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P.K. Subban
AP
The Week Ahead

Mid-season Disappointments

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: January 3, 2020, 12:20 pm ET

As all NHL teams approach the halfway mark of the season, are at it or have surpassed it, I decided as part of the column to give you my picks at the most disappointing players for each team.

Let’s get to it as there is plenty going on in the NHL.

Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Lineup Adviser, get our Weekly and Rest-of-Season rankings and projections, track all of your players and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!  

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WEEK OF JANUARY 6-12

4 Games - Arizona, Columbus, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Winnipeg

3 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Toronto, Vegas, Washington

2 Games - Minnesota

Columbus and Vancouver play all four games on the road.

Carolina, Chicago, Detroit, Florida, St. Louis and Vegas play three games at home.

Arizona, Dallas, Edmonton and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Victor Olofsson is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Dallas @ Chicago

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Columbus (Tuesday), vs. Dallas (Thursday)

Notes

Jakob Silfverberg has scored 20 or more goals in three of his last four seasons but he has usually been red hot at the end of the year to accomplish the goal. This season, the Swedish winger has 15 goals in 40 games and is headed for his first 30-goal season. Rickard Rakell sat out his fifth straight game Thursday with an upper-body injury. You have to be really disappointed with the season that Ondrej Kase is having, especially if you bought into the hype before the start of the season. Kase scored 20 goals two seasons ago in just 66 games and then had 11 goals and 20 points in 30 contests last year before his season ended due to injury. He has only three goals and 11 assists in 35 games this season and has been that huge disappointment to both fantasy owners and the Ducks.

ARIZONA

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ Carolina, vs. Pittsburgh

Tired: @ Carolina (Friday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes play four games this week including three games in four nights. With Darcy Kuemper still on the shelf, look for Antti Raanta to play three times with Adin Hill getting one start. Raanta has been strong this past week, giving up only three goals in two wins over St. Louis and Anaheim. Congratulations go out to Taylor Hall for hitting the 600th career game mark Thursday. Derek Stepan has had a tough go of things this season with only six goals and 14 points in 43 games. He struggled last season with 35 points and it was thought that his lack of power play success (only a goal and two assists) was the major reason why. Well, he has a goal and five assists this season with the man-advantage, but only eight points at even strength.  

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Winnipeg, @ New York Islanders

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Winnipeg (Thursday)

Notes

The Bruins are only 3-2-4 in their last nine games and have allowed Toronto and Tampa Bay to at least see some daylight in their quests for first place in the Atlantic. David Pastrnak is the first NHLer this season to hit the 30-goal mark, courtesy of his goal Thursday. The winger has 60 points and is fourth in the NHL in the scoring race. The Bruins are getting healthier as Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug returned to the lineup Thursday as did center David Krejci. Danton Heinen has been the Bruins disappointment this season with only six goals and 15 points despite seeing plenty of action as a top-six forward and on the second power play.

BUFFALO

Games this week

@ St. Louis, vs. Vancouver, @ Detroit

Tired: @ Detroit (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights. Linus Ullmark should get a couple of starts with Carter Hutton tending the net once. There could be plenty of bad news for the Sabres as Victor Olofsson was injured Thursday when he crashed into the boards and could not put any weight on his leg. The talented winger is second on the Sabres with 16 goals and 35 points in 42 games and was just named the NHL’s rookie for the month of December. The Sabres made a couple of deals Thursday as they sent Marco Scandella to Montreal for a fourth-round pick in 2020 and then swapped the draft pick to Calgary for Michael Frolik.  Jeff Skinner has been the Sabres big disappointment this season. He is out for the next two-three weeks after suffering an upper-body injury a week ago but has not scored in his last 11 games and had yet to score on the power play despite scoring eight times last season.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. Minnesota, vs. Edmonton

