|Sam Gagner is the team's leading scorer with 42 points.
Well if you woke up Sunday morning or Monday morning and started to peruse the Edmonton Oiler stats you may have been somewhat surprised to see that none other than Sam Gagner
was tied for the team lead in points. Going into Tuesday's game and the continuation of the five-game road trip it was Gagner at 42 points, Taylor Hall
at 42 along with Ales Hemsky
Now I know both Hall and Hemsky are hurt and that the other player in the mix was Dustin Penner until he was dealt. However what Gagner is doing shouldn't be diminished because of who isn't in the lineup. It doesn't mean anything when it comes to sizing up Sam's scoring. Let me put it to you this way Gagner is on pace to better any season he's had to this point in his young career. Sam's career high in goals is 16..this year he has 15. His career high in assists is 36 he has 27 so far and finally it was as a rookie that Sam put up 49 points. After that he had successive 41 point years. Gagner has already surpassed that by 1 with his total of 42. It's pretty safe to say barring injury or a real cold spell he will finish the year with career highs in goals, assists and points.
Now in a year when an 18 year old named Hall, 19 year old named Magnus Paajarvi
and a 20 year old named Jordan Eberle
burst onto the scene it's not a surprise that the 21 year old Gagner has been somewhat forgotten. Everyone thinking of the Big Three rookies and dismissing the fourth youngest member on the team. Initially gone from any headlines now it's Gagner making his own with his steady climb up the point totals board.
The lineup was long and chalk full of Oilers fans who thought after his 49 point rookie year and his glamorous goals in the shootout that Gagner would build on that. Hoping or maybe expecting that 60 points would be next and then maybe 70 but instead Gagner flatlined. All the while he was playing on a team that was getting worse and maybe his slight dip instead of increase in out put was to be expected. Maybe because he looks older than he is and can grow a full beard in a short time people forgot that he was still just a kid.
Eberle will be 21 in May while Gagner will be 22 in August. They are only 9 months apart but Sam is in year four while Jordan is in year one. Take away the points and the birth certificate there is something else you can't forget about Sam Gagner
and it's his passion to win. Maybe he just has an abundance of 'Tigerblood' (thanks for that Charlie). Whatever it is Sam hates to lose. You walk into the room after a loss and you won't find many if any who take it as hard as he does. He cares a lot and he competes. There's no quit in him. Will he ever be a first line centreman or second like center time will tell but I think I've seen enough out of Gagner to know there is still lots of untapped potential to prove that Sam 'I am' Gagner still has chapters to be written in his own NHL storybook.