Every team save for the St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers have played at least 10 games, meaning we have a decent idea of which players are off to good starts and which players are Claude Giroux.
Giroux is one of several notable players who have played around 10 games and have yet to net a goal this season. (His teammate, Scott Hartnell, is goal-less through six games this season.)
We’ve compiled look at some of the NHL’s players that are currently chasing Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy.
The players listed are either those who have been consistent goal-scorers in the past or were expected to contribute goals this season. It’s also a list of mostly forwards, save for a couple of D-men. We were looking for players that have been in around 10 games, have decent ice time and have taken their share of shots.
Here are the players Mike Smith is outscoring:
|Player||Games||Assists||+/-||TOI||Shots||Goals Last Season||First Goal Last Season|
|Dustin Byfuglien, D, Winnipeg Jets||13||8||-4||26:32||45||12 (35 games)||Jan. 19 |
|Mike Green, D, Washington Capitals||11||6||-6||25:10||26||12 (35 games)||Jan. 25 |
|Ray Whitney, LW, Dallas Stars||10||6||-1||16:32||20||11 (32 games)||Jan. 19 (Game 1)|
|Claude Giroux, C, Philadelphia Flyers ||10||5||-5||21:47||22||13 (48 games)||Jan. 19 (Game 1)|
|Clarke MacArthur, LW, Ottawa Senators||10||5||+6||17:35||29||8 (40 games)||Jan. 23 (Game 3)|
|Derek Stepan, C, NY Rangers||9||5||-8||18:21||17||18 (48 games)||Feb. 2 (Game 8)|
|Martin Erat, RW, Washington Capitals||11||3||-4||11:44||5||5 (45 games)||Jan. 19 |
|Chris Stewart, RW, St. Louis Blues||9||2||-2||12:56||14||18 (48 games)||Jan. 19 (Game 1)|
|Jarret Stoll, C, Los Angeles Kings||12||2||2||15:08||17||7 (48 games)||Feb. 2 (Game 7)|
|David Desharnais, C, Montreal Canadiens||11||1||-2||14:56||15||10 (48 games)||Feb. 2 (Game 7)|
|Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Buffalo Sabres||11||0||-1||11:32||9||1 (25 games)||Jan. 29 (Game 6)|
|Tomas Kopecky, RW, Florida Panthers||12||0||-4||15:50||30||15 (47 games)||Jan. 22 (Game 3)|
A couple of thoughts:
• Byfuglien’s not exactly Brett Hull with the goal-scoring, but we felt it was worth putting him here after 45 shots in 13 games. Olympic pressure? Too much ice time?
• Kopecky’s a head-scratcher, because he found the net so often last year for the Panthers and was playing with Tomas Fleischmann and rookie Aleksander Barkov this season. But as Coach Kevin Dineen said: “He has value in many different ways and a lot of that is in his leadership. That's not chirping in the room, that's going out there and playing the way that we have to play on a consistent basis to win. We know he has that in him.''
• Green’s a bit of a surprise too, if only because he’s second in ice time to Alex Ovechkin on the power play for Washington. But that could be the nature of Oates’ power-play beast, seeing as how Green’s four goals last season were the only ones from a defenseman.
• Despite his age, Whitney’s been around a point-per-game player over the last two seasons. Is this symptomatic of Dallas being 23rd on the power play?
• Finally, the Flyers are 2-0 since Giroux guaranteed they’d make the playoffs. Perhaps he should have guaranteed a goal.