The season is just starting, and struggling players can also write their wrongs. For now lets see who hasn’t lived up to expectations.
10. Jake Allen – St. Louis Blues
Allen isn’t the only issue in STL, actually he may not even be top 3. The problem is that he’s the player expected to do the best. He has so much upside and has no help right now, but also isn’t making the necessary saves. This can be easily adjusted and it will adjust with the Blues success. All these things depend on the other, its a viscous cycle.
9. Tuukka Rask- Boston Bruins
The Bruins goalie has a .902 save percentage and a 3-3-0 record (vs. 4-0-2 for backup Jaroslav Halak). Rask is #9 because its not the firs time this has happened and then he rebounded.
8. Max Pacioretty- Vegas Knights
He has dealt with an injury to himself and an injury that took away his center, Paul Stastny, after just three games together. But two goals for Pacioretty in 10 games with the Knights is the same start he had last season for Montreal, and last season was awful.
7. Erik Karlsson- San Jose Sharks
This isn’t a panic situation, but Karlsson has been average and that’s not a good thing. A lot of publicity has been put into this trade. Except this not to last, but man…if it did, that would be the story of the NHL.
6. Carolina Goalies
You honestly just can’t pick one, its a mess, and Carolina totally flipped their goaltending up side down in the off season. Petr Mrazek (.887), Curtis McElhinney(.892) and Scott Darling (.903 in his first game back from injury) have produced an .884 team save percentage. Carolina is the surprise team so far this year, but need to get it together between the pipes.
5. James Neal- Calgary Flames
One of the most high-profile free-agent signings of the off season, Neal has two goals and one assist in 13 games. This rough start can be attributed greatly to usage, Neal for some reason isn’t getting top line shifts. Rather surprising move by Bill Peters.
4. Milan Lucic- Edmonton Oilers
Milan Lucic has one goal in his last 27 games and one even-strength goal in his last 60. That seems bad. To say he’s underachieving is an under statement.
3. Justin Abdelkader- Detroit Red Wings
The Wings aren’t great, so they need all they can get. Justin was supposed to be a bright spot, they locked the dude up til 2023. The 31-year-old forward has one goal and one assist in 12 games. The reason he’s #3 is because the length of his contract, he has a lot to live up to in a rebuilding time for Detroit.
2. Brian Elliot- Philadelphia Flyers
Honestly you have to had seen this coming, his numbers with the Blues were a scam. The Flyers got fooled big time. Moose has a .911 save percentage at even strength, but he’s at .889 overall with a 3-5-0 record, and the Flyers are last in the NHL in team save percentage.
1. Sergi Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets
2-5-0, with an .882 save percentage and a 3.58 goals-against average. Seriously those are his numbers, there’s also talk of him getting traded. This is the most unexpected start to a season, we’ve seen in a long time. Bob was a legit super star and is beyond struggling at this point.