The Wednesday Wake-Up Call is where we pick a struggling player and kindly ask him to SNAP OUT OF IT ALREADY. COME ON. YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS!
Shawn Horcoff, C, Edmonton Oilers
Key stats: Pointless in last eight games, goalless in last 13.
Cap hit: $5.5 million annually
It’s almost an annual rite of passage to bring up the albatrossian six-year, $33 million extension Edmonton gave Horcoff back in 2008. Not that Horcoff’s a bad player — the year he signed it, he scored 50 points in 53 games — it’s just that, every year, there’s a stretch of play that reminds you this is costing the Oilers five-and-a-half million bucks.
Horcoff’s currently in the midst of one of those stretches. After a strong start (16 points in his first 22 games) the Edmonton captain has fallen off. He’s gone scoreless in eight despite logging big minutes — a distressing development as Edmonton’s season looks to be going off the rails.
The Oilers have just three wins in their last 13 games and fallen to 13th in the West. Such a swoon was expected of a young, inexperienced team…so isn’t this when the (highly paid) veteran captain is supposed to step up?
Yes, says Horcoff.
“It’s just a matter of trying to get out of this,” he told the Emonton Journal. “You just have to stick with it. As veteran players, we are looked upon to lead these guys out of situations like this.”
It seems the captain is aware of what needs to be done.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day