15 NHL Teams and Players Who Already Look Like Busts

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IOctober 26, 2011

15 NHL Teams and Players Who Already Look Like Busts

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    It's early in the NHL season, but some teams and players have already disappointed to the point that there is concern.

    Obviously, some teams aren't going to show up on this list. Washington is undefeated, and Pittsburgh leads the Eastern Conference despite not having Sidney Crosby yet.

    Dallas leads the Western Conference, while Colorado and Chicago aren't very far behind.

    There are also some nice surprises from individual players, like Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin, that have fans smiling.

    But there are a number of players and teams that have enough people scratching their heads that Rogaine might call for sponsorship opportunities.

    Here are 15 players and teams that look like a bust so far this year.

15. Eric Staal

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    Staal really stepped up his game last year and has become one of the really good leaders in the league, but it's been a struggle to start the new season.

    He has only four points (three goals, one assist) in eight games, is winning only 42.3 percent of his faceoffs and is an NHL-worst minus-10 on the young season.

14. Erik Cole

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    After being the big addition up front for the Habs, Cole hasn't been worth much of his new contract.

    Through eight games, he has only one goal and one assist while struggling to a minus-five rating. This has been a real head-scratcher with Cole's ice time at a personal low and his role being in question from the start of the year.

13. Braydon Coburn

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    Through eight games, Coburn is averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per night.

    However, he hasn't recorded a single point, has 10 penalty minutes and is minus-one so far.

    With Chris Pronger out for the next two or three weeks because of his eye injury, the Flyers are going to need more (read: any) offense from Coburn.

12. New York Islanders

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    They're probably not a playoff team this year, but the Isles haven't been able to take advantage of mediocre starts from the Devils and Rangers to get out of the cellar.

    They're 3-4-0, and those six points have them near the bottom in the Eastern Conference.

11. David Krejci

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    Krejci's been banged up early this season, but the production just hasn't been there.

    He has only one point, a goal, in five games and is minus-five.

    When he's fully healthy, Boston might have to make a decision, with Tyler Seguin suddenly carrying the offense for the defending champions.

10. Brandon Dubinsky

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    In his previous two seasons in New York, Dubinsky scored 44 goals with 154 penalty minutes in 146 games.

    So far this year, he hasn't scored a goal yet and has 39 penalty minutes in only seven games.

    He's already had as many games with double-digit penalty minutes as he has games with no PIM—two.

9. Cody Franson

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    In the trade sending Franson to Toronto this summer, he was supposed to be the productive player, and Matthew Lombardi was supposed to be a salary dump.

    After a couple of weeks, it appears those two didn't get the memo.

    Franson has been a bigger talker than player so far, putting up only one point in three games and earning a minus-four rating.

    He's more firmly cemented in the dog house in Toronto now than he is in the rotation on a talented, deep blue line.

8. Calgary Flames

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    Considered by some to be a fringe playoff candidate this year, the Flames have been pathetic.

    Their five points are on the stairs to the cellar in the Western Conference, and they rank near the bottom of the NHL in goals scored (2.14/game - 22nd) and goals against (2.86/game - 20th).

7. Matt Duchene

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    After 67 points last year, many thought Duchene was ready to step into the point-per-game world.

    Instead, he's only put 11 shots on net through eight games, has only posted four points and has been demoted to the fourth line in Denver.

    The Avs need him to be the central figure of their offense moving forward.

6. Winnipeg Jets

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    They're going to need to do something to keep that warm-fuzzy feeling in Winnipeg going, because the play so far hasn't been very good.

    Twenty-fifth in the league in goals against per game, 25th in the league in goals for per game and in last place in the Southeast Division isn't going to make this a fantastic year for their fans.

5. Jaroslav Halak

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    He started the year 1-4-0, with a goals against of 3.47 and a mediocre .835 save percentage.

    When the Blues acquired him, they thought their net was locked down for the next few years.

    So far this season, Brian Elliott has been their saving grace.

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

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    They finally got a win on Tuesday night—against Detroit of all people—but the Jackets have been awful.

    Their woes may have reached an all-time peak when they gave up two goals in the final 36 seconds against Ottawa to blow a game they should have won.

3. Craig Anderson

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    Anderson has an .874 save percentage and a 4.08 goals against average, and somehow he isn't the worst goalie on his roster?

    That's right, the Sens have serious issues between the pipes, and Anderson hasn't done much to help himself.

    If Alex Auld was even mediocre, he could have taken the starting gig away from Anderson at this point.

    Ottawa has played better over their last few games, but their four wins are in spite of Anderson, not because of him.

2. Montreal Canadiens

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    We've already talked about how disappointing Cole has been for the Habs, but the problems are bigger than one player.

    They're allowing almost a full goal per game more than they're scoring, Mike Cammalleri has only two points, PK Subban is minus-six and Carey Price has only put together an .878 save percentage.

    A coaching change might be their next move, but a couple personnel moves on the ice might be required to make this work.

1. Roberto Luongo

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    What an epic disaster in Vancouver!

    In the final year of Corey Schneider's contract, Luongo has decided to be anything but the Vezina finalist he was last year.

    After being pulled in the second period on Tuesday night, Luongo is 2-3-1 and has allowed at least three goals in five of his six appearances.