(This Roundtable discussion took place before Sunday night's games)
Which players have disappointed you the most during the first two weeks of the NHL season?
Brian Rosenbaum: The first two names that come to my mind immediately are the Ducks' not-so-dynamic duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. I know they will come around, but neither has resgitered a single point in four games thus far and they are a combined minus seven with a mere four penalty minutes. That's just not going to cut for two players who were likely first or second-round picks in the majority of hockey pools.
Corey Abbott: Sidney Crosby going pointless in the first five games of the season has to be the most surprising disappointment so far. The Penguins captain was the second overall pick in the vast majority of drafts and he hasn't been living up to that billing. Crosby also has only eight shots after he didn't register any in his first two games of the year. Obviously, this won't last so I'm not that concerned, but it has to be frustrating his fantasy owners. All I can say is to be patient because better days are ahead for him.
Michael Finewax: Both choices are perfect. The whole Anaheim team is a disappointment with Getzlaf and Perry being at the top of the list. Those are better than mine but I was really looking forward to seeing Matt Duchene have a great season. Duchene has no points and is a minus-four in four games thus far with only three shots on net. I expect him to break out shortly and I agree with Corey in that patience is a virtue.
Ryan Dadoun: Patience is definitely a virtue and giving up on guys like Crosby, Perry, or Getzlaf seems hasty given their talent level and past accomplishments. Sergei Bobrovsky is a tougher one for me to come to a conclusion on. He's a former Vezina Trophy winner, but the Columbus Blue Jackets might not be as good as they were hyped to be and it could hold him back significantly this season. I'm not saying that it's time to dump him, but he's one early season disappointment that might not bounce back.
Corey Abbott: Ryan may have a point with Columbus holding Bobrovsky back a bit this year and I have a similar fear when it comes to Tuukka Rask. Even when Rask won his first game, he allowed three goals and had an .870 save percentage. I think both of them can and will be better, especially since they managed to shake off bad starts last season, but I'm having a hard time trusting the players in front of them right now and that hurts their value a bit more than in previous years.
Michael Finewax: If we are talking about goaltenders then the disappointing play of Semion Varlamov has to be considered. Reto Berra has now started the past two games after taking over from Varlamov during the Avs third game of the season. Varlamov has a 5.06 GAA with a .841 save percentage. Many thought he would be a low end number one goalie but right now he is just a low end goalie.
Ryan Dadoun: Matt Duchene has had some great years, so I'm hesitant to call him a bust, but he certainly hasn't been reliable. I don't want to write him off after four games,but I'm not filled with confidence in him either. I think Semyon Varlamov will bounce back though. Over the last two seasons he's shown that he can hold his own when Colorado is good or when it's bad and he's stood tall despite the constant barrage of shots he's typically subjected to. His start is definitely troubling, but I think it will be seen as a blip in the long run.
Brian Rosenbaum: It is troubling to see Bob, Rask and Varlamov struggle unexpectedly out of the gate. However, I'm looking to Vancouver for my next disappointment. After registering 63 points last season, Radim Vrbata is in a world of hurt so far this campaign. In five games, he has not registered a single point and is a minus three. Part of the problem may be that he is not taking a regular shift with the Sedin twins. But he gets plenty of power-play ice time with them and still hasn't been able to hit the scoresheet. I suspect a lot of his fantasy owners are becoming a little impatient with him at this time.
Ryan Dadoun: Vrbata was actually the third most dropped player on Saturday and that trend will likely to persist if he doesn't bounce back soon. The most dropped player by far was Logan Couture due to his injury (I strongly urge fantasy owners to hold onto him), but the second most dropped was Jack Johnson. I think Johnson's another good name to add to the list of disappointing players, although it's not entirely his fault. True he only has one point in six games, but I think owners would be willing to tolerate that if not for his minus-eight rating. If Columbus can't salvage this campaign, then plus/minus will become a considerable burden for many of its players.
Corey Abbott: I see Vrbata getting dropped in plenty of leagues as well and I don't completely disagree with the decision. I don't think his value has completely dried up, though. He is shooting the puck a ton and is bound to break through eventually. I've been getting plenty of questions from concerned fantasy owners regarding Sean Monahan and his sluggish start. I definitely see him getting back on track and urge people to stick with him.
Brian Rosenbaum: The last name I want to throw out there is David Backes. He is a popular choice amongst poolies because he has been an extermely reliable 50-point forward who also happens to amass 100 penalty minutes per season. So what's happening this year? He hasn't registered a single point in the Blues' first four games and has one minor penalty. To make matters worse, St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock is following through with his idea of playing Backes as a third-line center. No Schwartz, Tarasenko or Steen to play with five-on-five isn't going to help him bust out.