Halfway Point Underachievers

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With teams at or near the halfway point of the 2011-12 NHL season, its time to look at some of the bargains and not so good selections we made last fall.

Yesterday we evaluated those playing well above expectations. Today we will explore the overpriced, underachievers.


Alex Ovechkin, Washington (ADP 2) - When you are the second overall selection in the fantasy draft, averaging more than 50 goals-a-season for the past six years, posting a 17-goal, first half is simply unacceptable. His 33-point total doesn't even crack the NHL's top-20. Add in a plus/minus rating of -8 and you have a disastrous first 40 games. He's scoreless in his last two games, so a turn around doesn't appear to be close. You'll just have to ride it out unless you can find another owner who's "high" on him.

Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay (ADP 10) - While it's true that St. Louis is almost averaging a point-a-game, he's not doing enough in the other categories to warrant his first-round selection. He's been particularly disappointing on the power play. St. Louis averaged 39 power-play-points a year in 2009 and 2010, but in 2011-12 he's totaled just one goal and five assists. Throw in a reduction in his shots on goal and a lower scoring percentage and St. Louis is in the fantasy "dog house."

Bobby Ryan, Anaheim (ADP 11) - The Ryan-Corey Perry-Ryan Getzlaf line was supposed to be one of the league's premier trios, but got off to a horrible start and has yet to regain the form that warranted all three getting drafted in the first 35 picks. Ryan's 15 goals are satisfactory, but 10 assists, a double-digit minus rating and less than 100 shots on goal isn't helping matters. Trade speculation surrounding the Ducks' core players is making everyone nervous and might create an opportunity to "buy low."

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh (ADP 16) - If you selected "The Kid" you knew you were taking a huge gamble and to date it hasn't paid off. He's played just eight games due to his concussion problems. Crosby is currently on the Penguins IR and there is no indication that he'll be playing anytime soon. He hasn't played since December 5th, practiced since December 7th or talked with the media since December 12th - not a good sign.

Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia (ADP 18) - After four solid seasons in Phoenix, Bryzgalov arrived in Philadelphia with high expectations. A career 2.58 GAA and a SV% of 0.914 figured to improve as he headed to the highly competitive Flyers. Instead, he's had trouble with rebounds, has a record of 16-9-3 with a GAA of 3.07 and a SV% of just 0.891. His failure to produce has forced the Flyers to use a "shared goalie" strategy with Sergei Bobrovsky (9-3-1, 2.45 GAA, 0.919 SV%).

Ryan Miller, Buffalo (ADP 19) - The 2009-10 Vezina winner has struggled since picking up the trophy. From a season high of 41-18-8, 2.22 GAA, 0.929 SV% in 2009-10, Miller has seen his numbers drop dramatically. Through the first half of 2011-12 he's got a losing record (10-12-2) with a high GAA (3.01) and a low SV% (0.902). Not a good combination and certainly not worth the second round pick you spent on him.

Jeff Carter, Columbus (ADP 28) - Carter was a big-time goal scorer in Philadelphia, but in his first season in Columbus he's struggling just to stay on the ice. Foot and ankle injuries and now a separated right shoulder have limited his playing time. Even when he's been out on the ice he's not getting the job done with just 17 points (10G, 7A) in 30 games. Considering he averaged 36 goals a season over the past four years, his 2011-12 campaign figures to be a huge letdown for fantasy owners and Blue Jacket fans.

Mike Green, Washington (ADP 37) - Green had been one of the league's premier scoring defensemen from 2007-2009, but his numbers have taken a drastic hit in the past two seasons. After averaging 0.91 ppg in his best years, he fell to 0.510 last season. Its more of the same in 2011 plus he's only played 10 games due to a groin injury. After missing 23 consecutive games with the injury, Green returned on Saturday night only to re-injure the groin. It's hard to help your fantasy team when you're watching the game from the stands.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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