“Normally, midway through a season, you don't have seven or eight guys called up to your affiliate all at once,” Scott said. “The good thing is we had a lot of depth at Stockton. A lot of those guys would have been here but got caught up in a numbers game when the Oiler guys came down.”
The Barons' top scorer now is Mark Arcobello, who has 31 points, including nine goals. Arcobello excelled with Eberle and Hall after Nugent-Hopkins left before the holidays to play with Team Canada at the world junior tournament.
“It helps when you play with NHL guys,” Arcobello said. “But last year, I put up points, too. There's no reason I can't continue to put up points without them. Every other team is losing guys, too. It's sort of like a fresh start. We're ready to go.”
Oklahoma City is in seventh in the Western Conference, just five points from the top but also just five points ahead of 12th place Chicago. The top eight teams make the playoffs.
The Barons last year reached the Western Conference finals without a prolific scorer.
“We knew this was probably was going to come at some point,” Green said. “Those guys are back (in the NHL) where they should be. We essentially have the same team as we had last year, and we were pretty successful. We're not afraid of the challenge playing without those guys.”