With the Christmas holidays looming, let’s have a look at the 10 most disappointing players so far this season.
1. Ilya Kovalchuk – New Jersey Devils 31 games 8 goals and 10 assists for 18 points and a -21 plus/minus differential.
After signing a monstrous 17-year $100 million contract in the off-season, Kovalchuk has been a big disappointment so far this year as well as all of the Devils’ forwards. Kovy, who has eight points in his last seven games, seems to have found his offensive touch, but he has a long way to go to catch his usual 1 PPG pace.
2. Jason Spezza – Ottawa Senators 30 games 9 goals and 9 assists for 18 points and a -5 plus/minus differential.
Producing usually 1 PPG during his whole career, Spezza is on pace for only 50 points this season. After twelve points in his first ten games this season, Spezza has gone cold recently, with a mere six points in his last 20 games.
3. Phil Kessel -Toronto Maple Leafs 32 games 12 goals and 7 assists for 19 points and a -12 plus/minus differential.
After notching 30 goals in 70 games last year as a Maple Leafs, Kessel is only on pace for 30 goals and 48 points. After nine points in eight games, Kessel has gone cold for Toronto, notching only ten points in his 24 games on an offensively-challenged team.
4. Scott Gomez – Montreal Canadiens 31 games 4 goals and 10 assists for 14 points and a -3 plus/minus differential.
Usually good for 15 goals and 60 points year-in year out, Gomez was off to a horrendous start for the Canadiens before he missed two games with a lower-body injury. But since his return, Gomez has notched five assists in three games playing with Brian Gionta et recently called-up Max Pacioretty.
5. Jason Pominville – Buffalo Sabres 24 games 5 goals and 6 assists for 11 points and a -11 plus/minus differential.
After four consecutive seasons with 60 points or more for the Sabres, Pominville was counted on the provide much-needed offense to a goal-starved team in Buffalo. Unfortunately, a slow start and a concussion as a result of a dirty hit by Chicago Nicklas Hjalmarsson has hampered Pommer’s production. The good news is that he has earned seven points in his last nine games.
6. Jiri Hudler – Detroit Red Wings 27 games 1 goals and 5 assists for 6 points and a -7 plus/minus differential.
After a year abroad playing in the KHL, the Red Wings brought back Hudler to give more offensive depth. Sadly for Detroit, Hudler has been a big disappointment so far this season, being a healthy scratch five times and not living up to the organization’s expectations after a 57-point in 2008-09.
7. Jean-Pierre Dumont – Nashville Predators 32 games 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points and a +4 plus/minus differential.
After six consecutive 40-point seasons, Dumont was supposed to be a key part of the Predators’ offense. Regrettably, Dumont has only scored five points in the last 27 games after four points in the first four games on 2010-11.
8. Zach Bogosian – Atlanta Thrashers 28 games 2 goals and 3 assists for 7 points and a -7 plus/minus differential.
Coming off a good sophomore season during which he scored a franchise-high ten goals for a defenseman in 2009-10, Bogosian hasn’t been the shadow of his former self this year for the Thrashers. The Boogeyman has only one point in December despite the Thrashers’ offensive success this season. The team leads the NHL with 20 goals scored by defensemen thanks to Dustin Byfuglien’s eleven goals.
9. Marc-Edouard Vlasic – San Jose Sharks 33 games 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points and a -5 plus/minus differential.
Great things were expected offensively from Vlasic after Rob Blake’s retirement in the off-season. However, it took 27 games for the former Quebec Remparts to record his first point of the season. Positively, Vlasic now has five points in his past six games, so the Sharks hope he will continue producing more points and help Dan Boyle on the power play.
10. Tuuka Rask – Boston Bruins 10 games 2 wins, 7 losses and 1 OTL with a 2.57 GAA and a .920 save percentage.
After a great rookie season during which he recorded 22 wins in 39 starts to go along with an incredible 1.97 GAA and a spectacular .931 save percentage, Rask was unable to keep the starting job in Boston as a healthy Tom Thomas regained the starting job, posting Vezina-like numbers this season.
If you think I forgot a disappointing player or that one of the above players should not be on this list, please let me know in the comments section!
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About the Author: Working as a freelance sports writer and translator, Fred, 33, graduated from Laval University in Quebec City, earning a bachelor of translation in 2002. An avid fan of the Northeast division teams, he's also a long time fan of the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Fred also speaks fluently French and Spanish. http://twitter.com/FredPoulin98 www.traductions-quebec.com