Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Worst Regular So Far

I think is interesting to try to find the worst regular player in the NHL and to see why he continues to get playing time despite his failures.  In mid-November I picked Jimmy Hayes of the Boston Bruins as this player.  While Hayes has not been having a stromg season, he has scored 3 points and improved his +/- rating to a -4.  Those numbers may not impress, but they are enough to not be the worst regular in the league.  His spot has been taken by Dmitry Kulikov of the Buffalo Sabres.

Kulikov has played 17 games so far this season without scoring any points and while posting a team worst -8 +/- rating.  A healthy Kulikov has proven to be a competent depth defenceman while he was in Florida.  He posted 17 to 22 points in each of his last three seasons.  He had improving puck possession numbers in that time frame.  He is no all star, but he looked competent.  This season, he suffered a tailbone/leg injury in the first game of the pre-season when he was checked into the open bench door.  It has been slow healing and he has missed two sets of games because of it.  He doesn't look like he is playing at 100% and a hurt Kulikov has little value.

If Dmitry Kulikov gets healthy, he will stop being a liability to the Buffalo Sabres but so far this season he has been the worst regular player in the league.  I expect he will regain his health and will show some improvement, but so far he has struggled.  He is staying in the line-up because he has shown the ability in the past to be an NHl calibre defenceman and a struggling team like Buffalo is lacking n defensive options.

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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.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com