Future Remains Bright for Struggling Senators

SensChirp March 20, 2014 136
Future Remains Bright for Struggling Senators

With fourteen games left in the season, the Ottawa Senators have stood by and watched as their playoff chances disappeared.  After an ugly loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, it really does feel like the team from the Nation’s Capital has hit rock bottom.

It’s hard to pick just one reason for what has been an incredibly disappointing season.  It started when Daniel Alfredsson walked out the door in early July and it feels like nothing has gone right for this hockey team since then.  Having Alfie in the line up wouldn’t fix the issues the team is facing right now but it’s safe to say that the team massively underestimate the impact of Alfie’s departure both on and off the ice.

The defence. The forwards. The goaltending. The Coaching. Heck even the fan base have all taken a step back this season.  We all want someone to blame when things turn ugly like they have since the Olympic break but the reality is there is no single issue plaguing this team right now.  On the ice, anyway.  This is still a young hockey team with a solid young core in place.  Kyle Turris, Mika Zibanejad, Erik Karlsson, Cody Ceci and Robin Lehner are all under the age of 24 and are hopefully learning valuable lessons about what it takes to win in this league.

There are going to be a lot of tough decisions to make this off season.

With a young core in place, and prospects like Curtis Lazar, Mark Borowiecki, Matt Puempel, Fredrick Claesson, Shane Prince and Mark Stone all pushing for spots, there’s no doubt that the future is bright.  With that said, the organization is going to have to make some franchise-altering decisions between now and the 2014/2015 season.  Not to look too far ahead but with Jason Spezza, Bobby Ryan, Marc Methot and Clarke MacArthur all hitting the end of their contracts after next season, management has to decide who fits in with the long term plan and who doesn’t.

There were Jason Spezza rumours at the deadline.  There will be more of those this off season.  Bobby Ryan is going to need a new contract and the team has about a year and a half to convince him that Ottawa is a place he should commit to long term.

What we do know for certain, is that after a disaster of a season on so many levels, status quo won’t be good enough.  Fans in this city are angry about the way the season has unfolded and need to see that the effort and resources (Talking to you, Eugene) are there to make sure a season like this one doesn’t happen again.

Maybe a little early for a post-mortem but that’s just been the tone of the conversation around this team lately.  14 games left.  It’s about playing for pride now and doing everything they can to make sure the Anaheim Ducks don’t end up with a lottery pick this summer.

Tampa Bay visits the Canadian Tire Centre tonight. Game Day post in a little bit.

  • Jason

    Methot and MacArthur are absolute must resign guys IMO. Would kind of suck to not resign Ryan after we gave up so much for him too.

    • thirstytraveller

      Agreed! If they are able to get 9mm on a 1 yr extension for no more than 2.5 mil then Hemsky may want to stick around. 9mm Spezza Hemsky line for a full season could have potential.
      Failing this, Spezza should move to the wing and Z-bad be 2LC. Spezza start firing howitzers on net.

      • ChronicallyInjured

        Hard to imagine Spezza on the wing in favour of anyone.

  • Sandy

    Very disappointing season, indeed. The game tonight could be another very bad one, if this team doesn’t turn it around in a hurry. They have yet to beat Bishop..
    The future does look bright.. and I don’t think not having a first round pick this season is really going to hurt this team.. unless of course, it ends in a top 2 pick for Anaheim..
    The offseason will be an interesting one for sure… I do hope they can get McArthur, Methot & Ryan signed. Those are the keys..
    Pierre McGuire said on TSN1200 this morning, that if any player in the room had an issue with what McArthur said… then they should be out the door. Those are not the type of players you want on a team…
    The rest of the season is all about playing for pride right now… How much pride do they have… This will be an indication to management.. which players will work hard and give a damn and which players have to go..

    • xN1Cx

      Link to McArthurs interview?

      Edit – found it and completely agree

  • Spoons

    Spezza + Cowen for Shea Weber.
    This works out really well for both teams. Nashville needs a centerman like Spezza and they have one of the deepest D-core in the league.

    • sben

      uuuughhh. This stuff starting all over again.

    • Doc

      Seriously, let it go.

      It’s March. MARCH.

    • Andrews theory

      Nashville is never, i repeat never letting go of Shea Webber…
      not happening not now not ever.

  • Sicilian

    I still believe!!! (not in this year’s playoffs though)

  • SensChirp

    With the Leafs in a bit of a free fall and the playoffs suddenly not such a sure thing, wouldn’t it be something if that game in late April had playoff implications for Toronto….

