Friday, October 23, 2009
The Rise of Dustin Penner
Dustin Penner has finally arrived. After a 2 goal, 3 assist game last night vs Columbus, fans are all a flutter in Edmonton over the play of Penner so far this season. Putting together Hemsky, Penner and Gagner last night, they put together one of the greatest performances in over 20 years. Penner and Hemsky had 5 point nights with Gagner putting up 3 pts. The last time Edmonton had two players with 5 points in one game each was back in 1988 (Carson and Anderson).
Okay, we should step back and be cautiously optimistic. It was one game. Let's say that again: it was one game.
It's no fun being cautious.
The play of Penner has been a lovely surprise. I did feel and was quite vocal over the past two years that Penner had great potential and was being majorly mismanaged last year. Some of it was his fault, no doubt about that. The mismanagement from last year has contributed to his play this year. He was shamed into getting into better shape, a new coaching staff wiped the slate clean and he has silenced all his critics. We saw glimpses of this Penner in the past where he'd drive the net, skate hard to the puck and use his size. He never did it consistently but I felt if he ever did, this was the potential.
Cautious, be cautious.
A big weekend for the flu-ridden team with back-to-back games on the road against Calgary and Vancouver.
Oilers hockey appears to be back. Damn I've missed it.