OF­FENCE ON ICE

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - SPORTS - Michael Traikos

Sid­ney Crosby is not the only player go­ing through an early sea­son hic­cup. Here are four play­ers that are wait­ing to break out:

Ryan Jo­hansen, Nashville The top-line cen­tre, who scored 33 goals with the Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets in 2013-14, is more of a play­maker than a fin­isher, but no goals in 16 games (he has eight as­sists) is con­cern­ing, con­sid­er­ing that he just signed an eight-year con­tract worth US$64 mil­lion.

Brent Burns, San Jose

The blue-liner won the Nor­ris Tro­phy last year af­ter scor­ing 29 goals. De­spite av­er­ag­ing more shots on net this sea­son, the well has dried up. Burns has seven as­sists, but no goals af­ter 16 games. Wil­liam Ny­lan­der, Toronto Play­ing on a line with Aus­ton Matthews, Ny­lan­der started the year with three goals and nine points in his first eight games. Since then, he’s strug­gled to find of­fen­sive con­sis­tency with no goals and four as­sists in the last 11 games.

Zdeno Chara, Boston

Is Fa­ther Time fi­nally catch­ing up to the 40-year-old de­fence­man? Based on his de­clin­ing of­fen­sive pro­duc­tion, it ap­pears so. Chara, who has one goal, has clumped all five of his points to­gether in two games this year.

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