The 5 Most Dysfunctional Teams in the NHL
The 2011-2012 NHL season has given us many pleasant surprises this year.
Who would have thought Brian Elliott would be among the league's best goalies and that the St. Louis Blues would be a contender?
And did anyone expect the Ottawa Senators to show up this year?
At the same time, there have been some things in the league that most can't get their heads around. For instance, the performance (or lack thereof) by some of the NHL's most popular teams.
Here are the five NHL teams that are currently dysfunctional.
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The Carolina Hurricanes are among the league's worst teams and it is rather surprising.
After having a great 2010-2011 campaign in which they hosted an All-Star Game, saw the rise of Jeff Skinner and nearly made the playoffs, the Canes have fallen off the map.
This season the club has just 50 points in 55 games and looks like it will miss the playoffs yet again.
Carolina's performance is unacceptable given the talented roster it possesses.
Cam Ward has been dreadful in between the pipes, Eric Staal is nowhere to be found and last year's Calder Trophy winner Jeff Skinner just doesn't look as sensational.
Maybe next year, Carolina.
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It is hard to believe the Anaheim Ducks are one of the worst teams in the Western Conference for many reasons.
Last year was a phenomenal time for the team. Led by MVP Corey Perry, Anaheim locked up the fourth seed for the playoffs where they fell in six games to the surging Nashville Predators.
And there is no shortage of talent on its roster.
Take away Perry and the Ducks would still have Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf, two great players in their own right.
But the Ducks' troubles this year start with the goalie play and its inability to win faceoffs.
Jonas Hiller's save percentage is an underwhelming .906 and his 2.80 goals-against mark has to be getting teams excited. In the faceoff circle, the Ducks are just 28th in the league. They win only 47.8 percent of the drops.
Maybe Bruce Boudreau can put the quack back into this team, but this squad is too dysfunctional for it to happen anytime this year.
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Montreal can thank the Carolina Hurricanes. If it wasn't for Carolina, the Canadiens would look even more pitiful.
While Montreal has won two straight and goaltender Carey Price is looking better, the Habs are still one of the league's most dysfunctional teams.
After almost knocking out the eventual champion Bruins in last year's playoffs, the Habs are a lock to be watching the postseason on television this year.
I believe a team is only as good as its weakest link. That might just be P.K. Subban.
Subban is becoming one of the most hated players in the NHL for his questionable actions and attitude. If he replaced that with better play and fully used his potential, Montreal might find a way to function properly.
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Unlike the other teams listed, Chicago isn't a horrible team and will probably head to the postseason this year. But as of late, there may not be a more dysfunctional team than the Blackhawks.
Chicago has dropped six straight and are 5-8-3 since bringing in the New Year.
It doesn't help they were embarrassed recently by Edmonton with Sam Gagner's eight-point performance.
The Blackhawks must snap out of this rut if they want to be in the mix for the Central Division title. The team plays its next five games on the road and the Blues, Red Wings and Predators are all playing good hockey.
Maybe if Patrick Kane actually turns into Superman, Chicago will have an easier time.
Tampa Bay Lightning
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This is the same Tampa Bay Lightning team that made it to last year's Eastern Conference Finals?
Despite having the best scorer in the league in Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay is now one of the East's bottom feeders. Don't place the blame on the offense though.
This season, the Lightning have played its games without a goalie!
Okay. Maybe not. But it looks like it on the stat sheet.
Tampa Bay has given up a league-worst 176 goals, thanks to the horrendous play of senior citizen Dwayne Roloson in net. Roloson is giving up 3.62 goals per game. Let that speak for itself.
Once the Lightning address its issues between the pipes, the team might be in good shape.
But for now, it remains one of the league's most dysfunctional clubs.
Steven Conklin is a contributing writer for the Bleacher Report and a student at the University of Central Missouri. He joined B/R in October 2011 and is currently a B/R intern. Any comments, questions or suggestions are more than welcome.