With the season almost a month old and today being a rare off day for all 30 NHL teams, I figured it would be a good time to look at each team and see which players have caught my eye as under and overachievers.
Over — Teemu Selanne: at age 40 the Finnish Flash still has some gas left in the tank with 12 points (5g-7a) in 12 games. He didn’t want to retire the same summer as Scott Niedermayer, so expect this to be Team Teemu’s swan song.
Under — Jonas Hiller: Only 3 wins in 9 games played with a ghastly 3.13 GAA after the last two seasons when he posted 2.73 (2009-10) and 2.39 (2008-09).
Over — Andrew Ladd: after winning the Cup with Chicago, Ladd was a salary ‘cap-rifice’ and traded to the Thrashers where he has tallied 12 points (4g-8a) in 11 games.
Under — Bryan Little: There are a few choices here (Antropov, Modin, Bogosian), but I’ll go with Little who has seen his goal production drop from 31 (2008-09) to 13 (2009-10) to 1. More is needed out of the 12th overall pick in 2006 if Atlanta is going to make any noise this season.
Over — Tim Thomas: Sure he won the Vezina Trophy two seasons ago, so we shouldn’t be too surprised by his success, but take a look at these numbers: 6-0-0 in six starts, 3 shutouts and a GAA of 0.50!! The Drew Carey lookalike is pain-free and found his game again.
Under — Blake Wheeler: Only two assists in eight games; he could be trade bait once Marc Savard is ready to return from post-concussion syndrome.
Over — Tyler Ennis: He has seven points this season (in 12 games) and entered the season with nine career points in 10 career games, so not much was expected of the youngster.
Under — Tyler Myers: The reigning Rookie of the Year may be falling victim to the ‘sophomore jinx’ because he is an NHL-worst minus-10 this season…yikes!!
Over — Brendan Morrison: The guy didn’t sign until after training camp and leads the team with 10 points (3g-7a) in 11 games; ’nuff said.
Under — Jarome Iginla: The team’s captain and heart & soul has only two goals so far, which isn’t very good for a guy with 443 career goals and nine consecutive seasons with 30-plus goals.
Over — Jeff Skinner: The youngest player in the league (18) is tied for the team lead with seven points (3g-4a) and the seventh overall pick in last June’s draft hasn’t looked out of place at all.
Under — Brandon Sutter: After wetting our appetites with 2 goals in the season-opener, Brent Sutter’s son has only managed one measly assist in the following nine contests.
Over — Patrick Sharp: Leads the NHL in goals (10) and is third in points (15); eh, what Cup hangover?
Under — Niklas Hjalmarsson: The Hawks wanted to keep him so bad they let Cup-winning goalie Antti Niemi go to San Jose; now the blueliner has 0 points in 11 games & is a minus-8.
Over — tie, John-Michael Liles or Chris Stewart: Liles has 11 assists in 11 games (t-1st in NHL); Stewart has two hat tricks and is second in the NHL in points (16) and goals (9).
Under — Craig Anderson: The goalie’s play last season meant so much to the young Avs as they made the playoffs; this season he is 3-4-0 and hurt his right knee during warmups this week, and is out indefinitely.
Over — Chris Clark: He has six assists in eight games for the low-scoring Blue Jackets.
Under — Rick Nash: Only five points (3g-2a) through the first ten games and is a team-worst minus-8. Not good enough.
Over — James Neal: The third-year pro is off to a nice start of 10 points (5g-5a) in 10 games and could surpass hsi career-high of 55 points set last season.
Under — Jamie Benn: After 41 points in his rookie season, he has gotten off to a slow start with one goal and five points through seven games.
Over — Jimmy Howard: Nice record (4-0-1) in his second full season with the mighty Red Wings; he is proving that he’s the real deal and learning from vet Chris Osgood everyday.
Under — Mike Modano: He scored on his first shift as a Wing but hasn’t done squat since. Perhaps he should have just walked away after 20 years with the Stars organization.
Over — Jordan Eberle: The rookie has eight points in his first nine games and two highlight-reel shorthanded goals; keep an eye on this kid.
Under — Andrew Cogliano: Only has two points in nine games; he should be better in what is now his fourth full season with the Oilers.
Over — Marty Reasoner: The journeyman has seven points in his first nine games for the Panthers, giving them some much-needed offense.
Under — Stephen Weiss: One of the longest tenured Cats is having a rough start with only three points through eight games and he’s a minus-6.
Over — Jaret Stoll: Just about every team would take 10 points (4g-6a) from their third-line center through 11 games.
Under — Drew Doughty: Only one point in five games, plus he suffered a concussion.
Over — Matt Cullen: Ten points in ten games was probably not expected when they signed the reliable center during the summer, but the traditionally offense-starved Wild will take it.
Under — Martin Havlat: The talented, yet oft-injured winger should have more than six assists in the club’s first ten games. Chances are he will be dealt at some point this season.
