So we are nearing 1/3 of the season complete so far. I am in about 5 hockey pools and as I look around my teams, I see some surprises (both good and bad) that can only be described as monumental.
For this blog, I will focus on the terrible players. Well, let me rephrase. The players you counted on as being a horse, a big stats guy, a money maker, whatever you want to call them. I won't include guys who missed major time with injuries like Sedin or Hossa. In no particular order:
1. Jason Spezza
Sure we knew his numbers would probably dip without Heatley. Sure we knew Ottawa isn't really good in the first place. But with just 2 goals so far and 15 points, a part of me cries inside knowing I wasted an early pick on this guy. In comparison, Ryan Kesler over in Vancouver has 25 points. Kesler could probably be had in almost every pool out there with a late round pick (possibly even your last pick). Oh ya... Spezza is also -5
2. Steve Mason
In the bottom 3 for almost every major statistical category amongst goalies, Mason is experiencing quite the sophmore slump. His GAA to last year is 1.20 higher. His save % is 0.30 lower. In short, he is killing my whole team and I can't even get rid of him in any trades. 10 shutouts last year compared to 0 so far this year. Ouch.
3. Eric Staal
When a guy averages around a point a game over the past 4 years, you figure he is a safe pick near the top of the draft. With 70 pts as a season low and 100 pts as a season high, you figure a guy in his prime should deliver right? WRONG. The dude has 11 points and -6 rating. It might actually be a good thing that he got hurt and missed some time. It allowed me to put him on the IR and pick up a player that performs.
4. Alex Tanguay
Some may be surprised to see this guy on my list. Think about it though. Over 82 games, this guy has averaged about 75 pts a season. This year he is in Tampa, where you figure playing with some combination of Vinny, St. Louis and Stamkos... the dude would do even better. I mean he got 81 pts in Calgary, which was a good team... but outside of Iginla they were pretty average offensively back then. This year he has 17 pts. Not bad, but he is gonna finish with about 55 pts barring a major hot streak. He was my sleeper pick, that has done nothing but sleep.
5. Alex Kovalev
13 points and -4 rating is sadly mediocre at best. After showing a rejuvenation in Montreal where he averaged 70 pts over the last 2 seasons in Montreal, it was entirely possible he would do even better with a fresh start with new and skilled teammates. Let's face it, Montreal didn't have linemates like Spezza or Alfredsson for him. I for one, thought that a pairing with Spezza woud lead to some nice numbers. Not Heatley/Spezza numbers, but definitely more than they have given us so far.
There are obvious others than can go on this list. Every year there are dozens of players that people think are going to break out and never do. Honorable mentions:
Steve Downie (was in the running to get constant time with St. Louis, Vinny or Stamkos)
Chris Osgood (I actually picked him this year, thinking he couldn't repeat last year's crap)
Anaheims goalie duo (Surprisingly inconsistent and mediocre)
Pavel Datsyuk (doing alright, but nothing near the awesomeness of years past)