50MC is Officially Calling Out… Ales Hemsky.
Since I believe Danny Briere is a lost cause, Ales Hemsky finds himself next on the pecking order. If I can just say one thing about Briere: You f’n suck. Another loss last night. The Flyers are better off without you. Back to Hemsky. Here is a guy who is among the most skilled players in the league and he is finally healthy and depended on to lead his team into the playoffs. But Hemsky is no where to be found. When the Oilers need him the most, he has disappeared.
In his last 8 games, the Oilers are 2-4-2. In the thick of the Western conference playoff race, this is terrible. In that same stretch, Hemsky has contributed 2 goals (zero assists) and is a lousy -3. Hemsky has gone from over a point per game, to an average player. Depending on who you ask, he is right on pace where he should be. On the other hand, he was on pace for a career year and with so much skill in his repertoire, there is no reason why this guy should not be scoring more than a point per game. It can be argued that he does not have the proper line mates. However, he was scoring with the same linemates at a torrid pace at the start of the year, what has happened since?
After last night’s uninspiring loss to the lottery-bound Ottawa Senators, in which Hemsky was -2 in 18+ minutes of ice time, the Oilers uncomfortably sit in a 3-way tie for 8th in the conference (with Anaheim and Dallas). At the beginning of the week, the Oilers sat in 6th. Hemsky has to lead this team. He does not need to lead in the dressing room, but as the most talented player on the team, in order to make the playoffs, it is essential that Hemsky finishes off the season strong. He has the capability to do this. The question is: does he want to.
PS. I hate Daniel Briere.