Another year brought another disappointment for the Edmonton Oilers. Despite having a core of some of the best young talent in the NHL, the Oilers were unable to overcome their shortcomings in the depth, physical, and defensive departments.
For some individual players, the 2013 season brought mixed results. What is to be expected in a 48-game season isn’t always clear. Some handle it better than others. Players that are typically slow starters have a tough time adapting to a shortened schedule.
Jordan Eberle hasn’t been a player that has traditionally started slow, but he had a bit of a tough time getting it together over the course of the first couple of months of the shortened season. Once he put it together, though, he ended up posting some very solid numbers.
Of course, it was going to be tough to live up to what he did in 2011-2012. He had a career year, finishing with just under a point per game, finishing the season with 76 points in 78 games. It was a 33-point jump from his production the previous season, which was his rookie year.
Eberle’s production was steady this season, as far as his overall point production is concerned, but he had issues getting it going from a goal-scoring perspective. His ability to put the puck in the back of the net never really came to him, after a season in which he scored 34 goals.
Playing in all 48 games in 2013, Eberle finished with 37 points. Not a bad total at all. In fact, he finished among the league leaders when the season came to an end. Yet, many are looking at Eberle’s season as something of a disappointment. Much of that is likely dictated by the fact that the Oilers failed to make the playoffs yet again.
Sixteen goals on the season isn’t a failure, by any means. But the dry spells that Eberle experienced in the goal scoring department were pretty brutal. He had two streaks of at least eight games in which he did not score a goal, and another of six. After going seven games without a goal at the beginning of 2011-12, he never had a streak longer than five.
Jordan Eberle is clearly a building block for this franchise. As we hear of the large shakeup that is sure to take place within this organization this summer, it’s probably a pretty safe bet that Eberle won’t be in play. Heading into the first year of that extension that carries a $6 million cap hit, he’ll need to tickle the twine with a bit more regularity in 2013-14.