After the Oilers first 8 point game by a single player since 1989, how could Sam Gagner not be the story of the week? Scoring 4 goals and notching 4 assists, Gagner's 8 point game against the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night, Gagner has tied records held by two elite former playrs; Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey. I cannot wait to hear what either of those players will say about their records that have not been touched in 23 years.
Of course this was supposed to be Gagner's breakout year, but 5 goals and 22 points in 43 games were not the most encouraging stats by a log shot. Gagner had been playing more and arguably better minutes that Ryan Jones, but was no farther on the Oilers stats list. Now, after a single game, Gagner may have brought many of the fans he had once polarized if only for a short time. Likely, Gagner's name has been removed from many lists of must trade players, but there are however those who will now believe that it is absolutely now that you look to move Gagner if he doesn't fit into the long term plan. Gagner's father Dave Gagner had a similar start to his career in the NHL, and Sam is only 22, so there are many possible outcomes to Gagner's future career.
The return of several key players to the Oilers' roster seems to be making all of the difference in the second half of the season. Of course, this could just be another flash in the pan like October. Even if that is the case, this is still an indication of what the team is working towards, and what could be the future in the coming seasons.
Wayne Gretzky's first 8 point game:
Sam Gagner's first 8 point game:
The Oilers played their first game after the All Star Break against the Colorado Avalanche, a team the Oilers have been having a lot of luck against. Tuesday night, the Oilers held on to beat the Avs 3-2. The Oilers didn't play again until Thursday night, taking on the Chicago Blackhawks, the other team the Oilers have been having much success against. Thursday night was of course an 8-4 victory and game for the ages.
Devan Dubnyk has started the last five games, and according to Renney's "win and you're in" policy, should be getting the nod for Saturday night's game against the Red Wings. Dubnyk along with Gagner, needed to take the next step in their careers to show that they should be a part of the future of the Oilers. Both have been making a case for themselves lately.
This week has been about the best of the best. The AHL All Star game featured a few Oklahoma City Barons players including Philippe Cornet. Cornet's second AHL season has been enough to earn him not only a trip to the AHL All Stars, but also a trip to the NHL. Cornet played two games with the Oilers this week.
The healthiest of the CHL's top prospects converged upon Kelowna for the Top Prospects Game. This game is far more competitive than either the NHL or AHL All Star Games. Oil King defenceman Griffin Reinhart scored for Team Orr as they toppled Team Cherry 2-1.
The Edmonton Oil Kings have continued their winning ways with a 3-2 loss to David Musil and the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night. Friday night, the Oil Kings hosted the Red Deer Rebels and a 3-2 victory for the Oil Kings who remain at the top of their division.
The Oklahoma City Barons will be in Calgary to take on the Abbotsford Heat next Thursday in the AHL Battle of Alberta. Tickets are extremely affordable and can be purchased through ticketmaster. This will likely by the last chance we will have to see Magnus Paajarvi play live this season. Linus Omark has tweeted that he is not quite ready to be back on the ice, but will definitely be at the game next Thursday.
Kyle Bigos - #23 in Copper & Blue's Top 25 Under 25 - Copper & Blue Zona
Driving Play: Why the NHL Should Change Its Points System - Copper & Blue JaredL
Streaking OKC Barons Return Home - Copper & Blue Rodgers
MAKING HISTORY, TRENDING, QUESTIONABLE MANAGEMENT AND A COMEBACK - Swedish Oil
Oilers’ prospect pool on D so deep it’ll take them years to surface - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
O’Marra, Plante, Kytnar taste NHL coffee but remain long-term projects - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
HEMSKY IN LIMBO? - Oilers Nation Gregor
Where were you? - Oilers Nation Gregor
DEVAN DUBNYK: NOW OR NEVER? - Oilers Nation Brownlee
STAY THE COURSE - Oilers Nation Strudwick
The Ultimate Handjob On A Greyhound - Black Dog Hates Skunks
David Musil Makes Rare Calgary Appearance - Oil Patch
Oilers Season Small Improvements - Oil Patch
Great moments in all-star weekend history - Down Goes Brown