October 20, 2010
In the NHL, there are slow starts and then there are no-starts.
While some prominent players have barely hit the score sheet in terrible opening weeks (*cough*Kovalev*cough*), others have yet to register a single point this season; despite, in some cases, playing alongside star talent in the lineup.
They are The Oafers ... and today, we celebrate them.
Coming up, the 10 top most surprising names to not yet have a single point to their credit this season. Keep in mind this isn't some declaration that these players are destined to struggle for the rest of the season; rather, it's just a collection of guys whose stat lines make you say, "Wait, Milan Jurcina(notes) is outscoring this guy?"
And here ... we ... go.
In fairness, he's been killing penalties like a boss. In fairness, he went seven games without a point with the Edmonton Oilers last season. But for the love of Toews: He's on the best offensive team in hockey. Nick Leddy(notes) has a point! Jake Dowell(notes) has a point! Jassen Cullimore(notes) has two points, as does Pisani's linemate Dave Bolland(notes).
Considering that he started last season with six points in five games, this one's a little surprising -- especially when teammate John-Michael Liles(notes) is compiling assists (8 in 6 games) at an Adam Oates-ian pace.
Remember how Eller was the blue-chipper in the Jaroslav Halak(notes) trade who was going to melt the ice from the hearts from bitter Habs fans who hated to see their playoff hero leave town? He was benched against the Ottawa Senators over the weekend and Pat Hickey called him the "big loser in the latest shuffle" of Montreal lines.
Skating with Stephen Weiss(notes) and David Booth(notes), as well as with the equally pointless (literally) Christopher Higgins(notes), Frolik was expected to be an offensive leader after the Nathan Horton(notes) trade. Coach Peter DeBoer is still expecting it, haven't get to actually see it.
The Devils' power forward received a new contract last summer and looked primed to be an offensive contributor to the team this season. Yeah, not so much: Despite 19 shots on goal, which is more than Jamie Langenbrunner(notes) or Patrik Elias(notes), Clarkson is scoreless with a minus-6.
Simmonds is coming off a 40-point season, yet he's had 1 shot or less in three of four games. His ineffective start earned him a public calling out from Coach Terry Murray: "I need Simmer to be a better player than what he is right now." Well, yeah. Simmonds' struggles occurred with those for Alexei Ponikarovsky(notes) and Michal Handzus(notes) in the Kings lineup.
Not exactly the strongest starter, with two points in six games last season and three in six the year before. But he's seen the majority of this time in six scoreless games with Saku Koivu(notes) and Teemu Selanne(notes), and George Parros(notes) would have at least a secondary helper playing with those cats.
One of the primary reasons Bergeron hasn't done much: Neither have his linemates. Blake Wheeler(notes) just picked up his first point of the season last night against the Washington Capitals with an assist. Mark Recchi(notes) has two points on the season. Rookie Jordan Caron(notes) has one goal. So not exactly Cam Neely and Johnny Bucyk on the wings for P.B.
In the last 10 years, Homer has never started a season going scoreless in five games. Part of this season's drought has to do with a struggling power play, which is at a 4-for-24 clip and really missing Brian Rafalski(notes) on the point. At even strength, his well-worn legs are trying to keep up with Pavel Datsyuk(notes) and Henrik Zetterberg(notes).
Yeah, we had to double-check this one too. Hard to believe it, but Gagne hasn't tallied a point while skating with the Lightning, and is playing to a minus-7. He was skating with Vincent Lecavalier(notes) and Ryan Malone(notes) before Vinny's injury put Dominic Moore(notes) on that line; Gagne also replaced Lecavalier on the power play. But so far: Nada, zip, zero. If it's any consolation for Bolts fans, life ain't exactly grand for the dude they traded for him .