    • Jason

      Would end the season on a happy note if we could keep the Leafs from making the playoffs, even if we don’t make it ourselves.

  • MB

    The last thing the Sens need going into next season are character guys questioning or out right refusing to sign with the Sens. There needs to be a serious focus on a new core and the development of youth in the roles the organization and team expect them to play in. To help that young core along they need to bring in some vets who have played on teams that have won and teams where these players provided the character.

    The biggest move going forward will be moving Spezza, until this happens the Sens cannot move forward with the core that will eventually be the team competing for division titles and hopefully conference titles and Stanley Cups. Even the biggest Spezza supporters can see the writing on the wall and the serious lack of a fit in Ottawa for Spezza. The Sens will not win with Spezza here and going into the last year of his deal on the down slope of his career the time has come to move on. One thing is certain if they can miss the playoffs with Spezza they can certainly miss the playoffs without him.

    The two guys IMO you look to signing to help support the core with leadership and character are Dan Boyle and Shawn Thornton. Boyle is close to the ideal partner for Cowen for a few years, a guy to help him along and to learn from. Not only that it gives the Sens a little insurance if Karlsson is injured or struggling, Boyle is good enough still to play some PP mins when there is a need for it. Boyle also has a ring and knows what it takes, he’s had nothing but team and personal success. Thorton is a guy you plug on the 4th line beside Smith and Neil, not a sexy signing or pickup but exactly what this team is lacking right now, character and grit. Add that in with Lazar coming in and you just turned your team from buttery soft and little character to hard working, disciplined, and surrounded by winners.

    • xN1Cx

      Spezza will still be our best player next year

      • MB

        If he’s playing against the Sens, for sure. All jokes aside it’s becoming pretty clear he is the player that the Sens are going to move in the off season. Last year of his contract, on the back 9 of his career, injuries piled up, expectations he can’t possibly meet, and the captain after Alfie. As stated below there is no way you can commit 5-8 years to Spezza and there is no way Spezza won’t find a 5-8 year deal somewhere. It’s common sense at this point.

      • Jason

        Spezza isn’t even our best player this year! Man Turris, MacArthur, Ryan(earlier in the year, not so much lately) and Karlsson are all better than Spezza.

  • Dirk-Diggler

    The status quo going into next season would be an even bigger slap in the face. Spezza and Ryan need to be dealt with this summer, whether it be an extension or a trade for both of them. There is absolutely no way the team can let them both walk on July 1st 2015.
    If the Sens decide to rebuild again I am fine with it. But, it should not be a 5 year rebuild, Karlsson is getting into his prime and wasting an asset like him is an even bigger slap in the face.

  • runningbear1974

    Murray showed a commitment to our veterans at the trade deadline, by not trading them and giving Phillips an extension… This play is how he was rewarded for that decision…

    • Disqus Downvote
      • runningbear1974

        It just happens to be exactly the time when you need the veterans… It’s kind of the purpose of the veterans is to bring it together when it matters… Hold the ship together…

  • thepez

    They have to offer extensions to all of the impending free agents. McArthur and Methot should be offered 5 year deals at about 5 million per. Spezza no more than 3 years at what he is making. He will be 32 years old and with his back, 3 years may be too much. If not he must be traded. Bobby Ryan 7 year deal at 6 milion per. Same as Spezza, if he says no then he must be traded. Philly is the team that would probably want him the most. Lastly, Craig Anderson, he may be the trickiest. If the Sens believe that Lehner is ready then you would trade him at the draft. If they are still unsure then there is the chance you lose him for nothing. If you offer him an extension of 2-3 years then the Sens risk losing Lehner.
    And put me down for I hope the Wings and Leafs miss the playoffs.

    • MB

      You really think a 31 year old Jason Spezza is going to accept a 3 year deal putting up respectable numbers? People thinking that Spezza is going to sign anything less than a 5-8 year deal at 6-7 million plus are kidding themselves. This is a player who is clearly on the down slope of his career and riddled with injury problems, there is no way he doesn’t sign a long term deal somewhere be it in Ottawa or somewhere else to ensure he makes as much as he can.

      Spezza’s agent is not an idiot, he knows what could be coming with Spezza the player and not getting full value on a contract right now he wouldn’t be doing his job. Even if Spezza offers a home town discount (which I doubt) it won’t be a 20-30 million discount.

      • Hax

        Agreed.

        The only hope there is of Spezza signing short-term is if he’s so dedicated to winning a cup in Ottawa that he agrees to it. But that’s a fantasy really.

