Quarterly Report: Underachievers and Overachievers in Today's NHL

Hello again.

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.

Atlanta Thrashers

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?

Boston Bruins

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)

Buffalo Sabres

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…

Calgary Flames

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?

Carolina Hurricanes

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.

Chicago Blackhawks

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.

Colorado Avalanche

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.

Dallas Stars

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.

Edmonton Oilers

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.

Florida Panthers

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).

Minnesota Wild

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.

Montreal Canadiens

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.

Nashville Predators

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.

Ottawa Senators

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.

Philadelphia Flyers

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.

Phoenix Coyotes

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?

Pittsburgh Penguins

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?

Vancouver Canucks

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.

Washington Capitals

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.

-DG

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