Gonchar everything Sens fans hoped for
When the Sens signed Sergei Gonchar, there were mixed reactions.
Some pondered whether singing him to a three-year contract at an annual cap hit of $5.5 million was a smart decision, or whether he was simply too old now.
Although it is impossible to analyze the contract after only 20ish games of the first year, Gonchar is indeed performing well so far.
I remember some fans (mostly of rival teams) claiming he would never reach 50 points in Ottawa.
Judging by his 14 points in 21 games, I think the fans are flat-out wrong. Mind you, it is still early in the season, and he may go into a slump, or go down to injury (we're not exactly talking about an iron man here).
To put Gonchar's talent in perspective only Lidstrom has scored more points since 1995.
Gonchar put up 11 goals and 39 assists with the Penguins last season in 62 games. His current totals of four goals and 10 assists would put him at 16 goals and 39 assists, or 55 points, in 82 games.
82 games is a bit optimistic obviously, but it's important to look at the trend in Gonchar's performance with the Sens.
In his first nine games with the Sens he only put up four assists. In the 11 games since then he put up four goals and six assists. If you judge him by the pace he's established in the last 11 games, he is poised for 22 goals and 33 assists in the final 61 games of the season. That means he would put up 26 goals and 43 assists, or 69 points, if he played 82 games this season. Even slating him for about 73 games, he'd put up 61 points on the year at this pace.
That being said, stats can be misleading. It is also important to remember he is 36, and it is a long season of playing a physically demanding game. 50 points does not seem out of reach for the veteran Russian defender however, and no one should count 'Senchar' out yet.