In keeping with my Western counterparts theme this week, I'll take a look at some Eastern Conference players that could be considered busts at this point in the season. I will also give you my slant on what to expect for the remainder of the season.
After recording a career high 73 points last season, White is on pace for only 37 points. The naysayers who thought White might have trouble duplicating those numbers appear to be right. It may well be that with the addition of Afinogenov and Antropov, the scoring has been spread throughout the line up, leaving White less likely to collect his points. White is still getting his power play time, but his total ice time is down about two minutes a game. View from the Edge: Even though he receives the third most ice time with the man advantage, White's role has diminished, making him expendable.
While the Gun from Graz is on pace for a reasonable 29 goals and 54 points, more was expected. I myself had him pegged for 40 goals and close to 80 points this season. That shouldn't come as a surprise because he has scored 40, 36 and 43 goals over his last three seasons. View from the Edge: It would be a shock for him to snipe less than 35 goals this season.
His numbers this year are disappointing to say the least. Staal is on pace for an unfathomable 38 points. Most would not have been surprised if those projected numbers were reversed and he were on pace for 83 points. Over the last four seasons, Staal has averaged 82 points a year. View from the Edge: If you can convince his current owner to sell, especially in a keeper, do so immediately. The 25-year-old's value will never be lower.
Over his last four seasons, Cole has averaged 53 points. After returning to Carolina near the end of last season from a 63 game exile in Edmonton, he recorded 15 points in 17 games with the Canes. His performance mysteriously fell off during the playoffs, where he recorded only five points in 18 games. Coincidentally, he has five points in 17 games this season. Cole is averaging more than 17 minutes of ice time per game, but is tenth in power play time (seventh amongst forwards). View from the Edge: Unless he spends more time with the man advantage, Cole will have his worst year in six seasons.
The 39-year-old warrior has fallen from grace very quickly. I thought that his legendary devotion to off-season training would have bought him a few more years. He has perennially been one of the fittest players in the league. Brind'Amour's current pace