After looking at the five teams that surprised this season, Bill Lindsay flips the script and looks at the five teams that have disappointed this year. Anaheim Ducks:
They had the reigning MVP in Corey Perry and a host of talented forwards but could never piece it together. With players like Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan, you would have thought the Ducks would be contenders in the West. Randy Carlyle started the year as coach but his message fell on deaf ears and he was eventually fired. The Ducks never recovered. Talent does not always relate to success as the Ducks never gelled as a team. Columbus Blue Jackets:
They went out and spent a ton of money in the summer and felt they had put the pieces in place to be in the mix in the West. Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski were signed to big deals to help compliment the talented Rick Nash. Columbus thought they were all set but two wins in their first 14 games proved otherwise... It was the start to another long year for the Jackets. Carter is now in L.A, Wisniewski has been a bust, Nash wants out and Columbus is the worst team in the NHL by a wide margin. Money can't buy happiness. Toronto Maple Leafs:
Brian Burke was brought in to change the Leafs into a winner, but it just isn't happening. The Leafs had a promising start and one of the top goal scorers in the league in Phil Kessel but this was not enough for Toronto to stay in the race. A lack of depth, big slow defensemen and goaltending issues derailed the Leafs and eventually led to the firing of their coach Ron Wilson. Leaf nation is in turmoil after another tough year. Tampa Bay Lightning:
After a trip to the Eastern Conference Final in 2011, the Bolts thought they could make some noise in the East. They have the best goal scorer in all the game in Steven Stamkos, along with the very talented Martin St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier. Unfortunately that is all they had this year. They are the worst defensive team in the NHL this year and that is in large part due to their goaltending. The 42-year old Dwayne Roloson was not the answer in net and there was absolutely no support for the big guns in Tampa. It's back to the drawing board for the Lightning. They need to find an answer as Stamkos is in his prime and you can ill afford to waste his immense talent. Montral Canadiens:
The Canadiens have had one of the worst years in the history of their storied franchise. Many picked Montreal to be a playoff team but instead it has been a year to forget. They have cleaned house, and there is more change to come. Montreal is a team in turmoil that has lost their way. Where do they go from here?
Author: Bill Lindsay | FloridaPanthers.com