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  • Ranking the Sens

    How would you rank the Sens so far? Here's my rankings:

    Regular Forwards:
    1 - Bobby Ryan - puts up points at even-strength with considerably less ice time than most of out other top-6 forwards. Also hits a lot for someone who "lacks intensity".
    2 - Kyle Turris - easily our most consistent center, usually matched to the toughest assignments.
    3 - Jason Spezza - it's Spezza. The skill is there. Problem has been chemistry/compete level.
    4 - Clarke MacArthur - definitely a blessing, looks like a perfect fit both for him and for the team. Plays with heart.
    5 - Mika Zibanejad - still only 20 years old, very decent sophomore year, especially considering how it started.
    6 - Zack Smith - easily our most underrated forward. Could have better playmaking skills for a center.
    7 - Milan Michalek - starting to pick it up, but definitely a disappointing season.
    8 - Chris Neil - it's Neil. What you see is what you get.
    9 - Colin Greening - plays hard and fast, but can't seem to score.
    10 - Ales Hemsky - put up very lackluster numbers for Edmonton so far. Hope he can turn it around in Ottawa.
    11 - Erik Condra - please trade. Can't score, can't hit.

    Call-Up Forwards:
    1 - Mark Stone - definitely promising, but needs to be more responsible without the puck.
    2 - Stephane Da Costa - plays with poise, needs better playmaking skills to justify his position.
    3 - Derek Grant - 20 games, 0 goals, 2 assists.
    4 - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - 21 games, 2 goals, 0 assists.
    5 - Mike Hoffman - If only he could translate his AHL success into the NHL...
    6 - Matt Kassian - Why is he a Senator?

    Regular Defencemen:
    1 - Erik Karlsson - best player on the team.
    2 - Marc Methot - still solid.
    3 - Jared Cowen - not as bad as we give him credit for, considering his age. Needs to make smarter plays though.
    4 - Eric Gryba - finally getting a decent, and deserved, look.
    5 - Cody Ceci - OK for a rookie. Needs to use his body more.
    6 - Patrick Wiercioch - scored less at even-strength than Ceci, with 11 more games.
    7 - Chris Phillips - no offense at all. Hockey IQ is dwindling if not completely gone.

    Call-Up Defencemen:
    1 - Mark Borowiecki - one dimensional (hitting).

  • #2
    Re: Ranking the Sens

    In no way, shape or form is Cowen better than any of our current defensemen.

    Condra has some use, he's great defensively and on PK work, but I don't understand how that has translated to a plum job on line 1 with Turris and MacArthur while Ryan has to play line 3 with Zibanejad and *insert random winger here*.

    And for me, Da Costa's playmaking is really good, but he gets outmuscled alarmingly easy so cannot get to the puck enough.

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    • #3
      Re: Ranking the Sens

      I like your rankings. I agree with Matt that at this point in his career, Cowen is terrible. On a pure value scale, he might be #3. But right now? Definitely last. I completely agree with Condra. He's not even as fantastic defensively as many people like to say...he's alright. A decent penalty killer. Definitely no Kelly/Vermette/Fisher that we've had in the past. Greening is second last, IMO. He sucks plain and simple. Tons of giveaways that lead to goals against, too.

      I'd put Hemsky at #6, honestly. Edmonton is a terrible team, and he was playing solid there despite not putting up a ton of points. He still has an awesome skill set and I think he's better than Michalek.

      For defensemen: Despite your reasoning, which is completely legitimate, I'd take Wiercioch right now over Ceci. Ceci is making a lot of defensive errors...Wiercioch is more solid in his own zone. But I'd take both over Eric Gryba, who still makes a bunch of defensive errors and doesn't bring any offense to the table. Actually, Gryba is one of the most disappointing players on the team, IMO. He has this huge frame but won't really use it. I think Phillips might actually be better than Gryba but they're both playing different roles so it's hard to say. Phillips is playing top four, and to be fair to him, he clearly can't at this point but he's forced to. He'd look a lot better in the bottom pairing.

      So, yeah. Mine would be a few changes, but your list is really accurate IMO.

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      • #4
        Re: Ranking the Sens

        At this stage of his career, it's unfair to expect anything more from Phillips. He's never really had offensive vision and that won't start now, though his shot is actually pretty accurate and under-used. He's also not ever going to be the fastest skater.

        But what you can count on him to do is BE IN POSITION. I hope that Jared Cowen gets schooled, literally, by Chris Phillips on appropriate times to pinch, when to collapse, and dear god maybe some spatial awareness? Cowen at times doesn't know where he is...and it's extremely frustrating to watch. The only Senator worse than Cowen at this was Matt Gilroy - he would end up behind the opposition's net so many times it wasn't funny.

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        • #5
          Re: Ranking the Sens

          Matt, which defensemen would you make a claim on being substantially better than Cowen? I'm not his biggest fan by any stretch, but I still think he's better than we give credit for. His mistakes get a lot of attention, and the things he does well slip under the radar. He's still SO young. I'm as peeved as anyone that he friggin' sat out training camp in a holdout after basically missing the whole year, but I still think he's making strides.

          Alfie, you're right about Gryba not using his body enough. It goes back to the Lars Eller hit, in my opinion...

          A refresher:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNOwP3fUW6c

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          • #6
            Re: Ranking the Sens

            I think a lot of people are on Cowen because of stats like he was on the ice for ten goals against the past two games he played.

            You're right, it's probably the Eller hit for Gryba. A shame, too, because that was 100% a legal check. The NHL messed that one up.

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            • #7
              Re: Ranking the Sens

              Originally posted by Alfie11
              I think a lot of people are on Cowen because of stats like he was on the ice for ten goals against the past two games he played.

              You're right, it's probably the Eller hit for Gryba. A shame, too, because that was 100% a legal check. The NHL messed that one up.
              Bolded for truth!

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              • #8
                Re: Ranking the Sens

                Karlsson and Methot are both light years ahead of Cowen. I'm a particular fan of the way Methot instinctively knows when to pinch a lot of the time...and yet, he's rarely caught out. Plus, hip checks are awesome.

                I'd have Wiercioch over Gryba too, and both of them over Cowen. Wiercioch has good vision and also has a better than average first pass. Gryba...well he can be tentative, but he's not plain caught out of position like Cowen is.

                For me, it's unacceptable to be playing hockey at the NHL level and not know where you are on the ice. That sort of thing should get you benched or demoted, which is what has happened.

                I wonder if part of this is because Cowen gets conflicting messages from the coaching staff. I think fans want him to become the next Chris Phillips type, stay at home defenseman (at least I do). Yet he constantly gets paired with Gryba or Phillips, who want to stay back as well. So then he feels forced to try and be the active D? I dunno, maybe he's just that terrible too...

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