So far this season I’ve talked about some surprise players in the Eastern Conference this season, but what about the players that have disappointed thus far? There are definitely a handful of players who have not lived up to the standard of hockey they have delivered in previous years. I have compiled a list of 5 players that have been less than stellar this season:
I felt almost blasphemous for putting the all-time win leader and shut out leader on this list, but it is really disappointing to see Brodeur playing consistently average. Granted, the New Jersey Devils are surprisingly terrible, but many would expect that Brodeur, arguably the best goalie ever, would still be holding down the fort. Brodeur has only won 4 games thus far and sports an unremarkable 2.74 GAA and a .901 save percentage. If the season ended today, Brodeur’s numbers would be a career worst besides his 4 games he played in the 91-92 season. It is sad to think that Brodeur is in the twilight of his career, but no one lasts forever. I still expect Brodeur to bounce back, but maybe not to what we’re all used to.
Last week I spilled my heart out about how I feel about the Florida Panthers. This week the talented underachiever, Stephen Weiss, makes my list. After 2 season of reaching 60 points or more (08-09, 09-10), it seems Weiss has taken a step back in becoming a force in the NHL. In 24 games, Weiss only has 11 points; that’s less than a half a point a game. The Panthers were looking at Weiss to help carry the Florida Panther passed mediocre and into the playoffs. I think the most disappointing part about Weiss is that he has obvious talent, but he doesn’t want to use it.
Wow. I would never expect myself saying Gomez would be disappointment, but I think if you ask all of Quebec, they’d agree. In 27 games this season, Gomez has 9 points and only 5 assists. I mention the 5 assists because Gomez has typically been a very productive set-up man throughout his career– he only has one season with less than 40 assists (01-02). Gomez is one of those players that everyone wants on their team. He is consistently productive, very hardworking and solid in his own zone, but he is practically non-existent this season. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Canadiens are doing well, he’d be competing for the top spot.
The major reason why Pominville is ahead of Gomez is because his lack of production is a key factor in the Buffalo Sabres mediocre performance thus far. Pominville has been a very good asset for the Buffalo Sabres in recent years. His consistent play has brought him praise from fans and analysts alike, but Pominville is really struggling this season. At first his lack of production was accredited to his early season injury when Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, Niklas Hjalmarsson, delivered an illegal hit from behind and caused Pominville to be taken out via stretcher— this also ended Pominville’s impressive consecutive game streak at 335. However, after 18 games Pominville only has 6 points and is really struggling. The biggest disappointment is that with a more increased production the Sabres could possibly start climbing the points ladder.
Do I really need to say why? The superstar winger has turned into a super-dud this season. Kovalchuk has 5 goals in 26 games this season and has a dismal -17 +/-. It seems nothing can go right this season for the Russian phenom. After signing the controversial 15- year contract worth 100 million dollars, Kovalchuk has been nothing but a disappointment. The signing is starting to look even worse than the Rick DiPietro contract. I really can’t count Kovalchuk completely out this season, but it will definitely be his lowest numbers ever. In addition to his lack of production, Kovalchuk’s contract has left the New Jersey Devils with a lot of cap trouble which makes him even more of a disappointment.