Over — Carey Price: The young goalie looked abysmal during the preseason, but he has rebounded nicely with a 6-3-1 record putting the Habs atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Under — tie, Scott Gomez, or Brian Gionta: The two ex-Devils have one goal and two assists each in 11 games, and are no longer considered the Canadiens top line.
Over — Anders Lindback: Another year, the Preds produce another young goalie. The rookie is 3-0-1 in his first four NHL starts. One of these years people will realize that Barry Trotz is a great coach.
Under — Patric Hornqvist: After posting 30 goals last season, he has only potted 3 in ten games this year.
Over — tie, Matt Taormina or Dainius Zubrus: Taormina, a rookie defenseman, is tied for the team-lead in goals with three; Zubrus leads the team in points (7), and assists (6).
Under — Martin Brodeur: The all-time leader in wins is off to a rocky start (3-7-1); is it his age (38) or the amount of rookie defensemen (3) in front of him on a nightly basis?
Over — James Wisniewski: The late-summer acquisition has been excellent for the Isles with a team-leading 11 points (2g-9a) in nine games; his performance has been equal to what you would expect from Mark Streit, who is out until March with a shoulder injury.
Under — Trent Hunter: Two assists in eight games; coupled with the fact he has never come close to duplicating the 51 points he put up in 2003-04 make you wonder why he is still on the Islanders and in the NHL.
Over — Ryan Callahan: Even before Marian Gaborik went down with an injury, more was expected of Callahan this season; he has been the Rangers most consistent performer with a team-leading 11 points (4g-7a) in 10 games.
Under — tie, Gaborik or Chris Drury: They’ve played a combined four games this season, which may explain why the Blueshirts are playing like a .500 team.
Over — Pascal Leclaire: Injured again and sporting an 0-2-1 record; if the Sens are smart they’ll stick with Brian Elliott or start looking to make a trade for a real no. 1 goalie: see Martin Biron, Jonathan Bernier.
Under — Milan Michalek: It’s tough when you are traded for a 50-goal scorer like Dany Heatley; it’s even tougher when you only have five points in ten games and no points on the PP.
Over — Sergei Bobrovsky: The latest in a long, long, long line of Flyers goalies has started the season strong, going 5-2-0 in his first seven NHL games. Not bad for an undrafted free agent.
Under — James van Riemsdyk: More was expected of van Riemsdyk in his second NHL season, but so far he only has four assists in 11 games.
Over — Eric Belanger: All that can be said is that Belanger leads the team in scoring with six points in ten games.
Under — Shane Doan: The Coyotes captain has only two points, both assists, in seven games; both points came in the same game.
Over — Brent Johnson: The ‘backup’ goalie has a 5-0-1 record this season with one shutout and a 1.16 GAA.
Under — Marc-Andre Fleury: The ‘starting’ goalie has a 1-5-0 record this season with a 3.35 GAA; can you say goaltending controversy?
Over — Antero Niittymaki: The ex-Flyer and Lightning goalie has started the season strong with a 4-0-1 record for the hungry Sharks, and for the moment has the no. 1 job over Antti Niemi.
Under — Devin Setoguchi: Only one goal and one assist through nine games is a disappointing start for the 8th overall pick in 2005.
Over — Alex Pieterangelo: He is tied for the team lead in +/- with a plus-6 as the 4th overall pick in 2008 looks to stay with the Blues for a whole season finally.
Under — Brad Boyes: Only has one goal in nine games and its beginning to look like he won’t ever reach 43 goals again like he scored in 2007-08.
Over — Steven Stamkos: Okay, I knew Stamkos was good, but he is turning into a superstar and has Hart Trophy written all over him; and turning Tampa into a force to be reckoned with in the East. 19 points, 1st in the NHL. 9 goals, 2nd in the NHL. 10 assists, tied for second in the NHL. plus-9, 2nd in the NHL.
Under — Simon Gagne: His first season with a team other than Philly has been a disaster. No points in six games, and now is on IR with a stiff neck.
Over —Clarke McArthur: He had five goals in his first four games as a Leaf, and has given them the second line scoring they so desperately need to stay in contention for a playoff berth.
Under — Kris Versteeg: Aside from the goal and assist he posted in game two of the season he has done nothing else for the Leafs and is a prime candidate to be traded if Toronto continues to play well.
Over — Corey Schneider: He has made two starts and gave up only one goal in each; he is sporting a sparkling 2-0-0 record with a .970 save%.
Under — Roberto Luongo: The former captain of the Canucks has stumbled out of the gates this season with a 2-3-2 record and no shutouts.
Over — Michal Neuvirth: He has taken the no. 1 goalie job away from Semyon Varlamov and ran with it, going 7-3-0 with a 2.15 GAA for the high-flying Caps.
Under — Mike Knuble: One goal and four points in 11 games, no PP points.