Quarterly Report: Underachievers and Overachievers in Today's NHL
I know it seems a little late for the third quarter, but I’ve decided the fourth will come at the conclusion of the play-offs, so, techinically, I still have some room for this quarter. Anyway, here is this quarter’s list of those who are doing better than expected and those who would just be better off being rink rats.
(Stats: ESPN.com)Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Overachiever: C Andy MacDonald: Promising youngster one of few with a “plus” on listless Ducks.
Underachiever: D Jason York: Can’t get over that galling -11.
Overachiever: RW Ilja Kovalchuk: If only it wasn’t for that injury, he’d be the highest scoring rookie in years.
Underachiever: G Damian Rhodes: Was that one year as an Ottawa Senator a tease?
Overachiever: RW Glen Murray: Seems to have rediscovered himself with 28 goals.
Underachiever: D Kyle McLaren: -6 on a great team and can’t seem to stay healthy (only 31 gp)
Overachiever:C Stu Barnes: Just may have nailed down No. 1 centre spot.
Underachiever: C Chris Gratton: Has managed all of 12 goals and has a -8. Another great prospect going down the tubes…
Overachiever: RW Jarome Iginla: Does it all by himself and Craig Conroy. Just imagine if he had more help.
Underachiever: C Marc Savard: Let’s see: -18 and 33 points? Can’t he do better than that?
Overachiever: D Marek Malik: Steady on the Carolina blueline.
Underachiever: C Jeff O’Neill: It’s all in the numbers: 14 goals in his first 18 games. 13 in 53 since.
Overachiever: LW Eric Daze: He’s leading the team in goals, with 35. Tony who?
Underachiever: RW Tony Amonte: Has 25 goals. Can do MUCH, MUCH, MORE.
Overachiever: RW Radim Vrbata: Question: where does the team find these guys?
Underachiever: D Martin Skoula: Question: explain your -6. You’re an Av, not a Florida Panther.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Overachiever: D Rostislav Klesla: Looks promising with 15 points, -5 in rookie campaign.
Underachiever: D Mattias Timander: If you’re going to be a minus 30, please score more than eight points. PLEASE.
Overachiever: D Derian Hatcher: Went from a -8 in the first quarter to a +12 now. Impressive.
Underachiever: G Eddie Belfour: Four games UNDER .500. Now I know why Dallas is struggling for the play-offs.
Detroit Red Wings
Overachiever: D Chris Chelios: +41, leads league. Future Hall-of-Famer still going strong.
Underachiever: LW Tomas Holstrom: Must be getting used to that little red light behind him as he’s got an unfathomable -13.
Overachiever: C Mike Comrie: A 30-goal scorer already in just one and half years.
Underachiever: D Eric Brewer: Played great for Team Canada…just forgot to do the same in Edmonton.
Overachiever: RW Kristian Huselius: Promising youngster with 20 goals in rookie campaign.
Underachiever: G Trevor Kidd: Pitiful .885 save percentage and 3-13-3 record. How’s he getting paid $2 million a season anyway?
Los Angeles Kings
Overachiever: G Felix Potvin: Often the only reason why the Kings win.
Underachiever: LW Steve Heinze: Decent offensive numbers, but that plus/minus is just offensive (-13).
Overachiever: RW Marian Gaborik: 29 goals, +1 (only plus among Minnesota regulars), barely any support. Minnesota’s answer to Jiggy?
Underachiever: C Aaron Gavey: Five goals and -22 isn’t going to cut it.
Overachiever: G Jose Theodore: Literally steals games for the Canadiens. Future Patrick Roy (hopefully, sans the walkout)?
Underachiever: G Jeff Hackett: 3.18 G.AA main reason why he’s not playing while Theodore is.
Overachiever: LW Scott Hartnell: +4 and decent 15 goals from the youngster.
Underachiever: C David Legwand: A grand total of three goals since the midway point. Heading towards oblivion?
New Jersey Devils
Overachiever: C Sergei Brylin: +18 tops among Devils.
Underachiever: LW Andreas Salomonsson: Hasn’t shown much except sieve-like qualities with a -14.
New York Islanders
Overachiever: C Shawn Bates: 15 goals for the former career minor leaguer. Impressive.
Underachiever: C Jason Blake: Has an awe-inspiring -13. Somebody forgot to tell him that the Islanders have improved.
New York Rangers
Overachiever: G Dan Blackburn: Probably the only bright spot Manhattan has right now.
Underachiever: C Petr Nedved: I remember a time when he was a 30-goal scorer and among the best NHL forwards. Looks like that time’s past.
Overachiever: D Zdeno Chara: May be tough and big, but he’s reliable (+28).
Underachiever: LW Bill Mucklat: Boneheaded player can’t seem to stay out of that penalty box.
Overachiever: RW Justin Williams: 16 goals from youngster might be sign of things to come.
Underachiever: D Chris McAllister: Showing (-7) that big and slow sometimes just doesn’t work.
Overachiever: C Daniel Briere: 29 goals showing he just might be emerging as the next big star.
Underachiever: C Michal Handzus: The young version of Michael Peca with a -10? How does that work?
Overachiever: RW Alexei Kovalev: One of the few bright lights on the Penguins’ offence.
Underachiever: D Andrew Ferrence: Three goals, -11. Where did last year’s play-offs go?
San Jose Sharks
Overachiever: LW Scott Thornton: Yeah, you almost have to double check to see that it’s not Joe: Scott really does have 25 goals.
Underachiever: RW Teemu Selanne: 26 goals is passable (barely considering who it is), but a -11 just isn’t.
St. Louis Blues
Overachiever: G Brent Johnson: Filled in admirably for Roman Turek, but green play-off record just might come back to haunt him…if the Blues make it.
Underachiever: C Doug Weight: Goes from a 90-point scorer in Edmonton with barely any help to 49 points in St. Louis with lots of help. Doug?
Tampa Bay Lightning
Overachiever: G Nikolai Khabibulin: Keeps the ship from sinking, and, with a little work, could be Tampa’s version to the system the Buffalo Sabres had for Domonik Hasek.
Underachiever: C Vincent Lecavalier: Last time I checked, “Lecavalier” and “lost” are not synonyms but they’re spelled with the same first letter at least.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Overachiever: G Corey Schwab: The guy Damien Cox called “The Poor Mope Without a Contract” has safely become Toronto’s No. 1 goalie. Nice move.
Underachiever: D Nathan Dempsey: Got passed up for Anders Eriksson for the big club. It’s time his “people” stop calling him “the second coming of Doug Harvey” (Toronto Star), okay?
Overachiever: LW Todd Bertuzzi: Has made significant strides in the second half of the season to vault to five points behind Markus Naslund for team lead.
Underachiever: C Daniel Sedin: Had 20 goals last year. Now he’d be lucky to get 10.
Overachiever: G Olaf Kolzig: Keeping the Capitals’ play-off hopes alive.
Underachiever: LW Dimitri Khristich: Somebody tell me what made him stop caring.
Well, that’s this quarter. The next (and final one for the season) will be coming in June. Feel free to comment.
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