Ottawa Senators Off-Ice Power Rankings - December 2013

by Chet Sellers


After a boisterous off-season and start to the year, the Senators kept it pretty quiet on social media during the month of November. Why, you ask? Losing? I'd say losing. It's hard to justify posting a selfie next to a 72 oz. steak or soliciting opinions on paint swatches for next year's jet ski when you're not getting it done on the ice. One exception is a guy who's getting it done both on the ice and in life, a guy who's mostly-dormant Twitter account exploded this month. Of course I'm talking about our new #1 . . .

1) Robin Lehner (last month: 6)

You know what? Forget the analysis - just roll the tape.

2) Bobby Ryan (last month: 1)

When's the last time Senators fans freaked out this much over a player who was almost two years from free agency? You've gotta play it cool, Sens fans - keep things light, show some interest, but always subtly hint at having other options. Be mysterious, not desperate. And anyway, there's no point freaking out about the upcoming Bobbycision; if he hadn't already made up his mind about staying in Ottawa long-term, he almost certainly did getting off the plane last Wednesday night to 25 cm of snow. To their credit, the team asked him about it:

Not exactly a ringing endorsement (pay your condo fees, dude). It also didn't calm the nerves of jittery Ottawa fans when Ryan demonstrated considerably more enthusiasm about playing in his hometown of Philadelphia this month:

But you know what? Nobody knows anything. It snows in Philadelphia, too, and let's be honest - the adult move is to find a successful career in a new town at least a few hours from home - that way you can still visit easily, but you're not expected at family dinner every Sunday. Smart.

Maybe it's cool being the king of a snowy million. Nobody knows anything.

3) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)

This picture is sepia-toned so you know it's a historic event. What's fun about the launch of Karlsson's coffee is that it pretty much positions him as the exact opposite of fellow defenseman Chris Phillips, at least with respect to Phillips' production of Big Rig Brew.

What do I mean? Well, coffee is an urbane drink with European connotations; beer is considered less sophisticated and quintessentially Canadian. Caffeine, of course, is a stimulant; alcohol is a depressant. Coffee is ready pretty much right away; beer is slower to produce. Coffee can be enjoyable alone; beer is best when surrounded by others. And of course, you can put the two together, even on the first-unit power play, but then you get one of those coffee-flavoured porters that people only pretend to enjoy.

4) Chris Phillips (last month: NR)
"Looks like there's a new coach in town. Yeaaaaaaaaaah."
Now's as good a time as any to talk about that mustache. I made fun of it enough last month, but I'm not going to lie, that mustache is magnificent. That mustache is a 20-point highland elk, standing proudly atop a misty crag, immortalized forever on the front of a scotch bottle. That mustache is doing work.

The great thing about Phillips' mustache is its versatility. There are endless ways to style it; for example, here's "Guy Who Plays Too Rough in Beer League":

Here's "Suspended College Professor":

And here's "Boardwalk Empire Hitman":

The great thing about that last pic is that Matt Kassian is dressed like a Metallica roadie making a court appearance.

5) Jason Spezza (last month: 4)
This awkward heritage jersey moment brought to you by OV Beer. OV - shut up and drink'er, bud.
You know it's been a tough month when your high point is modelling a new jersey. It's also clear from the picture above that this season's hardships have robbed Spezza of a lot of the insouciant, devil-may-care charm he exhibited as a child model.

It's amazing that more of Spezza's child modelling pictures haven't come to light after all these years - they may be pre-internet, but there have to be hard copies in a box somewhere. If anyone out there can find any, we're offering the richest bounty we have (a signed David Rundblad hat) for the exclusive. In the meantime, we're left scrutinizing 0:14-0:15 of this video trying to figure out if it's really him:

6) Marc Methot (last month: NR)
Marc Methot, being cyberbullied.
Marc Methot was recently celebrated for giving "a clinic on how to silence a hater" after responding to a particularly braying, asinine piece of criticism about the Olympics with a biting, "you never played the game" retort. I'm all for silencing haters, but isn't the "I'm an NHL player and you're not" rhetoric kind of tired at this point? Next time, why not try mixing it up with a variation on any of the following?
  • "Hey man, I don't make fun of whatever your job is, even though you probably suck at it."
  • "Too bad for you there's no Olympics for rudeness."
  • "Can't hear you, bro, my ears are plugged . . . with self-confidence."
7) Clarke MacArthur (last month: 9)

Clarke MacArthur makes the big list this month for showing off the same kind of heads-up, low-post awareness that's made him a breath of fresh air on the ice, where he's just as used to being surrounded by guys who can't hit the net. Come on, guys. I haven't seen picks that soft since our last Tweets of the Week. *rimshot, large MAYOR sash falls on me*

8) Small Dogs (last month: NR)

I like to mock the fact that a lot of big, tough-guy athletes have tiny dogs, but maybe there's something to it? Like it's an indicator of confidence? On the small-dog side of things you've got Zibanejad, Condra, and Karlsson; the big-dog guys are Turris, Kassian, Gryba, and Lehner. Give the teacup team a league-average goaltender and I think they're winning a 3-on-3 tournament pretty easily, don't you? Is there a statistically significant correlation with performance here? Should dog size be something Pierre Dorion starts scouting for?

Folks, it's been a slow month.

9) Mika Zibanejad (last month: 5)

The only one of those three I'll give you is "Swedish".

10) Derek Grant (last month: NR)

Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; dropping "for now" in a boss-like way; casual wear that's comfortable AND supportive; the children: our future.
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