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Flames picked up an extra fourth-round pick in 2020 when they dealt UFA-to-be Michael Frolik to Buffalo. Sam Bennett finally scored on New Years Eve after missing the previous game as a healthy scratch. The former fourth overall pick in the 2014 Draft had gone pointless in his previous five games after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury. There have been plenty of disappointments for the Flames this season fantasy-wise, including Mark Giordano, who has only 19 points in 43 games after winning the Norris Trophy last season with 74 points and a plus-39 rating, but I have to give it to Johnny Gaudreau who has only 11 goals and 33 points this season after a 99-point campaign in 2018-19.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Arizona, vs. Los Angeles

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Arizona (Friday)

Notes

It has been a while since Teuvo Teravainen has found the back of the net, 16 games in fact, but he does have 14 assists in his last 11 contests. He has 40 points in 40 games this season and is two points ahead of sophomore sensation Andrei Svechnikov among Carolina scorers. Dougie Hamilton is the Hurricanes representative at the All-Star game with 13 goals and 37 points to go with an NHL leading plus-31. Erik Haula has played only 21 games but has 11 goals for Carolina. Jake Gardiner was signed in the off-season because of his offensive prowess but the former Maple Leaf has only two goals and eight points with a minus-20 rating in 40 games.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Nashville, vs. Anaheim

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Patrick Kane has 24 goals and 53 points in 42 games as he has been the Blackhawks only stud this season. He is 23 points ahead of Jonathan Toews in Chicago scoring. Robin Lehner saw his six-game winning streak come to an end Thursday, giving up six goals to Vancouver on 36 shots. The netminder is 12-7-4 with a 2.92 GAA and a .922 save percentage.  After a 60-point campaign last year, defenseman Erik Gustafsson has fallen back and hard, as he has only five goals and 17 points in the first half of the season. Another huge disappointment has been Alex DeBrincat, who had 41 goals and 76 points last season but has only 10 goals and 29 points in 42 games thus far.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ New York Rangers, vs. Pittsburgh

Tired: @ New York Rangers (Tuesday)

Rested: None

Notes

Nathan MacKinnon is closing in on the top of the Art Ross Trophy race as he has 25 goals and 62 points for third spot. He trails Connor McDavid by two points and Leon Draisaitl by one. MacKinnon should be in the middle of the talk for the Hart Trophy at the halfway point of the season. Samuel Girard has been red-hot this week with six assists in two games. The blueliner is a major part of the talented defense of the Avs and he is up to a goal and 20 points in 41 games this season. It is tough to pick a disappointment thus far for Colorado but Tyson Jost is likely the most disappointing as the former first-round pick has only five goals and 13 points in 38 games. 

COLUMBUS

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim, @ San Jose, @ Vegas

Tired: @ Anaheim (Tuesday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Blue Jackets play four games out west this week including three games in four nights. Columbus was dealt a serious blow Sunday when Joonas Korpisalo went down with a torn meniscus during the shootout and will be out for the next four-six weeks. Coach John Tortorella was livid after the game because of the referee’s clock management and was fined $20,000 for his outburst. Elvis Merzlikins has taken over as the top goalie and won his first NHL game on Tuesday. He has now won two in a row after a 2-1 win in overtime Thursday against Boston. Cam Atkinson had 41 goals in 80 games and while a regression seemed to be a no-brainer without Artemi Panarin on his team, Atkinson has only nine goals to date. He was even worse until recently as he has four goals in his last six games before suffering a lower-body injury before Christmas that still has him on the shelf.

DALLAS

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim, @ San Jose  

Tired: @ Anaheim (Thursday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Stars are in California this week and play three games in four nights. Expect to see Ben Bishop play twice with Anton Khudobin getting one start.  Corey Perry could be facing some discipline after he elbowed Ryan Ellis in the head at the Winter Classic. Perry was tossed from the game and picked up 15 minutes in penalties. Andrej Sekera picked a good time for his first goal of the season as he did it in front of a national audience at the Classic. Denis Gurianov has been impressive of late and was rewarded with duty on the second line with Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz. There have been plenty of disappointing players for Dallas this season, starting with the top line of Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov and Jamie but John Klingberg as also disappointed fantasy owners.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.