Paging Mr. Hemsky … white courtesy telephone please
Ales? Ales? Are you there, Ales?
For the second year in a row the Oilers are engaging in a second half playoff run with their putative star player seemingly missing in action. Last year Hemsky scored some on the powerplay, but bled goals against at evens, posting a brutal -13 rating after the All-Star break. This year the +/- isn’t so bad, but the scoring has dried up including on the powerplay where production from Hemsky is essential to production from the unit.
It’s interesting to compare the production of Ales Hemsky, first line right winger and team leading scorer, with that of Zack Stortini, 4th/5th line right winger and 9-minute a game grinder. Entering this afternoon’s game at Minnesota, this is what the two have done over their last 15 games played:
Now I’ll readily admit this is cherry-picking to some extent, that 15-game run is by far the best production of Stortini’s career, although somehow not enough to prevent a wholly-undeserved five-game vacation in the press box. But the point is that Hemsky is being paid, and played, to produce, and he hasn’t been doing it. 15 games is a significant enough segment of the schedule that he should be far ahead of the likes of Zack Stortini.