What to Make of Gagner?
Standard Spin: Fantasy owners across the globe are perplexed by the sudden machismo of Sam Gagner. After recording the single biggest point total in a game (8) since 1988-89 by one Mario Lemieux, he provided an encore performance with 2 goals and an assist (plus a shootout goal) in the Oilers' latest win over the Red Wings on Saturday. What can we say except the guy is on fire. Everything he touches is going in. We can't argue with 11 points in 2 games! If you have the luxury of inserting him in your line-up, do so immediately. If he is on your waiver wire: grab him.
But, how long will he keep this up for? Well, first he isn't Lemieux, Gretzky or even Sittler for that matter. Going into his epic 8-point night, Gagner had only 5 goals and 22 points on the year in 43 GP. While the trade-talk in Edmonton has most likely been put to bed for the time being as Gagner conjures the ability he displayed in juniors (remember, he was a 6th overall pick in 2007, after scoring 118 points in 53 games with the London Knights of the OHL), hockey poolers should take a wait and see approach in the long term.
If you already have him: great. If you don't, we foresee a season-ending total that may not even challenge his career high of 49 points, which he achieved in his rookie season. Gagner is currently an enigma, and time will tell if this current explosion is actually just a flash in the pan. And, playing with all the talent in Edmonton, it might not be.
Game Notes: Jordan Eberle had 2 goals, Hemsky and Smyth each with 2A, Bertuzzi with 2 goals, and Nugent-Hopkins with a shootout goal to seal the Oilers' victory. (2/5/12)