10 guys that have left something to be desired in the playoffs…
When a NHL player becomes a fantasy bust during the regular season, it creates a lot of heartaches and headaches for owners.
In the playoffs, it hurts even more. Players can't be dropped to the waiver wire, and for most pools, no trades are allowed either. If a player is underperforming, there goes your chance of a playoff championship.
While every player will slump at one time or another, these 10 guys have consistently chosen their playoffs to let their fans and fantasy owners down.
For the record, since most playoff pools run on points only, we're focusing on points for the players.
10. Ryan Callahan
Callahan is a proven playoff warrior, right? Aren't you supposed to win the Cup with 18 Callahan-type players in your lineup? Instead, Callahan has been underwhelming in the playoffs. This year, he put up exactly zero points in a first round sweep. And although he's not known for his points, Callahan averages 0.56 points per game in the regular season. In the playoffs, that drops all the way down to 0.38 points per game. Yet some NHL general manager will give Callahan a huge contract this year, and say that Callahan is the key to playoff success.
9. Gustav Nyquist
If you watch this guy during the regular season, you know he's a special player. He's got great hands, a nice scoring touch and some nice moves. However, if you watch Nyquist during the playoffs, you don't see much of that. In 22 playoff games, Nyquist has only managed two goals and five points. This year was his breakout year, but his playoffs were the same old, as he had no points in five games. Granted, he's still young, and while he didn't get a lot of ice time in the first couple of seasons, his lack of postseason success is concerning.
8. Tyler Seguin
It's kind of strange that as Seguin gets better each season, his best playoff performance was during his rookie season. Although he was a healthy scratch often, he posted seven points in 13 games in his first season. Since then, he has just 14 playoff points in 35 games. Some of that has to do with the fact that he wasn't given an offensive role when he was in Boston, but even with Dallas this year, he was underwhelming, with just one goal and three points in six games.
7. David Backes
If you want to know why St. Louis can never seem to go far in the playoffs, you need look no further than the Blues captain, David Backes. In the last six seasons, Backes has had four 24-plus goal campaigns and four 50 points-plus seasons. However, in the playoffs, he's a total dud. This year's one assist in four playoff games didn't help shake that, even if he was injured during the series by Brent Seabrook. In the last six regular seasons, Backes has 0.68 points per game. In the playoffs, that drops to 0.48 points per game. He's stepping back when he should be stepping up.
6. Derek Stepan
It doesn't appear as if the lights are always bright on Broadway, especially come playoff time. Or maybe Stepan is learning from the elder players on the team who have seen their points dip come playoff time. Regardless, Stepan is turning into a regular season guy who can't elevate his game in the playoffs. So far, Stepan averages 0.67 points per game in his regular season career, but sees a dramatic decrease in the playoffs, where he averages just 0.39 points per game.
5. David Desharnais
This just goes to show that Desharnais relies on Max Pacioretty too often to get his points. The Habs number one centre has just four points in 10 games this year, and it's been sadly one of his most productive NHL playoffs to date. In 19 career playoff games, Desharnais has just five points, a clip of just 0.3 points per game. His regular season career is more than twice that, with 0.63 points per game. That's too much of a downturn to a guy who has battled his entire career to get to the next level.
4. Niklas Kronwall
The Red Wings defenceman managed to score a goal this year in the playoffs, which is a pretty big deal, since it broke a 25-game playoff goalless drought. While he had a good playoff in 2008 (even though he had zero goals, he had 15 assists in 22 games), it's been downhill for Kronwall since then. In his last 70 playoff games, he has just 26 points, a pace of 0.31 points per game. When you think that he averages 40 points a season in his last six years (also pro-rating the lockout season to 82 games), it boggles the mind that he could struggle so much in the postseason.
3. Marc-Andre Fleury
The only reason he's not higher on this list (or even the top spot) is because of his play this year. Despite that one bad game in Columbus, Fleury has been pretty decent this year (just a 2.37 GAA and .915 save percentage, which are right around Carey Price's numbers). But the last few years he's been just dreadful. His playoffs from 2010-13 saw Fleury post a 14-16 record, 3.18 GAA and .880 save percentage. He really needs to carry this team to the finals to even begin to shake the playoff dud label.
2. Max Pacioretty
MaxPax is a regular season stud. This season, he was third in the league in goals. He has two 60-point seasons under his belt, and was on a 72-point pace during the lockout shortened season. But for some reason, he disappears in the playoffs. Last year, he was pointless in four games against the Senators. This year, he has just six points in 10 games. So while he's posted a regular season points-per-game average of 0.83 over the last three years, his playoff points-per-game average over the same timeframe is just 0.43.
1. Rick Nash
Everything was supposed to be better for Nash in New York. But it hasn't translated that way. After a regular season that was his worst since his rookie season in 2002-03, many were hoping for Nash to step up in the playoffs. But that hasn't been the case with just five assists in 14 games, and it's continued a bad trend for the former first overall pick. His career regular season points-per-game is 0.80, while his career points-per-game during the playoffs is 0.43 (and his Columbus numbers actually bring this average up).
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