SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers off the rails

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

ST. PAUL -- Almost all the supposed go-to guys have gone away. Some never showed up in the first place.

With all the offensive talent and depth the Edmonton Oilers were supposed to have up front, more than a few optimistic fans picked them to score 300 goals - this season, even.

Now, 45 games in, the Oilers come calling on the Minnesota Wild tonight with all that potential firepower having fizzled. With 125 goals on the books, the Oilers rank a modest 20th in the NHL in goals-for - a pace that projects to 227 goals over 82 games.

"I predicted we'd be in the top 10 in league scoring," said GM Kevin Lowe. "We'll probably need to climb up there before the end of the year if we're going to make the playoffs and have success."

The slumps

* Petr Sykora leads the Oilers with 38 points, but he's managed just two goals in his last 11 games. He has 17 on the season.

* Joffrey Lupul, picked by many to surpass the 30-goal plateau after scoring 28 with Anaheim during the 2005-06 regular season and nine more in the playoffs, has just 12. He's scored one goal in his last 10 games.

* Fernando Pisani, who had 14 goals in 24 playoff games last spring to lead all post-season goal-scorers, has just nine. Pisani has scored three times in his last 15 games.

* Raffi Torres, a 27-goal man a year ago, has one goal in his last dozen games. He's stuck at eight goals.

* Jarret Stoll has 13 goals, so he's right on the pace he set a year ago when he scored 22, but he's got just two in his last nine games.

* Marty Reasoner isn't counted on to add much offence, and he's lived down to that. He's scored four goals but hasn't dented the twine once in his last 22 games.

Between the lines

* The Oilers have scored just 81 goals 5-on-5 this season. They've been outscored 88-81 at full strength.

* While many fans thought the Oilers might have as many as eight forwards with 20 goals, only Lupul, Stoll, Sykora and Ryan Smyth, who already has 21, are on pace to get 20.

* Of all the Oilers forwards, in fact, only Smyth, Stoll and Sykora are on pace to match or surpass their goal totals of last season.

* The eight defencemen with the Oilers as of today have combined to score just 11 goals. Marc-Andre Bergeron has six and no other D-man has more than one.


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