Ottawa Senators Off-Ice Power Rankings - November 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

by Chet Sellers


It's November! And that means that, after months of compiling off-season power rankings, we got to watch the Senators play actual hockey during the month of October! And they were terrible!

We could spend hours discussing what went wrong for the Senators this past month. Instead, let's spend the next five minutes discussing what went right - the selfies, the zingers, the fashion choices, and everything else that doesn't show up in fancy stats. Let's do it!

1) Bobby Ryan (last month: 2)


We like to joke around here at the power rankings, but there's no joking about Bobby Ryan being a good guy. Seriously, that's just a quality dude right there. Okay, now let's get into it.

2) Erik Karlsson (last month: 1)

Geez, where do you want to start with Karlsson this month? The Vanity Fair best-dressed list? The selfie? His fight with Bell? Let's just focus on his October 28 media scrum.

As you probably heard, Karlsson confirmed that he is not a god, so go ahead and take your time with his damn croissants. But what prompted the comment? Many think it's the pressure of being expected to carry a team, combined with the frustration of losing. They're wrong. It's the pressure of being expected to carry a team, combined with the pressure of coming up with increasingly avant-garde, boundary-pushing tweets. Is there a bigger NHL star that gets weird on Twitter like Karlsson? How much time do you think he takes figuring out where he can go next? I'm picturing the guy staring at his iPhone the way Miles Davis stared at his trumpet. How else do you explain this?

3) Zack Smith (last month: NR)

#nailedit. Also, Karl, you generally count down when you do a plane takeoff countdown, which is never.

4) Jason Spezza (last month: 3)

L-R: Jason Spezza's soft hands; Jason Spezza; softer hands.

Is Jason Spezza one of the ten best-dressed players in the NHL? It’s possible. Is it probable? Is it probable that two of the ten best-dressed players in a thirty-team league are from Ottawa? One of them is this guy and the other one is Jason Spezza. The picture from the list above is two years old, so it's possible that Vanity Fair really believes that Jason Spezza is a style icon and they've gone deep into their Spezza vault looking for the perfect picture to really drive home the man's sartorial elegance to a bunch of pleated, earth-toned Ottawans. It's also possible that somebody on a deadline asked an intern to go through random NHL.com photo galleries until they found a semi-famous player wearing skinny lapels, and here we are.

What Spezza doesn't get enough credit for is that little dippity-do hair wave he's always got going on up front. That said, in the picture above (which, sorry for dropping a weapons-grade truth bomb here, ain't all that), the hair wave combined with the candy-stripe motif is starting to make him look a little like this guy. Jason! Never go pattern-on-pattern-on-pattern, bro!

5) Mika Zibanejad (last month: NR)


Congratulations to Mika Zibanejad, who “made” the team for the third straight year in a row this month. Zibanejad’s official time in Binghamton, ostensibly to “learn a lesson”, lasted all of three weeks, and within two games of his call up he was playing top line minutes. I’m not saying this “learn a lesson” stuff is overstated, but the whole situation is a bit like if your parents sent you to your room, only to let you out ten minutes later saying that you’d learned your lesson, and also could you fix the Internet, since you’re the only one who knows how? Thanks, pumpkin.

6) Robin Lehner (last month: 6)
"Taste the rainbow. I DEMAND IT."
Presented without comment, three points about Robin Lehner:

i)    He follows a Twitter account called “Things Cut in Half”. Recent entries include pictures titled, “Human Hand”, “Human Bone”, and “Roast Beef Sandwich”.

ii)    His new mask art is titled “SoulHunter Inferno”.

iii)   This is the only known picture of his second cousin, Horst.

7) Bryan Murray (last month: NR)

Bryan Murray makes the big list again this month because he’s publicly musing about shaking things up, and the last time he did that he traded for Bobby Ryan . . . eventually. Circumstances, man.

When the team's losing, is anybody scarier than Bryan Murray?  The players probably can't even hear him coming, skulking around the practice facility in those soft-soled Rockports. We all like to complain about our jobs, but who here works in an office where you can be sent to Edmonton at any time by a guy who looks like he doesn't own a cellphone? Keep 'em on their toes, Bryan!

8) Matt Kassian (last month: NR)

Tweets like the ones above confirm that Matt Kassian is a funny, self-deprecating, and even insightful guy, all of which are probably pretty useful attributes when you’ve got a skill set as fungible as his. That said, this guy earns a paycheque from a team participating in the MOST-SKILLED PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE IN THE WORLD. Ideally, you want your team, playing in that league, to be made up of guys who all have the confidence and ability to say, “Yeah, I’m good at skating. Good as hell.”

Matt Kassian makes this list from time to time because we’re ranking Matt Kassian the dude (thumbs up!), not Matt Kassian the hockey player (thumbs start shaking wildly), but sometimes it’s hard to square those two concepts. The best argument I can make for Kassian the hockey player is that he doesn’t cost much money, he’s happy being kept in storage until he’s irregularly useful, and he has a clearly-defined, single-purpose job. If the Senators were a kitchen with limited cupboard space, he’d be a potato ricer. And while that ricer’s nice enough, when you’re running out of room, how important are fluffier mashed potatoes? Where you stand on that question should track where you stand on Kassian.

9) Clarke MacArthur (last month: NR)

For a guy who doesn't have a Twitter account, Clarke MacArthur is the Zelig of Senators social media. Let me show you what I mean.

Here he is being ignored by Zack Smith:

Here he is not getting a shoutout from Erik Karlsson:

And here he is getting the full headphones treatment from Craig Anderson:

The easy thing for Clarke to do would be to get on Twitter and show the world that he's actually a dynamic, interesting guy, but that's not the Clarke MacArthur way. On the ice or off, he keeps it low-key like seashells and lets the results speak for themselves - if people don't get him, that's their problem. So where will he pop up next month? And what will he be trying to tell us?

10) Patrick Wiercioch (last month: 9)

Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; colorblocking; showing up at a party wearing the same outfit; Tweet My Truck 3: The Truckening; living in a cheap neighborhood; whatever this is.