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Underwhelming efforts
Saturday November 18, 2006 12:29AM

With the season nearly a quarter old, Rick Nash of the Blue Jackets has taken his fair share of heat for producing a mere six goals in his first 16 games. But Nash is not alone in the disappointment department. Here are 12 more:

Derian Hatcher, Flyers

Nobody expected Hatcher to be able to meet the demands of the modern NHL and, no, he certainly isn't the only underperforming Flyer, but he has been just brutal this season. Hatcher has yet to record a point and his minus-15 is the second-worst mark in the NHL. Prior to the season, Hatcher had averaged a point every three games and had been a plus player for nine straight years, eight of them with Dallas. At 34, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound defenseman has become a lumbering liability, easily spun around by the simplest dekes and shoulder fakes.

Patrik Elias, Devils

What's up with the Devils' captain? How does such a talented offensive player misplace his scoring touch so easily? It isn't as though Elias isn't working for his chances, but Tuesday night in New York he missed the net twice and drove a shot from 25 feet into the chest protector of Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Elias usually buries those. With three goals and a minus-9 rating, Elias looks like a man who has lost his confidence and the sooner Scott Gomez gets back into the lineup, the more likely Elias will find it again.

Mattias Norstrom, Kings

At minus-8, Norstrom has company among King clunkers. Fellow defenseman Aaron Miller is minus-10. Forward Brian Willsie is minus-11. But Norstrom is the captain who doesn't seem to be doing much to lead his team. He has recorded just four takeaways and seven shots on goal all season and has shown no visible signs of the assertiveness needed to help right the Kings.

Jeremy Roenick, Coyotes

Coach Wayne Gretzky speaks highly of Roenick, but he took JR off the power play and has watched the 36-year-old, 485-goal man dissolve into a role player who has scored once and is minus-8 in 18 games. Roenick has always thrived on physical play, but his penalty minutes have decreased since the lockout, along with his orneriness and effectiveness. His coach has obviously been unable to rekindle the fire.

Daniel Alfredsson, Senators

How can such a talented team still be in last place? Ask the captain. Alfredsson scored 43 goals last season but has just four this season while his name gets mentioned in trade discussions. No Senator is setting the league ablaze, but the other top forwards, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, aren't struggling nearly as much as Alfredsson, who seems worn down by his team's penchant for underperforming when the pressure is on. His jersey is still a popular seller at local stores, but fans are starting to boo when he touches the puck.

Brendan Morrison, Canucks

He was pulled off the top line and then put back on. How does one not get the puck to Markus Naslund? Morrison, who is clearly better as a support player than one who can be counted on to produce against checkers or the other team's best players, is minus-6 with three goals and eight points and the subject of trade rumors. The Canucks, by the way, are the only team in the league whose centers all have three goals or less. Defenseman Sami Salo has scored four.

Martin Gerber, Senators

As good as Ray Emery has been as the backup (4-2-0; 1.88, .938), Gerber has been as disappointing as the starter. He is 3-8-1 with a 3.45 goals-against that is better than only Phoenix's Curtis Joseph and Boston's Hannu Toivonen. The Senators thought they were addressing a need when they snatched Gerber from Carolina during the offseason. Gerber can't blame the workload for his slow start. He has yet to make 40 saves in any of his 12 appearances, yet he does fatigue easily. Only once in his pro career did he play more than 44 games in a season before he shouldered 60 for Carolina in 2005-06. It's worth noting that he got sick at playoff time, lost 15 pounds, and his No. 1 spot with the 'Canes. He may simply be better suited to a backup role.

FULL STORY
 

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Underwhelming Players

Oh, panoo, I could not agree more about you're #1,
Derian Hatcher. As a Red Wing fan, I watched him "play".
He was brutal! Giveaway after giveaway, he could have
been easily mistaken for Santa Claus. It boggles the mind
what the RW were thinking when they acquired him. He was
a significant liability then. I don't think he's anything
more than a ECHL player.
 
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