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The Puck Stops Here

A Playoff Worst Regular

During the regular season I try to pick the worst regular player in the league.  It is an interesting question to see what kind of player can continue to get dressed despite his inept play for his team.  This year Brad Staubitz “won” this dishonor.  He played himself out of Minnesota and wound up on Montreal as a waiver claim.  He played 62 games this season and finally scored his only goal in the last game of the year.  He played slightly over six minutes a game against weak competition and could not score or prevent his opponents from scoring.  Despite that, Montreal Canadiens fans seem to be happy to bring Staubitz back next year.  He is a popular guy.  He fights.  These are common traits of the worst regular in the NHL.  If you play as poorly as Staubitz and you are not well liked and won’t stand up for your teammates you won’t stay in the lineup.

I rarely try to pick a worst regular in the playoffs because more than likely the player chosen would be on a team that was quickly eliminated from playoff contention.  However so far this season there is a player who looks so inept I feel the need to point him out.  He is Arron Asham of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Asham has dressed for all three playoff games so far.  He has played a total of less than twelve minutes in total (this is only four minutes per game).  In that limited ice time, Asham has managed to be a -3 and not score.  He has managed to get himself suspended.  He got a match penalty in game three for cross checking Brayden Schenn of the Philadelphia Flyers.  Likely he will be handed a suspension long enough to keep him out of the remainder of the playoffs - assuming Pittsburgh does not make a remarkable comeback.

It isn’t a surprise that a team does poorly if they give a roster spot to a player who performs as badly as Asham has in the playoffs or Staubitz did in the regular season.  Sometimes it is possible to hide such a player on the end of a bench on a good team, but a good team will usually have enough depth that his roster spot is in jeopardy. 

Pittsburgh has played very poorly in the playoffs so far.  Arron Asham has been remarkably poor on an individual level.  Perhaps getting him out of the lineup due to a suspension will help the Penguins as it will force them to dress a more viable player in his spot.

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No argument from me. Asham’s got quite a bit better hands than most enforcers (and a cannon of a shot), but he’s been more brutal even than Fleury. When you’re getting four minutes a night, you can’t be making cross-ice passes at the offensive blueline (and, predictably, turning the puck over because of them). Or taking 5 minute majors when a guy on the other team charges a complete bum on yours. What’s weird is he was one of the better guys against Tampa last year, and for Philly about a year before that.

Posted by larry from pitt on 04/17/12 at 03:06 PM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com