Over/Under … achievers (part 1)

belfast-tarasenko

Vladimir Tarasenko of the Belfast Giants is definitely underachieving this season.

This is just one guy’s opinion of who is overachieving and underachieving this season for each EURO League team. Feel free to comment on the Websim story.  This is part 1 of 2 with the teams listed in alphabetical order. It was written before Friday’s games. Look for the second set of 12 teams over the weekend.

Athens Gods

Overachiever: Dennis Seidenberg. Top plus/minus defenseman on the team; fifth on the team in blocked shots; first year with the Gods at age 36.

Underachiever: Erik Condra. Not terrible but third-line defensive specialist should have more than 2 blocked shots and 15 takeaways.

Belfast Giants

Overachiever: Matt Duchene. First-time all-star started for the Northern Conference squad this year and deserved it. Tops on the Giants in points and plus/minus.

Underachiever: Vladimir Tarasenko. Twenty-six-year-old winger who was dangerous in the NHL has zero goals in 50 games.

Berlin Smurfs

Overachiever: Derek Ryan. Gritty centerman causes a commotion just about every shift. 22 points, 45 hits, 19 blocked shots all already beat last season’s 82-game totals; and more takeaways than giveaways.

Underachiever: Ryan Callahan. Insulted that Erik Forssell was made assistant captain of a team in transition, the 46-goal scorer from two seasons ago has just 8.

Bern Interrail

Overachiever: Jamie McBain. Former London rearguard is tied for the team lead in plus/minus with 21 more takeaways than giveaways

Underachiever: Mark Stone. Fans expected more from the Season 6 first-overall draft  pick. And his sophomore season will be better than his minus 56 rookie season.

Bratislava Eagles

Overachiever: Marc-Andre Fleury.  Currently 9th in the league with a save percentage of 90.6. On pace for career year in all major categories.

Underachiever: Tyler Toffoli. Lackluster play from 25-year-old expected to provide goals. When given the chance to play with the top forwards, he’s done nothing. 23 assists are his only bright spot.

Copenhagen Tridents

Overachiever: Mathieu Perreault. Many contenders on the team for this honor, but it goes to plus/minus leader who is second on the team in takeaways and second among forwards in hits and blocks while firing 97 shots on goal. He is also one of the forwards on the league’s second-best penalty killing team.

Underachiever: Stephen Weiss. Local legend having his worst season at age 34.  He used to regularly hover around 100 points. Now he’ll be lucky to hit half that.

Dublin Fighting Irish

Overachiever: Jakub Petruzalek. Petruzalek is playing 13 minutes per game and he’s fourth on the team in scoring and fourth in plus/minus. In a few games, he’ll have a career high in assists.

Underachiever: Clarke MacArthur. It hasn’t been one of the 32-year-old’s better years even though his ice time is higher than it’s been in any season. His 5 goals and 19 points is less than expected, less than Dublin needs, and his minus 28 rating doesn’t make up for it.

Edinburgh Capitals

Overachiever: Carl Soderberg. The assistant captain is fourth on the team in scoring and has six more takeaways than giveaways. He is also second among Capitals forwards in blocked shots. 

Underachiever: Jamie Benn.  The other assistant captain should be right up there in points and shots with team leader and linemate Sidney Crosby but he has lagged behind and he’s only third on the team in scoring. He’s also minus 23.

Geneva Generals

Overachiever: Riley Sheahan. The fourth-line center’s 21.1 shooting percentage is eye-popping, he is plus 10, and he’s third among Geneva forwards in hits. He is also tied for eighth on the team in scoring with 19 points at just 6 minutes per game. 

Underachiever: Nick Foligno. The 30-year-old is having an off year in most categories. Unfortunately the only number that’s up are his penalty minutes – 90 minutes – which are eighth-most in the league.

Gothenburg Frolunda

Overachiever: Mikko Koivu. Adam Henrique has been spectacular, but he’s a five-time all-star; they can’t really overachieve. Koivu, 34, is Mr. Consistency. He will pass 60 points for the sixth season and might even top his career-best point total of 75. He’s never been the top line center in the EURO and it’s fun to think what could have been if he was.

Underachiever: Pekka Rinne. His save percentage never dipped below 90 percent until this year and his 88.8 average is ranked 24th in the league at this point. Yes, he’s 35 now, but he’s being paid $9 million per year long-term.

Helsinki Jokerit

Overachiever: Eliezer Sherbatov. The league’s only Israeli-born player is having a breakout season. He is easily the Jokerit’s top plus/minus player (+23) and he was voted onto the Northern Conference All-Star team. The 23-year-old is on a pace to set career-best numbers in almost all statistical categories.

Underachiever: Henrik Lundquist. See what was written about Rinne. Same story except Lundquist is only earning $6.1 million. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, but his stock is dropping.

Lisbon H.C.

Overachiever: Matt Moulson. The 34-year-old came to Lisbon in the off-season landing the dream job of playing on a line with John Tavares and Steven Stamkos. He has not looked out of place with them and he was voted in as a starter on the South team in the All-Star game.

Underachiever: Joe Pavelski. By no means a mutt, Pavelski is having trouble living up to his Madrid days and his hefty $9 million salary. Pavelski, 33, centers Lisbon’s second line and he’ll probably end up with his lowest-ever shot total. He currently has more giveaways than takeaways and that almost never happens with him.

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