Blame Game Part II

By Horcoff taking his big contract he assumed the responsibility of a first line center and a go to offensive guy. It doesn’t matter if he makes 3.6 mil or 7.2 mil he is still designated with the same role on this team. And his lack of producing while in a leading role in that category has set a bad example to our team.

Another topic to determine a player’s worth is the first vs. second assist debate. There are many circumstances where the player getting an assist is only the benefactor of great plays by two other players on the ice. Of Horcoff’s 32 assists so far this season only half of them have been first assists. For comparisons sake you could look at a guy like Briere of Buffalo. As of March 16th he had 52 assists. Of those 52 assists 37 were first assists, which accounts for 71.2% of the total. On Vancouver Sedin had 37 assists as of March 16th and 25 of those were first assists for 67.6%.

Another knock against Horcoff this season is his ability to carry the team without the best players around him. In 10 games that Smyth was hurt between Dec 4th and Dec 23rd Horcoff could only must 5 pts and was -3. In the 14 games Horcoff has played since Smyth was traded he has come up with 1 goal and 6 points in 14 games and is a horrendous -9. Now admittedly the entire team has been playing bad, and when you lose key offensive guys that draw attention on the ice it will hurt your numbers, but this was a team when the Oilers needed their first line center to step up his game and become a better player that could put points on the board without an allstar left winger. He has done nothing to become that.

Horcoff has had one year were he scored 73 pts riding Shotgun for Smyth and Hemsky having great years, and has never been able to produce on his own. His wingers are players that make the people around them better, like Hemsky for instance. It is quite obvious that Sykora's first half succuss came from being fed pucks on a silver platter from Hemsky. A skill that Horcoff is paid for and doesn't provide.

Horcoff is the iceberg that this ship hit, and its killing us all.


Jon G said...

Nice ending line. Although, I would have to say, not protecting Horcoff, but many things have gone wrong other than his ineptitude this year.

Joe Reynolds said...

I have to agree that he has not carried the load when he needs to carry the team. He hasen't played any better and without looking too much into this how many of those 1 goal and 6 assists have come since Hemsky has been back in the lineup. I think that Hemsky needs to be put with a shooter, alla Stoll/Sykora and we could see big things. Guys like Thornton need guys to put the puck in the net too. Do you think he would have put up the points he did last year without Cheechoo and Marleau on the PP?????

Rory said...

You can say any player has shittier numbers if a linemate is out. Even Crosby, he needs teammates to finish those plays and get passes to him for him to have that success. Horcoff is having a crappy season but no crappier than several players on the Oilers, I think everyone was excited after the lockout cause of Horc's success in Europe, and he did not deliver, with a healthy team he should be back to his 05/06 form at least, he works hard in the offseason to improve his conditioning, hopefully he works on some other shit too.

Josh said...

So where was Horc when the lineup was healthy for a large part of the year? thats right...no where.

Rory said...

where was anybody? The only one that consistently showed up was Smyth, Sykora started off well and slipped, Hemsky did not deliver, Stoll started to surge then got hurt, and Petersen is a tool.

Josh said...

Hemsky has clearly delivered far more than Horcoff. He made Sykora the player he was first half. As for Stoll, Sykora, and Peterson, are any of them paid/given the responsibility of being a go to guy like Horcoff? If Jarret Stoll was making 3.6 mil and our first line center I'd be all over for not producing like he should. But he makes 2.2 (?) and is our second line center who has been injured for a portion of the season. Eventually somone has to realize that Horcoff may have played just as good as the rest of the team, but he gets paid to play better.