SUN Hockey Pool

Penner heeds the message

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Dustin Penner scored a goal and added an assist in the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

He now has eight points in eight games since being called out by head coach Craig MacTavish and relegated to the press box. Obviously, the message was received.

"I think it's always a work in progress and we've seen immediate results in the work he's put in," MacTavish said. "That's the game, I've seen it too many times not to know that if you put the work in, you get rewarded and that's what's happening. I'm sure the game is a lot more fun for him right now."

Prior to the public scolding, Penner had four points in his first 16 games.

Two of those came on opening night where he scored a pair of goals.

He then went nine games without registering anything.

"The bottom line for me is that there has been a complete change in the way he's conducted himself in the last few weeks," MacTavish said. "The commitment and the work he has put in ofd the ice has paid instant results.

"We all know that his game is there and now we're seeing it."

Penner's seven goals this season have him two back of team leaders Ales Hemsky and Sheldon Souray. Last season the native of Winkler, Man., finished with a team-high 23 goals.

"One thing that we hadn't see out of him up until this point is the consistency," MacTavish said. "Every night he's been good. He's put together eight games where he's been good every night.

"When you go through the process of rating players after every game and you get the graph over a period of 10 games, it was pretty inconsistent of what we were seeing from him before and now he's added an element of consistency which is part of being a pro."


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