We’re about eighteen games into the season and, as teams start to find their groove, some players are struggling to do the same. There are many big names in the NHL who are in or have been in goal droughts.

Artemi Panarin, Mitch Marner, and Patrick Kane have all snapped their goal droughts recently. Panarin went 10 games without goals while having 7 assists and finally scored against the New York Rangers on November 6th. Marner’s only scored two goals so far this season. The first goal was scored in the first game of the season, after which he went on a 17-game goal drought (with 9 assists) before scoring his second goal against the Boston Bruins on November 11th. Kane has gone 7 games without a goal, during which he had 3 assists. His drought was snapped on November 12th against the New Jersey Devils.

Alternatively, Nicklas Backstrom and Henrik Zetterberg’s goal droughts are currently glaring issues for their respective teams. Backstrom has gone 7 games without a point, ultimately registering an assist on November 10th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. His goal drought has been going on for 10 games, during which he only has two assists. Zetterberg has gone 11 games without a goal alongside 3 assists. Both of these players are the most productive and reliable players for their teams, so it’s possible that their goal droughts are partly why their teams are currently mediocre.

backstrom
Photo via Nick Wass, Associated Press

Some other players who are on goal droughts include Derek Stepan (12 games without a goal, 2 assists) and Josh Bailey (9 games without a goal, 12 assists). While Bailey had a goal drought, his 12 assists allowed him to go on a 9-game point streak, ending November 7th against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sidney Crosby’s goal streak comes as the biggest surprise and concern. He’s gone 11 games without a goal and has only registered 3 assists in that time. Crosby currently has  a minus-14 which makes him tied with his teammate, Kris Letang, for the league’s worst plus-minus. The Penguins next game is Tuesday, November 14th against the Buffalo Sabres, and if Crosby fails to score again, he will match his career worst drought (12 games in 2011-2012).

It’s odd that all of these big name players are on goal droughts around the same time. For some, their droughts are impacting their team’s standings, while others are barely being talked about and going undiscovered. The good news is that all of these players, many of whom were starting of the season in Art Ross Trophy contention talks, have plenty of time to turn things around.

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