ANAHEIM – It was another milestone night for Andrew Cogliano as an improbable consecutive game streak moved across another threshold for the dutiful Ducks forward.
Just as improbable, if not more, is that Cogliano started it with the Edmonton Oilers on their opening night of the 2007-08 season. His first season didn’t have nights watching the game from above in the press box, a reality many other rookies who stick around the NHL often endure.
Outside of the 48 played in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, it has been an annual 82 for Cogliano from the time he took the ice at Edmonton’s Rexall Place – then Skyreach Centre – for his first against San Jose. Months prior, Cogliano had completed a stellar sophomore season at Michigan.
Now the streak is at 777 games. Cogliano passed Craig Ramsay and now sits fourth all-time, trailing only Doug Jarvis (964), Garry Unger (914) and Steve Larmer (884).
“Timing is everything,” Cogliano said. “I have to give credit to Kevin Lowe, who drafted me. He was up front with me in terms of coming out of college. He said that I had a chance to make the team and he was honest about that.”
Fittingly, Cogliano reached his latest milestone with his only other NHL team as the opponent Wednesday night. Along with Lowe bringing him into the Oilers’ organization, the winger said then-coach Craig MacTavish also played a big role in showing him what it took to flourish in the league.
Under MacTavish, Cogliano learned the value of nutrition and a dedication to fitness – traits he is religiously devoted to year-round. It also helped that the Oilers were in transition and eager to infuse more youth onto their roster.
“I was able to have a good camp,” Cogliano said. “That obviously helped the situation a lot. But I think timing is everything. When you get the opportunity, you have to seize the moment. You have to seize the opportunity.
“And I was able to do that as a young guy and be around more of…