Elias Lindholm is MIA – missing in action. Well, at least his points are. The Carolina Hurricanes forward only has two assists on the board so far this season, and there does not seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel that would turn things around. Like the 10,000-plus empty seats in Sunday night’s tilt against the New Jersey Devils, Lindholm’s scoring total is empty.
Lindholm, Swedish Beast
A couple of years ago, Lindholm was a goal-scorer with flash. Former Hurricanes’ captain Eric Staal glossed him “The Swedish Beast” after Lindholm scored a game-winning goal in overtime against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Remember this?
That was one of 17 goals Lindolm had in the 2014-15 season, to go with 22 assists. Considering that he was only 19 years old at the time, the sky seemed to be the limit for “The Swedish Beast.” Less than a year later, the Swedish Beast made bank, signing a deal that will pay him $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $2.9 million in 2017-18. I for one was among the very enthusiastic supporters of Lindholm, and just knew that he was going to develop quickly into an elite scorer and leader in the NHL. But…
I wrote last May that perhaps the Swedish Beast had been tamed. In that article I wrote, “Interestingly, the Swedish Beast had the same point total – 39 – this season as he did the season before. But, his drop in scoring – only 11 goals – was a huge disappointment for those who believed he was going to be the next young phenom on the Hurricanes’ roster.” Something just seemed a bit off in Lindholm’s game last season when it came to goal-scoring, and that same something has found its way into this season, too. Some fans would take their evaluation a bit further:
I don’t think Lindholm sucks, but there is definitely something amiss. So far this season he has only notched two points, both assists. Of course when he does get on the board, it’s usually very well done:
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) October 21, 2016
I think that Lindholm is caught up in the general downward spiral that has gripped the Hurricanes as a team. They have the talent to pull up and out of that spiral, and so does he. After all, he is just 21, and has a lot of hockey ahead of him. I don’t agree with the notion of trading him or giving up on him at this point. But his goal production or lack thereof is disconcerting. Here’s hoping that he finds whatever is missing and can return to being the Swedish Beast very soon.
Mark lives in the Raleigh, NC area and covers the Carolina Hurricanes.