SUN Hockey Pool

Cogilano relaxing

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

Less has been more for Andrew Cogliano lately.

Having struggled for most of the season, the speedy Oilers centre is working on leaving the game at the arena.

So far, that’s paying off.

“I’m trying not to think about things too much,” Cogliano said. “I’m coming to the rink, doing my work and then when I leave, I’m just putting hockey behind me and not worrying about it.

“Menatlly, at the beginning of the year I was so frustrated and was going over things at home and away from the rink, which was taking a toll on me. Now I’m just playing and it’s been helping me a lot.”

Having had such a strong rookie campaign, Cogliano struggled through his sophomore season. Going into his third year, expectations were high for the former first-round pick.

“I’d watch games from two years ago, I’d watch some of my shifts with (associate coach) Tom (Renney) and we’d go over what I was doing right, what I was doing wrong,” Cogliano said.

“But you have to be mentally strong to play in this league and when you don’t get on a roll and you don’t get confidence, it’s tough to gain that back.”

Playing on the top line with Dustin Penner and Gilbert Brule, Cogliano scored a goal and set up another in Friday’s 3-2 shootout win over Detroit.

“He wants to be a good two-way player, he wants to be responsible defensively and when those opportunities present themselves, he’s going to make the best of them,” said Renney.

“He’s played better without the puck and he’s playing with more confidence and not thinking about things as much.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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