        Though if we do ever hear that Spezza has resigned for 3-4 years at a reasonable cap hit then that would be an indication that he really is the captain we’re looking for.

        • MB

          Spezza could be on LTIR by the time his next contract is done so I think anyone saying he will sign 3-4 like you mention is living in a fantasy world. I agree though, he takes a 3 year deal that’s offered and that would lead to some people giving him some grace but lets be honest, he would be an idiot for signing a deal like that along with his agent.

          • thepez

            I agree that he will look for a long term retirement contract, but the Sens can’t be the team that offer him that. Somebody stupid (Leafs) would offer him a max contract. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a Spezza fan but for the health of this franchise anything more than three years would be a disaster.

          • spezzerman

            why would any team line up to sign a guy to a 7 year deal if he will be injured like you say he is prone to be?

          • MB

            I said 5-8 year deal but none the less there is always a team that offers up major term and dollars for players other teams have moved on from, always.

      • spezzerman

        Thornton and Marleau both just did and are only one year older than Spezza and their games are just as good now as they have ever been. Its not impossible to think Spezza could sign a 3 year deal for the right dollars. certainly Ottawa would look at those deals as benchmarks.

        • MB

          Wtf? Spezza was drafted in 01, Thornton and Marleau in 97… that’s at least 4 years. If you’re going to try and make a point make sure your facts are correct. Spezza is in line to sign a huge deal based on his age and production along with the current market after the CBA. Spezza will sign a 30 million plus dollar deal somewhere, that’s the reality of it.

          As for why any team would sign a player like Spezza to a 5-8 year deal? Because some team will always take a chance if the fit is right in their eyes. Look no further than Lecailvier after being bought out.

          • spezzerman

            my mistake

    • Senatollah

      Might as well tell all those in Bingo to ride out their contracts and have their agents line up another team for them. Why would you want to lock up so many players to long term deals? you lose the ability to be flexible with your contract management, player development and ability to improve your team via trade (trade is more likely for a Canadian team to land a quality player than free agency). This team need competition for all roster spots. if your top 6 or top 9 are all under 3plus year contracts where do you put the fast rising rooks? 4th line with Dumb Penalty Face 25?

  • Hax

    Columbus is 4 pts behind the leafs with 3 games in hand.
    Washington is is 4 pts behind the leafs with one game in hand.
    Detroit is 5 pts back with 3 games in hand.

    Go Jackets! Go Caps! (and if all else fails: Go Wings!)

  • Hax

    Honestly, I hope that whatever changes happen between now and the start of next season (or maybe even between now and next year’s trade deadline), I hope that they’re 100% for the betterment of the team and not influenced by trying to appease the fans. Fan perception is relevant of course but I don’t want Spezza traded just to “prove that we’re shakin things up” or something.

    From the outside looking in, it certainly looks like guys like MacArthur and Methot are guys to build around (plus our existing young core). Sometimes I wonder about Anderson a bit. Spezza is an enigma even to the people that know him I’m sure. I’m torn about Ryan as well. I guess I listen to Simmer too much but I hope he’s the player I think he is and that we resign him.

    Bottom line, I hope Murray is 100% in control and able to build the team he is working towards, not one influenced too much by wacky owners, budgets or unhappy fans.

    • boom

      Well said.
      This is likely the biggest summer for the Sens in recent memory.

  • Cicero

    I don’t know if it’s because of the exorbitant salaries these days or because of fantasy leagues and video games, but players are human beings and not just static resources. I think all of the players are going to grow and develop from this adversity. I hope the Sens don’t make any major moves in the next year, and just let the cream rise to the top. Some players are going to leap forward as a result of this season’s struggles. Then the Sens will be able to make deals from strength, instead of from desparation.

    I’m much happier to be a Sens fan than a Canucks fan! Similar records this year, but we’re young and heading in the right direction.

    • Hax

      Great point. I sometimes wish it was the 50s where even the most rabid fans really didn’t know (or need to know) what players make or who’s contract was up etc. Seems like it would be less frustrating if we didn’t know half the story behind the scenes and were compelled to speculate on the rest.

      But I agree – if Murray, Dorion, MacLean etc all strongly believe that we shouldn’t make any major changes I hope they have the stones to stand pat and build from within. Just looking at the number of bodies though I think there are likely some changes coming.

  • Hax

    It’s really impossible to know what to do without looking at the character of the players. I think there’s plenty of skill and depth on paper so really the big decisions revolve around the identity of the team, the leadership and the attitude in the room. We as fans have no clue about the real story here (though we’ll all spend the next few months guessing). On paper it’s the same story as any other team really. Add a top 6 and top 4. But if we do that without addressing the character of the team it won’t help really.

