Written by Dobber
Monday, 19 March 2007 03:36
Originally submitted to and published by The Hockey News, ESPN.com and MSN.ca on March 14.
When Edmonton Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe traded away Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders at the February 27 trade deadline, he did more than just send the heart and soul of the team packing. I think he accidentally packed Edmonton’s goal scoring into that suitcase.
While Smyth continues his solid season in a new environment, his former teammates have hit a wall. Did Smyth take the map with him? You know – the one that gives directions to the opposition net? Consider:
- Shawn Horcoff is pointless in the seven games of the post-Smyth era. This is not surprising. With Ales Hemsky injured for the last four games, Horcoff’s production was bound to stop. His bread and butter has been to pick up points off of Hemsky and Smyth plays.
- Petr Sykora is also pointless in the post-Smyth era.
- Hemsky is on the shelf with a shoulder injury, but during the three games that he played since Smyth left town, he was pointless and a minus-2.
- Raffi Torres has one point in those seven games, Joffrey Lupul has two.
So to summarize – Smyth is off the team, Hemsky and Jarret Stoll are injured, and Horcoff/Sykora/Torres/Lupul have combined for three points. There go the top seven Edmonton scorers! Small wonder that the entire team has just five goals in the last seven contests.
The wind is completely out of the Edmonton sails and if picking up a player from this team during the stretch drive enters your mind for even a second – you will lose the pool…
Brad Boyes is loving life in St. Louis. At least, his owners love him there. The 24-year-old has eight points in his last five games and will bounce back strong next year with his new team…
Alexei Zhitnik, as the only quarterback option for the Atlanta power play now, has eight points in the seven games that he has played for them. This impressive pace will not last, but he will produce more than you are used to seeing from him while he is in this environment…
Time to bail on Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez. Coach Jacques Lemaire has announced that Nicklas Backstrom will be their No.1 guy going forward. Rookie Josh Harding has also played so well that Fernandez could find himself as the No.3…
Farm Report: Minnesota farmhand James Sheppard is on a tear in the Quebec League. The ninth-overall pick in the 2006 draft is enjoying a 14-game point streak in which he has 11 goals and 31 points. That is good enough to move him into the top 15 in league scoring. Sheppard will likely join the Minnesota roster in about three seasons.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 18:22