RBM's Ottawa Senators' Midterm Report Card

by Joe Boughner (@McLlwainsWorld)

With the Senators crossing the mid-point in their 82-game season recently, we here at Radek Bonk's Mullet Dot Com thought it was a good time to look back on the first half of the season and make up arbitrary rankings based on little more than what makes for a good joke.

So sit down, strap in and get ready for the (probably?) first ever instalment of the RBM Ottawa Senators' midterm report card!!

The Forwards

As America's favourite precocious perpetual preteen Bart Simpson first rapped in the '90s, let's start at the start and take it away. Looking at Ottawa's forward group, one really must divide the bottom from the top. Ottawa's top six has more or less consisted of the names you'd expect: Turris and Zibanejad down the middle with Hoffman, Stone, Ryan, Michalek and Zack Smith taking turns on the wings. Ryan, Turris, and Stone are all on pace for at least 20 goals, Hoffman is already there and Michalek has looked pretty okay when healthy. Smith, meanwhile, has been returned to the bottom six despite leading the league in stealing hearts with his steely blue eyes.

The notable omission? Former Sabre and Leafs stalwart Clarke MacArthur. C-Mac (as his friends may or may not call him) made the regrettable decision to pay homage to another probably Scottish Sens journeyman Dean McAmmond and has been out of the lineup most of the year with a concussion.

The bottom six? It's been a bit of a dog's breakfast. For starters, it turns out that Alex Chiasson might not be very good at ice hockey, which is a shame since he was primarily acquired in the Jason Spezza trade to be a hockey player. Curtis Lazar is smiling his way to a second straight six-goal campaign and Jean-Gabriel Pageau is handicapped by not being allowed to play against Montreal every night.

Chris Neil continues to bring much needed Neilership to the roster (he even got a Gordie Howe one night that totally didn't cost the team even a little bit) and the addition of sparkplugs like Max McCormick and Mark Borowiecki (wait what?) have given Ottawa more options for players who like to punch other players but in general most Senators fans are pining for the glory days of Erik Condra (which were totally a thing).

Final grade: C+

The Offencemen

Erik Karlsson, having already pretty much locked up his third Norris Trophy, is now getting Hart Trophy buzz. He continues to be amazing at hockey. Film at 11.

Final grade: 110%

The Defencemen

Everything is fine here. Totally fine. Ottawa's got lots of depth at this position and to a man they are viable NHLers. Nothing to see here.

Ok are they gone?

Friends, the defence is something of a raging tire fire. Except at least a tire fire gets hot sometimes. Marc Methot has been fine so of course he's been bumped back to the third pairing a few times. Chris Wideman has been surprisingly reliable for an undersized rookie so he's obviously had to come in and out of the lineup. Freddy Claesson finally got his shot and he's been pretty good, actually, so he was scratched on Wednesday night.

Insiders say Cowen has seemed even less engaged since being evicted
from his ritzy Kanata condo. "The bank sent me some stuff," Cowen told
reporters, "but I didn't read too much into it."
Photo by @Gerv_Rebrand
But Cody Ceci has either taken a step back from previous years or he's plateaued alarmingly early. Either way, at the rate his stock is falling he may soon have equal trade value as perennial AHL'er Jonathan Drouin. Patrick Wiercioch is suffering from the patented World Championship hangover. Mark Borowiecki is doing as well as you can expect from a forward forced to play defence but grit and heart will only get you so far (read: permanently in the lineup).

And then there's Jared Cowen. He's looked slow, distracted and disengaged. And that's just in scrums. The organization believes in big #2's potential but most fans now regard him as simply a number two.

As in poop.

Will he finally find his game and become the rugged d-man that he was once projected to be?


Final grade: 2/5 stars.

The Goalies

Anderson is this team's MVP and everyone knows it. Hammond? Well turns out that a summer of eating Big Macs wasn't the best training regimen but he's coming around. Which is good because while he might be the Hamburglar, it's Matt O'Connor that's the most like a fast food burger.

In that he needs a lot more seasoning.

*Shows self out*

Final grade: A thumb and a half up.
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