Fantasy Hockey Turkeys: Donuts for goals
November is about the time we get asked gee, who hasn’t scored a goal in the NHL yet that probably should have had it? At first it seems pretty easy. The list gets shorter and shorter as the month progresses.
At the time of going to press, 429 players have scored at least one goal this 2021-22 season in the NHL. Alex Ovechkin is leading the way, so far, with 11 goals. Some of the names on this list will surprise you. Thanks to turkeys and those who pay a lot of attention to donut err bagels, here are a few players who still haven’t found the goal sanctuary this NHL season.
NHL Players with Zero Goals: Donuts and Bagels Edition
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers
The winger is busy doing something else. Nugent-Hopkins has 14 assists in 11 games this season in the NHL. He averages two shots per game, so it’s not like the attacker isn’t trying. The craziest part is that ten of Nugent-Hopkins’ 14 assists have come from special teams. He’s a big part of why the Edmonton Oilers’ power play is so good. Unfortunately for fantasy players, it still has no purpose.
Jakub Voracek – Columbus Blue Jackets
Another surprising name on this list is Jakub Voracek in many ways. One of them is the fact that he already has ten assists. He only has 18 shots on goal or 1.8 per game. This is down compared to a few seasons ago, but it is in line with a trend that has emerged since the 2019-2020 campaign. Voracek has scored 20 or more goals six times in his career, which adds a bit to the remarkable nature here.
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Nurse Darnell – Edmonton Oilers
Now, several defenders would expect to be on a roster like this because defenders usually shoot from a distance. What makes Nurse more striking are two things. For one, he has nine assists. The second part is that he has 42 shots on goal. He plays for almost 26 minutes a night. He averages almost four scoring chances per game for Edmonton. The puck must get in eventually, right? Keep in mind that he scored 16 goals last year in just 56 games.
Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
It might be less of a shock, but Toews started off slow. After all, he missed all of last season. The Chicago Blackhawks center has collected eight assists as his vision on the ice has improved greatly since the start of the year. However, he has no goal on 25 shots. For Chicago fans, his 60.5% winning percentage is pretty impressive. However, again, there’s always that pesky donut.
Kyle Palmieri – New York Islanders
This one will probably be somehow cursed. Palmieri has collected five assists in ten games so far for the Islanders. However, he was paid to score goals and so far none have found their way to the back of the net. The right winger is averaging 2.4 shots per game, so it might just be a matter of time. Here is our moment of full disclosure. He faces his former team, the New Jersey Devils tonight. It probably means the end of this streak.
Tomas Tatar – New Jersey Devils
Finally, Tomas Tatar is more of a playmaker, but he can score 20 goals. He’s done it six times in his NHL career. So far this season, the winger has also not found the goal sanctuary. One concern is that Tatar only averages 1.28 shots per game. That’s a far cry from his career average of 2.14. There have been several tight chances over the past two weeks, but again Tatar didn’t get that elusive first.
These are just half a dozen of the many who haven’t put one in front of this column of goals. How many will do it tonight? Stay tuned.