Every Monday, we’ll highlight (lowlight?) three of the NHL’s biggest duds from the past week.
1st Dud: Buffalo’s secondary scoring
Say this about the Sabres scoring woes — you can’t pin them on their big guns. Jason Pominville and Tomas Vanek are scoring at a point-a-game clip, Derek Roy is slumping a tad (but still has 21 points through 32 games) and rookie Luke Adam has 10 goals and 10 assists, tied for fourth among all first-year players.
Adam, Pominville, Roy and Vanek have combined for 4o goals — 51 percent of Buffalo’s total offense.
Problem is, the secondary guys aren’t getting it done.
After scoring 31 times last year, Drew Stafford’s production is way down. Ville Leino’s production was non-existent before getting hurt. Tyler Ennis has been shelved for a while, and so too has Brad Boyes.
As for the defense…Christian Ehrhoff’s production is down (on pace for 38 points, 50 last year), Tyler Myers is injured and neither Jordan Leopold nor Marc-Andre Gragnani have stepped up to provide a spark.
Part of what made Buffalo successful last year was balanced scoring. Eleven guys had 10 goals or more — a far cry from what’s transpiring this season.
2nd Dud: LA’s primary scoring
Pretty much says it all:
— Drew Doughty has two points in his last 16 games.
— Dustin Brown has two goals in his last 15 games.
— Jack Johnson has three points in his last 14 games.
— Justin Williams has one goal in his last 23 games.
— Simon Gagne is goalless in his last 13 games.
3rd Dud: Washington’s goalscoring
From 2005-10, at least one Washington Capital finished in the top-15 in goals scored. Most times, this Capital was Alex Oveckin, though in 2008-09 he was joined by Alex Semin (15th, with 34G) and in 2009-10 by Semin (7th, with 40G) and Nicklas Backstrom (13th, with 33G).
This year? The Caps don’t have one player in the top 37.
The team’s goalscoring lead is shared by Backstrom and Jason Chimera, with 11. Ovechkin is on pace for a career-worst 26, but he’s not alone in projecting new lows: Semin (on pace for 18) and Mike Knuble (on pace for eight) are also on track for their poorest goalscoring seasons in recent memory.