Ottawa Senators Off-Ice Power Rankings - March 2014

by Chet Sellers

Are you like me, folks? Did you spend most of February telling work you were sick, spending the day in your bathrobe and muttering about time zones? Or did you watch the Olympics?

In many ways, February was the ideal time to compile off-ice power rankings - the Senators played only six games in a month, leaving the players with almost three weeks to hit the beach, get engaged, and kill things, unless you were the most interesting man in the world, in which case you cycled around southern Russia, touching lives. But I know what you're asking; Chet, was any of this enough to displace Erik Condra from his two-month reign of terror at the top of the power rankings? Let's find out!

1) @Senators (last month: NR)

Credit where credit's due - the occasional success of these power rankings depends entirely on what the players and the team choose to share with us, and last month's NHL hiatus really highlighted how good the team has gotten at putting out entertaining little features to keep fans engaged, whether it was Jason Spezza talking about rap with a thousand-yard stare, video games in a janitor's supply closet, or even four-month-old documentary footage shot by Matt Kassian. Sure, it seems odd to put the team itself at #1 this month, but when you think about it . . . hang on, I'm getting something in my earpiece . . . I'm being told that the team itself is disqualified from appearing in our power rankings. It's like saying your favorite meal is food. Sorry for the confusion, everybody.

1) @Senators (last month: NR)
1) Erik Condra (last month: 1)

What do you want me to do? HE'S HOLDING A SWORD AT THE DINNER TABLE.

2) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)

"I'm thinking kind of a Nordic twist on mid-period Fellini. What do you think, Erik?"
"You had me at bikes."

Sure, I could point out how many pictures Erik Karlsson posted of himself with Daniel Alfredsson in Sochi (11), but that kind of accounting feels tacky and cheap. Erik Karlsson spent two weeks having a once-in-a-lifetime experience with an old friend, a chance any of us rarely get, and he took full advantage of it. You remember how you and Dawn from payroll used to go out for happy hour every second Thursday, but last year she moved to Calgary when her husband got that VP job with Atco Gas? And remember how much fun it was when she was back in town last month for that leadership seminar and you two closed down Whispers, the bar in the airport Marriott she was staying at? It's like that, but at the OLYMPICS, and you're the BEST DEFENSEMAN IN THE WORLD. Welcome back, Erik Karlsson; I hope you enjoyed your trip. A shame about that last part, though.

3) Bobby Ryan (last month: 3)

I got engaged in Paris too, you know. My first wife. It was 1977 and we were at the airport, running to make a connection on the way to visit her ailing grandmother in Prague. Even in that moment, I was overcome with the romance of Paris, and before we even made our gate I was down on one knee in the concourse asking for her hand. Any anxiety she might have felt about being put on the spot must have melted away as Portuguese tourists gathered around her, hooting and hollering their approval. And though we missed our flight, and ultimately her grandmother, I knew I'd made the right decision six months later, watching her walk down the aisle to our song, "Beth", by KISS. I'll never forget Lisa.

Anyway, congratulations to Bobby Ryan on a successful trip, which included his discovery of the bar pictured above. It's little moments like that that move the needle on Sens fans' "Does He Actually Like It Here?" meters. Until he mentions that he still doesn't have a Canadian phone.

4) Marc Methot (last month: 4)

Marc Methot is only good at three things - fighting, hockey, and reading the news. Oh, everybody already made every possible Anchorman joke about this? That's fine, I'll just make it up on the next one.

5) Jason Spezza (last month: NR)

Dammit. I was going to make a joke here, but if you look at the comments on the picture above, you'll see that Instagram user "veddie11" has already remarked, "his new line mates." And now there's nothing for me to do but pack up and go home after that one.

6) Zack Smith (last month: NR)

Why is Zack Smith #6 this month, you ask? Because Eric Gryba is #7, and Zack Smith is a better shot than Eric Gryba. You know when your friend won't shut up about how good he is at beer pong, and an hour later you're dragging him out onto the front lawn, writing his address in Sharpie across his passed-out forehead? You're Zack Smith in this video.

7) Eric Gryba (last month: NR)

Eric Gryba, all things considered, is having a pretty good year. He's gone from being a fringe 7th defenseman to a relatively solid, third-pairing blueliner, which is all you can ask from a guy making close to league-minimum salary. He's played well enough that he's likely earned himself a pay raise next year as an RFA, either with the Senators or elsewhere. And he's revealed himself to be fairly thoughtful and funny, which is a good move for a guy who was previously best known for crushing more Danes than Otto von Bismarck and posting a lot of pornographic Instagram pictures boasting of his prowess as Death, Destroyer of Ducks (Bhagavad Gryba, 11:32). After all, you can be a redneck, but you've got to be a pretty self-aware redneck to post the following:

That's like the cover of a direct-to-DVD Steven Seagal movie. Good for you, Eric Gryba.

8) Cory Conacher (last month: NR)

Cory, this is why they asked Bobby how he proposed before they asked you. He went to the Eiffel Tower! You almost fell over because it was the day after "leg day". Scheduling leg day right before you propose is a rookie mistake, bro. Chest and arms only, and if anything, just focus on the showy stuff like biceps and delts. Anyway, congratulations.

9) Matt Kassian (last month: 9) 

It's not that Kassian necessarily disagrees with everything Smith is saying here. He's just tired of Sens TV letting Smith get away with a series of half-truths about the real effects of water fluoridation. Why won't you debate him, Zack?

10) Towel Snakes (last month: NR)

Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; trickery; backpacks; exercising with whatever you can find; getting photobombed during a private moment; when your Saturday night plans get screwed up; Daniel Alfredsson's driveway; body-shaming your colleagues; thick, drizzling burnsauce.
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