Board the struggle bus with these disappointing slow starters!
Tyler Seguin – Seguin played overseas during the lockout and absolutely dominated the Swiss League. Sure, it’s the Swiss League, but a goal-per-game pace in any professional hockey league is impressive. The third-year Bruins star seemed poised for early season dominance, but instead has scored just once through eight games. He also turned 21 recently. Wonder if there’s a connection?
Jarome Iginla – Iginla is known as both a slow starter and a class act. He’s living up to both reputations, with zero goals through six games. So nice of him to shit the bed during a contract year, so that the Flames can have him back next year at a much reduced price. He’s also distracting attention from the equally horrifying start his teammate, Mike Cammalleri, has turned in (zero goals and two points). What a gentleman.
Chad LaRose – After scoring 19 goals in just 67 games last season, LaRose has started the year with zero points and a minus-4 rating in eight games. The Hurricanes need him to provide depth scoring for a roster that’s extremely top heavy.
Duncan Keith – Widely considered the best defenseman on the top squad in the league, Keith has managed just three points and a team-worst minus-5 rating through nine games. The only good news for Keith is that the team hasn’t needed him at the top of his game yet.
Brendan Morrow – The Dallas Stars captain has been held to just one goal despite playing a league-high 10 games. His season is more than 20-percent over, and the Stars need Morrow to step up his production if they have any chance at contending for a playoff berth in the water-tight Western Conference.
The entire Detroit Red Wings defensive corps – Nicklas Lidstrom’s departure opened up a ton of high-quality offensive ice time for Detroit’s remaining blueliners. They’ve responded by quite terribly, tallying three total goals between the nine defensemen that have dressed for the Wings this season. Perhaps the most inexcusably bad is Kyle Quincey, who has played in all eight games and failed to register a single point despite averaging over 20 minutes of ice time a night.
Ryan Whitney – Zero goals and three points in eight games, punctuated by a dismal minus-5 rating, earned Whitney his first healthy scratch as an Oiler. Edmonton has been patient with Whitney, who has had a tough time with injuries over the past few seasons. But with a supremely talented core of players up front flirting with playoff potential, the time has come for Whitney to repay the Oilers by solidifying their back end and providing some offense.
Scottie Upshall – The Florida Panthers squeaked into the playoffs last year despite a lack of game breaking talent, and their depth was the reason. Through seven games this season, Upshall and his $3.5M annual cap hit have managed one goal – a number equaled by fourth-line tough guy and noted grower of glorious mustachios, George Parros.
All of the Los Angeles Kings – Before the Los Angeles Kings blacked out a la Will Ferrel in Old School and played 20 games like they were the 1988 Edmonton Oilers, they spent most of the 2011-12 season struggling to score. The entire roster has picked up right where they left off at the end of last regular season, scoring a grand total of 15 goals in seven games. Only three Kings skaters have managed more than one goal, and the team’s leading scorer is Kyle Fucking Clifford, who has five points. Nearly half the roster is made up of minus players. Jonathan Quick isn’t faring any better in nets, either. He’s sporting a 2.72 GAA, a save percentage below .900, and a 2-2-2 record. Hard to imagine he’s carrying the team to a repeat with those numbers.
Devin Setoguchi – Considered a centerpiece of the Brent Burns trade, Setoguchi appears to be doing his best to match Burns, who is injured and has yet to appear in a game this season, in production. Zero goals, two assists through nine games, and trade rumors are starting to swirl. A widely ignored victim in this scenario? Torrey Mitchell, Setoguchi’s buddy and a recent free agent acquisition, who may have to watch his best friend and roomie traded away yet again. Bummerville.
Shea Weber – Eight games, no goals, no points, a minus-1 rating, and a $110M contract that ends right around the time a childhood Justin Bieber fan will be eligible for the United States presidency. Leadership!
Ryane Clowe – Despite playing for one of the top teams in the NHL, a Sharks squad that has racked up 31 goals through nine games, Clowe has managed just four points, and has yet to register his first goal of the shortened campaign. He does, however, lead the NHL in penalty minutes. Not exactly where Clowe wants to be.
Phil Kessel – Toronto’s undisputed best player has been anything but, going goalless through nine games. With his team on the bubble and struggling to win close contests, Kessel’s slow start is magnified. He looks lost without injured linemate Joffrey Lupul, and still refuses to use his world-class speed to take the puck directly to the net.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin – While all the focus around Vancouver has been on its goaltending drama, Daniel and Henrik’s mutual slow start has gone widely unnoticed. The two have combined for just a pair of goals through nine games, although they have managed to add 11 assists. Still, not near the level of production that has made them two of the game’s most elite players over the past several seasons.
Alex Ovechkin – Washington’s captain has probably been the league’s most consistently electrifying player since his NHL debut in 2005-06. But after a down year (by his standards) in 2011-12, Ovechkin has seemingly achieved a new level of struggle. Ovechkin has just two goals in nine games, and his Washington Capitals are dead last in the conference with just two wins and five points.