SUN Hockey Pool

Oil vets turned to stone

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Any time you're ready, Jarret.

And Ethan. And Fernando. And Marty.

Nobody wants to rush you guys, or anything, but a road trip everyone had circled as a turning point in Edmonton's season is almost over and a lot of the team's leaders can't even get started.

Shawn Horcoff, Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky combined for 15 points in the first four games, and the newly created trio of Sam Gagner, Robert Nilsson and Andrew Cogliano have five goals and nine assists in that span, but the rest of Edmonton's forwards are putting up more zeros than a room full of Hooters girls on a physics test.

The Drab Four could use some implants for their hands.

Stoll has zero points and is minus four in the last five games. Moreau has zero points and is minus one in the last six. Pisani has zero points and is minus one in the last six. Reasoner has zero points and is minus five in the last seven.

NEED SOME SCORING

Not that offence is their only attribute - they turn in hard minutes in shorthanded and checking situations - but sometimes that's not good enough to win games.

"You need those guys chipping in collectively, at least a goal every couple of games," said head coach Craig MacTavish, who was hoping to be a lot better off than 1-2-1 through the first four games of the Southeast division tour.

"We all know how important offence is. If the other team's third and fourth line is chipping in a goal, like Craig MacDonald did last game (a 4-3 loss in Tampa), a lot of nights it's the difference in the game.

"Those guys bring a lot more than offence to the table each and every night, but at the same time they have scored (in the past), and when you group them all together it's pretty realistic to expect them to chip in at least a goal every two games."

You can tell from the war wounds - Moreau has 14 stitches in his lip, Pisani has a few in his and Reasoner is wearing a massive welt on his neck - that they're going into the hard areas and trying to make things happen.

Nobody's knocking their effort or commitment, it's just that T-rex's have made better use of their hands than those four.

"We definitely need some secondary scoring," said Moreau. "I told (Pisani) after the game, stick with it and we'll have a breakthrough game. You just need one thing to go right and all of a sudden the puck goes in."

Pisani has seen it from both sides of the streak - everything he touched turned to goals in the playoffs two years ago; now, with one assist in the last 11 games, the same guy playing the same game can't find a net if you tied him to the crossbar.

"Everybody wants to score," he said. "It's obviously a little frustrating when you're not. You want to contribute as much as you can. It's just a matter of us putting it together."

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Tonight would be a good place to start. Better late than never, they always say.

"You just keep trying to do the right things," said Moreau. "Play physical and work hard and hopefully the breaks will come."


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