Thursday, February 7, 2013

Struggling Out The Gate

Phil Kessel is the poster boy for struggling NHL stars this season, but he's not alone in making fans scratch their heads. Kessel is just one of many NHL stars who aren't scoring like we expected them to and giving fantasy hockey owners fits. Could it be the rust from the NHL Lockout? Or maybe they let themselves go during the extended offseason? Who knows, but they are definitely not finding the scoresheet like we know they can.

Here's a list of players we're going to single out for their slow starts:

Phil Kessel

Leading the NHL in shots on goal with 42, Kessel still hasn't notched a goal through 10 games this season. While we've been hard on him in the past, he was literally a ghost back then. At least now Kessel is getting quality chances and has hit more than a few posts and crossbars. The goals will come in bunches when he does pop his first.

Alex Ovechkin

2 goals and 3 assists through 10 games is not the start anyone expected from Ovechkin, but then again, his linemates were Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb for a few games. While he's still shooting as much as he has in the past, the pucks just aren't going in. It is truly a mystery what is up with Ovi and the Capitals.

Henrik Sedin

While Henrik is not known as a goal scorer and 9 games without a goal is not uncommon for him, it's still pretty surprising. When you consider that Vancouver has been one of the highest scoring teams the past few seasons and usually operates one of the best powerplays in the league it's hard not to notice Hank's scoring absence.

Corey Perry

1 goal and 4 assists through 9 games might not look that bad on paper, but when you consider the Ducks have been hot out of the gate with a 7-1-1 record then you've got to wonder how he's not in on that offence. Perry isn't even racking up the PIMs and SOGs like we'd expect from what is usually a top fantasy draft pick.

Shea Weber

0 goals and 0 points. Nashville's offence is dried up and Weber must really miss Ryan Suter because he is having trouble finding the scoresheet through 8 games. A Norris Trophy finalist last season, Weber has still been hammering shots (leads the Preds with 22), but hasn't been able to put one past the goalie or through the net.

Drew Doughty

0 goals and 4 assists through 8 games and a -6 rating are not what the Kings were hoping for from their top defenceman. Doughty played amazing in the playoffs leading all defencemen with 16 points in 20 games and many had hoped that play would continue, but maybe he's just suffering from an extended Stanley Cup hangover.

Alexander Semin

Looking at the list of big shooters with few goals and it's hard not see Semin's name (probably because you're immature and laugh at his name). Semin has been getting chances for the Canes, but hasn't been finishing like we know the former 40-goal scorer can.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Another goalless player through 9 games, but at least the Nuge has 5 apples this season playing with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. The Oilers currently sit 22nd in goals/game which isn't what many expected with so much offence in their line-up every night. RNH will need to start sniping and helping the Oilers steal some points.

Alexandre Burrows

No longer playing with the Sedin's, Burrows has been taking turns at centre in Ryan Kesler's absence and point production has been slow with only 3 points in 9 games. Burrows has scored 25+ goals the past 4 seasons for the Canucks and Vancouver will want to see more goals from their big boys if they want to make a run at three-peating as Presidents' Trophy winners.

Tyler Seguin

Seguin has 2 goals and 4 assists through 9 games and one of his goals was an empty netter. That's not what anybody expected after his dominant lockout performance in Switzerland where he still leads the league in goals scored despite having been in North America the past month.


  1. 5 of those guys are on my fantasy team this year. Killing me

  2. I ain't struggling anymore....

  3. 10 points now in 12 games, if that's the worst slump of the season we'll take it.

  4. Kessel for Ovechkin???


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