Congratulations to Dustin Penner, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jack Johnson: All of you have scored at least one goal in the 2013 NHL season. Which means that all of you have successfully avoided inclusion on this ignominious list.
Here are 10 NHL players that have yet to score a goal that really should have scored one by now (and will likely have scored one by the time you read this, because that’s how these things work).
If we had told you that Ryane Clowe would have more suspensions for fighting a player on a legal line change than goals this season, you might have said “well, it is Ryane Clowe” but then you would have said “no way.” Then we would have told you Clowe has as many goals as Scott Gomez this season, and they’re teammates, and your head would have exploded. In a contract year, Clowe has zero goals and six assists in 18 games. That’s after scoring 17 in 76 games last season. Maybe he should shoot more from the bench. Wacky things happen when Clowe’s on the bench.
Jason Chimera, Washington Capitals (20 games)
Chimera was a revelation for the Capitals last season, scoring a career high 20 goals and using his speed to create chances with Washington’s top offensive players. This season has been as stunning a reversal of fortune as we’ve seen: No goals in 20 games, and his ice time and spot in the lineup are plummeting under new coach Adam Oates. Please, feel free to somehow pin this on Ovechkin, too.
Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings (22 games)
Granted, AfroGator only had eight goals last season in 81 games. But that was a career best he was expected to build upon. When he came out of the gate slowly, Mike Babcock put him with Pavel Datsyuk and on the second unit power play. And … nada. He’s still getting his ice time thanks to being one of the Wings most tenacious forwards, but hasn’t put up a point since Feb. 7.
Brian Boyle, New York Rangers (17 games)
Boyle has gone 17 games without a goal, and has been held without a shot on goal in eight of them. In his first 17 games last season, he had one goal and two assists; maybe he’s just a slow starter no matter when the season starts? Or maybe a hair cut and a new stick, both of which Boyle received recently, will do the trick?
Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars (21 games)
He scored nine goals last season in 71 games, making this season’s goal-less start a bit surprising. Although the biggest surprise might have been his healthy-scratch status after signing a big fat new contract last season. This start is magnified by the fact that James Neal is on pace for 700 goals this season with the Penguins.
Kyle Wellwood, Winnipeg Jets (15 games)
Last season’s feel-good story has regressed to this season’s baffling lack of offensive output. Wellwood potted 18 goals for the Jets in 2011-12, but hasn’t hit the back of the net in 15 games this season. This lack of production has landed him in Healthy Scratch Land for the last four games. Will he hit 18 goals again? Fat chance.
Jacob Josefson, New Jersey Devils (16 games)
The 22-year-old forward is having a terrible season, skating to a minus-10 and with one assist in 16 games. He’s already been demoted to the AHL once, and his ice time has dipped below 10 minutes per game recently. Sure, he’s been saddled with some fourth liners most of the season. But he hasn’t earned much more than that.
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild (21 games)
Something tells us the Wild are quite alright with 14 points in 21 games from Suter, playing 30 minutes on some nights. But he’s good for about seven goals per season, and the Wild only have six goals from their blueline, one of the reasons they’re 28th in the NHL in goals.
Colby Armstrong, Montreal Canadiens (22 games)
In fairness to Colby Armstrong, scoring hasn’t been his forte since his days with the Atlanta Thrashers, and his ice time is limited. But it’s been 22 games without a goal for Armstrong, on the fifth best offensive team in the NHL (3.04 goals per game).
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings (19 games)
Go figure: Doughty came to camp in the best shape if his NHL career by all accounts, and is on pace for this worst offensive season (on average) since his rookie campaign. He dropped the weight physically; perhaps there’s some added tonnage thanks to the contract and Norris expectations?
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