky (x2) and Dustin Penner have cracked 60 points.
Outside of Penner and Hemsky, the only thing offensive about the Oilers has been their defense as Sheldon Souray, Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney have all produced above average offensive seasons, especially considering the terrible offensive teams they've played for.
Our question today focuses on offensive expectations in 2011-12.
Our lineup this time includes Pat, from Black Dog Hates Skunks, the blogosphere's version of David Mamet, Jeff Chapman, the big brain behind Oil On Whyte, Shepso and BCB, the philosopher kings from Bringing Back The Glory, Jerconjake, the insightful man behind Oil Acumen, Smokin' Ray, the only man covering the Oilers, Barons and Thunder and he does it all at Oilers Jambalaya, dawgbone98, 'sphere regular and resident lacrosse and hockey tactics expert, and sumoil, Copper & Blue's resident CHL tracker, the only man breaking down the top CHL prospects through detailed statistical tracking.
Today's Roundtable Question: Which Oilers will score at least forty points? Who will get the most?
Jerconjake: Hall, Hemsky, Gagner, Paajarvi, Eberle, Smyth and Whitney will crack the 40 point plateau; provided that each stays relatively healthy. Taylor Hall has Hemsky or Eberle on the opposite wing, which means he'll rack up a load of points. It works both ways, which is why it's tempting to pick Hemsky to lead the team in scoring, but at 35 Ryan Smyth is not quite the same linemate that he once was. Hall will lead the way.
Smokin' Ray: Hmmm... Kind of a tough question. This really depends on injuries. For this, I'll pretend nobody gets hurt this year. The guys who will get 40 points or more will be Hall, Hemsky, Smyth, Whitney, Barker, Gilbert, Eberle, Gagner and Horcoff.
Paajarvi and Omark (if he stays here for the full season) will come close to reaching 40. Let's hope no injuries happen and all these 40 point guys get the team close to the playoffs.
BCB: Hemsky will be the Oilers’ point leader. Yes; I am claiming a man that I will think will spend 25 games on the IR, but I do think that Hemsky will finally be over a point-per-game player and end up with just under 70 pts. If Hemsky gets that many points then these others will have over 40 points: Horcoff, Eberle, Hall, Smyth, Paarjavi, Omark, and the Nuge.
Shepso: Brendan, you’re insane. That’s too many players getting that many points. That’s basically saying the team will score something like 30 more goals collectively this year. Also, the Nuge will not be amongst the players to produce that well. I am hoping and praying that he goes down to Dead Deer for another season, plays lights out and leads Canada to "Tournament of Small Sample Size" glory on Rexall ice. Hemmer, Gags and Hall will all be in and around 50-55 points, Eberle will be close, Smyth and the Swedes will hover around 40. There’s just no way Hemmer is going to be healthy long enough to get in the high 60s, but I hope I am forced to eat these words. Furthermore, many of the points Hemsky will get won’t come in an Oilers uniform.
Dawgbone: Geez I hate these. The Oilers could have as many as 7 or 8 forwards and 2 defensemen score 40 depending on who is healthy (and who doesn’t get traded). But for the sake of all you putting money on my picks (pro tip: Don’t):
Hemsky 74 (21 goals)
Hall 65 (30 goals)
Eberle 61 (25 goals)
Smyth 54 (26 goals)
Gagner 53 (19 goals)
Horcoff 42 (15 goals)
Whitney 40 (8 goals)
So pretty much everyone in the top 6 will crack 40 points. Last year the Oilers had 4 players over 40 points and 1 player with 39 points, but none of them played 70 games. I expect an increase in the total number of goals for (let’s say 210 non-shootout goals), so this fits in well with this (the remaining roster needs to score 66 goals, which is pretty reasonable for the remaining players on the roster.
If you are looking at a comparable, it would be Toronto. Last year they had 4 forwards who bested 40 points as well as another D and another F who were on pace to beat it before being traded. They scored 213 goals (218 – 5 shootout) last year and this is the target I have for the Oilers, assuming they can stay healthy.
SumOil: My money is on Hall, Eberle, Hemsky, Smyth, Gagner. Paajarvi should be close, but I doubt he hits 40, unless he essentially replaces Smyth from one of the feature lines. Paajarvi and Omark will impress us with their skill and creativity with the puck, however I don’t see us being that strong a team to have six or more 40 point players on one team. Their time will come but not next season.
BDHS Pat: Well it all depends on health – if the following guys stay healthy I expect them all to hit forty points – Hemsky, Smyth, Hall, Eberle, Gagner. For that matter Horcoff, Belanger and Omark all could in the right set of circumstances. Whichever centre playing with Smyth and Hemsky or Hall and Eberle will likely score at least forty I would think. If Hemsky gets moved and Omark or Paajarvi gets a top six role and PP time then he could as well. As for top scorer I would say Hemsky except a) he may not be healthy enough and b) he is likely a goner so I will say Hall
Jeff Chapman: If everyone on this list plays eighty games, I've got eight. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Shawn Horcoff, Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky, Eric Belanger and Linus Omark. It's not the offence I'm worried about on this team. It's the other two positions that I'm slightly concerned with. If Hemsky lasts the entire season with Edmonton, I've got him at the top of the scoring at the end of the year.