Sixteen games into this young season, and Craig MacTavish has had it up to here with Dustin Penner sleeping on his furniture and pissing on his rug. In a must-read post and thread from yesterday, Lowetide suggests that in calling out Penner, MacT has chosen his hill to die on (can we call it Hamburger Hill?). No doubt it's a bad spot for the coach — what happens next is completely up to Penner. If he manages to crawl out of the dog house with a little more offensive consistency and a lot more dedication to becoming the player the Oilers hoped he would be, than MacT has shown he still has one hand on the whip and will live another day. If Penner quits on him, though, than MacTavish's days are officially numbered. Not just speculatively. For realsies.
"When we signed Dustin we thought he'd be a top-two-line player," said MacTavish as the team prepares to face the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.
"We thought the contract ($4.25 million average for five years) was a starting point for him, but he views it as a finish line. I can't watch it, certainly not for another 2 1/2 years," he said.
Actually, it's 3 1/2 years. — Edmonton Journal, Nov. 16, 2008.
Frankly, I'm not optimistic that Penner can pull it out. An argument has emerged as to whether Penner's terrible counting numbers this year are a result of MacT's not using him in the right situations (not enough time on the PP, too much time on defensive assignments). Like Tyler, I'm not sure this is the issue. Bottom line is for $4.25M a year, you've got to be one of the players who is driving the bus. If Penner wants out of the dog house, he has to make things happen. To be honest, I've yet to be convinced he is capable of that.
Going to be a long, cold stay outside, boy. But hey — there are worse dog houses to be stuck in, I suppose. (WARNING: Do not watch these videos until you are ready to have your mind COMPLETELY FUCKING BLOWN.)