Oiler hunting high, low

Edmonton Oilers' Shawn Horcoff had nine shots against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday but failed to...

Edmonton Oilers' Shawn Horcoff had nine shots against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday but failed to register a goal. (Edmonton Sun/Darryl Dyck)

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

Off a skate. Off somebody's backside. Off anything.

Style points don't matter to Edmonton Oilers' centre Shawn Horcoff, as long as something he shoots at the net actually ends up inside it one of these games.

With just one goal to show for 25 shots on net in his last eight games, including nine shots with no sniff in a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers Tuesday, it's not like Horcoff isn't getting chances.

Right now, though, that's cold consolation for Horcoff, who is coming off a career year in points but has just five goals and 20 points to show for his first 39 games.

"We had lots of chances," Horcoff said.

"Any night you get nine shots on net you expect to get at least one goal. Are you kidding? It usually takes me three or four games to get nine shots."

As Horcoff points out, the old cliche about not being worried as long as the scoring chances are coming wears thin.

With a shooting percentage stuck in single digits - he's at 7.6% with five goals on 66 shots - close but no cigar isn't good enough.

"Yes and no," Horcoff said. "You get not so much worried as frustrated right now because the chances are there.

"When you're not getting chances, that's when it becomes more worrisome. Right now, it's more frustrating because they're there and I'm getting good shots on net, too."

Truth be told, if Horcoff was anywhere near his scoring pace of last year, the Oilers probably wouldn't have had to pluck Petr Nedved off re-entry waivers Tuesday.

"I think it's going to be good," Horcoff said of Nedved's second stint here.

"It's going to be nice to have that depth up front. Hopefully, he can regain the form he had with us here last time."

With the ice time Horcoff is getting - he leads Oiler forwards with an average of 20:24 a game - being on a 40-point pace isn't a reasonable return for the opportunity he's been afforded by coach Craig MacTavish.

"I went high. I went low. I tried going five-hole," Horcoff said of getting skunked against Florida. "I tried going everywhere.

"The more frustrated I get, the harder it gets for me to get them, so I'm just trying to continue to do the same things."


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