Quarterly Report: Underachievers and Overachievers in today's NHL
Now that the National Hockey League has reached the half-way mark, I thought I’d update my earlier “Quarterly Report: Underachievers and Overachievers in today’s NHL.” Keep in mind these are my picks, and they might be different than yours. Anyhow, here’s my list:Anahiem Mighty Ducks
Overachiever: C Marc Chouinard: +5 on a team with a horrible defence.
Underachiever: D Jason York: Not the defensive kingpin he was in Ottawa.
Overachiever: RW Ilya Kovalchuk: Rookie scoring leader with 21 goals, now richest NHL rookie ever.
Underachiever: G Damian Rhodes: Once future No. 1, he was bypassed for permanent Atlanta role.
Overachiever: C Joe Thornton: Second in NHL scoring. How did he get bypassed for Team Canada?
Underachiever: LW P.J. Axelsson: Three goals isn’t what he’s paid to get.
Overachiever: RW Maxim Afinogenov: Speedy winger already has surpassed rookie total (15 goals to 14 last year).
Underachiever: G Martin Biron: Hasn’t stepped in the way the Sabres would like.
Overachiever: RW Jarome Iginla: Still surprising NHL scoring leader, but has only recently regained “on” switch.
Underachiever: C Marc Savard: He comes back admist all the hype and doesn’t produce.
Overachiever: LW Sami Kapanen: Little dynamo roaring to 19 goals, team scoring lead.
Underachiever: RW Shane Willis: Sophmore still struggling to regain last year’s form.
Overachiever: LW Eric Daze: Tony who? He’s quietly third in NHL goal-scoring with 26 goals.
Underachiever: D Boris Mironov: Somebody with his talents should be able to do more than the three goals he has now.
Overachiever: G Patrick Roy: Avs almost becoming as dependent on him as the Toronto Maple Leafs are on Curtis Joseph.
Underachiever: C Vaclav Nedorost: Rookie started off great but now toiling as a Hershey Bear.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Overachiever: G Marc Denis: Only four games below .500 on a team that’s 14 below.
Underachiever: RW Blake Sloan: Speedy winger somehow has only a single goal.
Overachiever: C Mike Modano: Gifted centre is just seven off last year’s 33-goal total.
Underachiever: C Pierre Turgeon: So far is earning $700,000 per goal. Smart investment.
Detroit Red Wings
Overachiever: C Kris Draper: Has eleven goals on top of +21 ranking, second on the team.
Underachiever: LW Tomas Holmstrom: -12 on Detroit? Something’s not giving here.
Overachiever: C Anson Carter: I don’t think he remembers the last time he had 19 goals at this point.
Underachiever: D Eric Brewer: Selected to Canadian team, Brewer has team-worst -11.
Overachiever: D Paul Laus: +1 on a poor defensive team.
Underachiever: C Viktor Kozlov: Supremely gifted Kozlov has only seven goals.
Los Angeles Kings
Overachiever: LW Adam Deadmarsh: Team-leading 15 goals and gets all the lucky bounces- at least in Toronto.
Underachiever: LW Nelson Emerson: Might have to ride into sunset after appearing in only 19 games with just two goals.
Overachiever: RW Marian Gaborik: Quietly having a good year. Oops, sorry: shhhh!
Underachiever: D Jason Marshall: I still can’t get over that dreadful -15.
Overachiever: G Jose Theodore: Lone bright light on what may be hockey’s unluckiest team.
Underachiever: LW Brian Savage: Couldn’t even get lucky with the goal judge vs. arch-rival Leafs. Canadiens certainly won’t miss him (except in October)
Overachiever: D Andy Delmore: 12 goals leads team in scoring, would be a Norris candidate if he played elsewhere, unfortunately.
Underachiever: LW Scott Walker: Has a team-worst -13. Even on Nashville that’s horrible.
New York Islanders
Overachiever: LW Mark Parrish: Written off last year, he has 22 goals so far, two off rookie total of 1998-99.
Underachiever: LW Oleg Kvasha: Supremely talented player notches the odd goal. A bust, so far.
New York Rangers
Overachiever: C Mike York: A look at the top of the Rangers’ scoring reveals his name, not Eric Lindros, Thereon Fleury or some other big-name star. Can you say “bang for your buck?”
Underachiever: RW Sandy McCarthy: The “Sand Man” has a -12 and only three assists. He can accomplish a lot more.
New Jersey Devils
Overachiever: G Jean-Francois Damphousse: Impressive in the five games he’s played, Damphousse has same save percentage as Martin Brodeur. It’s a pity he doesn’t play more often.
Underachiever: D Scott Stevens: -8 and not keeping the team together. Time to retire?
Overachiever: RW Daniel Alfredsson: 22 goals picks up nicely where Alexei Yashin left off.
Underachiever: LW Bill Mucklat: Has only six points, a -1 and is currently on the shelf.
Overachiever: D Kim Johnsson: The last draft pick of the 1994 Entry Draft has come up huge in Philly’s surge.
Underachiever: D Eric Desjardins: -2 is not what the Flyers want from a quality defenceman like him.
Overachiever: C Daymond Langkow: Becoming a solid, all-round No. 1 centre.
Underachiever: C Denis Pederson: The one goal, -2 is probably why the Vancouver Canucks gave up on him.
Overachiever: C Robert Lang: Team-leader proving he can be a solid centre.
Underachiever: C Randy Robitaille: -10. I think that says it all.
St. Louis Blues
Overachiever: G Brent Johnson: Has put the critics to rest with a superb 16-8-2 record. For the record, he has seven less wins than the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Atlanta Thrashers do combined.
Underachiever: RW Mike Keane: Defensive winger somehow has a -3 and only eight points in 44 games.
San Jose Sharks
Overachiever: C Scott Thornton: He leads the team in goal scoring with 15 goals. Teemu who?
Underachiever: LW Adam Graves: The former “Youth Line” member in Edmonton is getting old. He only has eight goals when he could do more.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Overachiever: C Martin St. Louis: Team point leader and now has the team lead in plus/minus. A late bloomer?
Underachiever: C Vincent Lecavalier: Now that the trade talks are “officially over”, let’s see some results, okay?
Toronto Maple Leafs
Overachiever: C Mats Sundin: On a tear with nine goals in last ten games, seventh in NHL scoring.
Underachiever: RW Mikael Renberg: Is it safe to say that Toronto expected more than the eight goals he has so far?
Overachiever: RW Markus Naslund: Rare bright light on a team that can’t keep anything going.
Underachiever: C Todd Bertuzzi: Not the leader-type he was last year, and the team needs him to become one again.
Overachiever: G Olaf Kolzig: Keeps the team afloat when everything goes awry.
Underachiever: D Sylvian Cote: Return to Washington not going as well as he’d hope.
That’s my look. Fee free to comment.