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11-02-2003, 06:39 AM
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Biggest Hab under-achievers so far

With 12 games played, a 6-6 record, but a 1-4 record in the last 5 games, the time has come to give a first look to who has been under-achieving so far.

My picks:

On defense, Rivet by far has been the biggest under-achiever (his lack of coverage on softee Rucinsky on the 3rd goal yesterday was pathetic) and to a certain extent, Markov has also been much less of a factor than last year, don't know if he is hurt by his partner's play or having problems of his own...

At forward, the "Washington bunch" of Bulis and Zednik are my 2 biggest disappointments. Bulis has failed to pick up from what looked like a breakthrough season last year and Zednik is doing nothing.

Also the much-heralded Habs' prospects have been ineffective so far. Hossa is a pale shadow of his brother despite tons of quality ice time, Ward before his injury was showing good grit and work ethic but an overall play a step or 2 below NHL top-2 line level,Hainsey is getting his "quality" time in the press box or on the bench and Ryder has slowed down after a hot start, while the others are in Hamilton.

To finish, Audette has been useless, but "under-achieving" does not apply to him due to the already very low expectations we had for him.

Theo has been OK but the total lack of margin of manoeuver this week offensive team gives him brings a lot of pressure, as evidenced by the total team collapse yesterday night after he gave a very soft 2nd goal at late in the 2nd period.

Koivu missing what now amounts to close to 1/6th of the season with a supposedly not serious injury is also a big disappointment and unfortunately confirms that he can't be relied on for 82 games a season year in and year out...

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