The Maven's 5 Biggest National Hockey League Disappointments

Stan FischlerContributor IFebruary 24, 2012

The Maven's 5 Biggest National Hockey League Disappointments

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    Have you ever taken a ride on the Cyclone? That's the king of all roller coasters in Coney Island, and the best part of this heart-throbbing ride is that it finally comes down after many ups.

    The same thing happens to National Hockey League stars—except for some of them, it happens too soon, too fast. And, unlike the Cyclone, which always lands safely, some NHLers plummet from the heights with a bang. And if you don't believe the Maven, check out the following:

Scott Gomez, Montreal Canadiens

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    Alas, poor Scotty, I knew him well.

    First as a Devils rookie who managed the puck like a yo-yo on a string while occasionally scoring some nifty goals. Gomez still had the goods when he came to the Rangers, but they were fading fast and how the Habs got mesmerized into trading for the Alaskan former ace is something only Bob Gainey can answer.

    Thing is, this should have—could have—been Scott's comeback year. At least a lot of us had hoped so—but look what we've got: a shade of the former Devil. That shade happens to be awfully dark!

Ilya Brzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers

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    For a fellow making more dough than happens to be in the Pennsylvania Treasury, the Russian goalie has not delivered much brotherly love to Broad Street.

    Didn't Paul Holmgren have any Arizona spies to advise how Ilya the Ill was swept out of the first playoff round by Detroit, averaging almost four goals per loss?

    Still, the word in Ben Franklin's hometown was that the Bryz would answer the annual Flyers goaltending prayers. If so, pray, tell me, how come he didn't even start in the Outdoor Classic right there on Broad Street. Bottom Line: Bryzgalov is trying; VERY trying!

Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings

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    Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson thought he had injected some vital vitamins into his offense when he acquired Philly's erstwhile glamor boy.

    Instead of offense, Carter produced an offensive facsimile of a star scorer going down the mopey tubes.

    And if you're wondering how a filthy rich hockey player still could take time out to brood, Jeffrey was just that lad. Getting Carter out of Ohio so far is the best move Howson has made.

    Then again, that's not saying a helluva lot.

Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    As an Islander, it was fair to call the long-haired goalie, Prince Valiant.

    He played his heart out in Nassau and then made Steve Yzerman look like GM of the Year after landing so swimmingly in Tampa Bay.

    Rollie's starring role in the Lightning's march to the playoffs and then a tremendous run thereafter was not a fluke. He had everything—the goods, the attitude and the fans behind him, big-time. His feats were supposed to ignite Guy Boucher's bunch to bigger and better things this year.

    Sorry, but it's been a colossal build-up to a letdown.

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

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     Whether he is—as labelled—a "coach-killer" or merely a faux captain, the Great Eight's performance in 2011-2012 equates to the Square Root of Letdown.

    Ovie has let down his patron saint, Ted Leonsis, his former coach—doing not badly, mind you, in Anaheim, Bruce Boudreau and, of course, his team.

    Alex's theme song should be, "What Has Become Of The Ovie That Used To Be?"

    And, yes, Boudreau got no help at all in trying to turn Ovechkin into a true leader.