Who stole Stoll?

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

DENVER -- It could be a matter of just playing one great game to get Jarret Stoll out of his funk.

One game where he's dominant in the faceoff circle, effective killing penalties, lethal on the power play and finishes with a couple of goals in his pocket.

That's the Stoll the Edmonton Oilers miss this season, the one they desperately need in order to climb out of the hole they're in.

"He's not doing much," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "You can live with the fact he hasn't scored at the rate we're used to him scoring at. What we can't live with is the fact that he hasn't been real efficient in the other areas that are the real strengths of his game.

"I've seen marginal progress from him, but there's recently been a couple of setbacks. It's important to address that again."

HASN'T BEEN THE SAME

Stoll, 25, hasn't been the same player since returning from a concussion which ended his season prematurely last year. At the time he was arguably the Oilers best player, a forward who could - and did - do it all.

This season, Stoll has a goal and three assists in 15 games with a team-worst minus-nine rating.

"I'm continuing to try and find my game," Stoll said.

"It's a struggle right now, but as a team, guys are helping me along and maybe I just have to find a way to keep things simple.

"Maybe I just have to simplify things to the point where I'm just getting in, being physical, get in on the forecheck, win puck battles and maybe things will go from there."

With Stoll scoring is not the only way he contributes to the team. But as the quarterback on the power-play, he has a big influence on how the team fares with the man advantage.

NHL'S WORST POWER-PLAY

Right now the Oilers have the worst power-play in the league with only four goals in 60 opportunities.

"He's never been very productive five-on-five, but he's an all-world special-teams guy," MacTavish said.

"Right now his power-play production is struggling and that's strictly from a lack of confidence. He will get that confidence back and he will be productive on the power play again, I know that.

"But in the interim, you just have to get back and not deviate from the real strengths of your game that you can go back to whether you have confidence or you don't have confidence."

Stoll is working hard, but things just haven't been able to fall into place for him. Unfortunately at this point, it's unlikely it would take just one big game to snap him out of his funk.

"It would be nice if it only took one night. But I just think I have to work through it and try to stay positive," he said.

"I think I'm working hard, maybe I have to work smarter, try and be in the right positions."


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