    • Andrews theory

      hate to tell you but some people know more than others about what did and didnt transpire over the last year. There is some fire behind the smoke that’s been rising over this team dating back a ways.

      • Hax

        I’m sure there is fire there somewhere. I would just suggest that about 1% of the people who claim to “know” the real story actually do. The other 99% either hear things through a long grapevine or completely make stuff up.

        • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

          Ottawa is a very small city.. I would be shocked if almost everyone didn’t know someone with at least some knowledge of the team

          • Hax

            Key word being “some”. Anyone who’s hearing murmurs at the local bar is not getting the full story IMO. If someone knows Murray’s wife’s hairdresser do you think they’re getting the real details?

            I’m sure there are lots of people who hear things from people loosely connected with the team but then they’re jumping to conclusions or flat-out making up the rest of the story.

  • Andrews theory

    I truly believe the team needs to pass the torch if not on the entire leadership group at least two of them.
    the words from MacArthur coupled with his compete level and 200 foot game make him an ideal Assistant moving forward. Lock this guy up…lets say he gets Neil’s A.
    While I’m playing GM, I’m also going to strip Phillips A and give that one to Karlsson.
    If Spezza sticks around he keeps the C

  • thirstytraveller

    I’d like nothing more than Ottawa eliminating Toronto from clinching a playoff spot!

  • Hax

    Character questions:

    Is Spezza really a great leader and dedicated to doing whatever it takes to win or is he a selfish, stats-minded player looking for a huge payday?

    Is Ryan really a lazy, out-of-shape plug unhappy with his ice time or is he playing hurt and motivated to become a complete 200ft player?

    Does Cowen have a big head and think he’s already done learning or does he have a competitive fire to become an elite player?

    Does Karlsson dream of winning a cup with the players surrounding him and eventually being captain here or is he unhappy about the Alfie thing and just going through the motions until he can get out of town?

    Without knowing the answers to those questions and more (all likely fall somewhere in the middle of each extreme but closer to one side than the other) it’s impossible to know what we should be doing this summer.

    • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

      Wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if we see a repeat of what happened with chara

      • Andrews theory

        specific to spezza or ryan?

        • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

          Karlsson

          Although he has a long time to get over it

          • Colin

            EK is signed through 2019. A repeat of Chara would not happen for 5 years unless he asks to be dealt. 5 years is a long time to go through the motions.

          • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

            No I know… But who knows if he will have the same level of honor as Chara(purely speculating… I have no reason to believe this is even the case) but if anyone on the team was hit hard by the Alfie situation it was him

          • Colin

            Too true. I also worry about him asking to be traded if the shit show is allowed to continue.

          • Dirk-Diggler

            Even if Karlsson asked for a trade it would not happen. They would tell him that they would re-evaluate in a season and take the time to win him back.

          • Andrews theory

            i’m nervous that he may ask for a trade if we don’t run Melnyk out of town…
            Heatley took a ton of heat a few years back but after some of the info that’s leaked recently and the fued between him and Melnyk maybe he’s not as dumb as people think

          • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

            Bingo… I still hate him… But I think it was just someone that had a glimpse of what was coming and said screw that.

  • Dirk-Diggler

    I still love Spezza and hope he’s retained. Since we are not a cap team I hope he get’s paid $7.5M for 4 years on an extension and Hemsky get’s signed for 4 years at $5M.. The two have looked great together and having Stone be their winger next season makes a lot of sense.

  • thirstytraveller

    Ryan looks like Kessel a couple of years ago….no drive

    • Hax

      It would be nice if he ends up like the Kessel of today (without the douch-bag personality). Hate to admit someone on the blue team is good but Kessel is turning into a pretty complete player.

      • Doc

        I’m still surprised Boston let Seguin go. He’s really doing well in Dallas.

        • Hax

          If the rumors of character problems are true then I can understand it. But yes, on pure talent it’s a surprise they made that move.

          • Doc

            His character was in question, but it doesn’t seem to an issue in Dallas. He’s a hell of a player, that’s for sure.

          • Hax

            Could be Boston was wrong about his character or maybe the change helped him get his head straight etc.

          • Doc

            Yep, might just be better surrounded in Dallas.

          • MethotToMyMadness

            From the stories around the League, character comes first in Boston, talent 2nd. It’s great if they can get both in one, but that doesn’t always happen. If you cannot fit in with the mold, and character is a big part of it, they won’t keep you. Boston has proved this on many occasions.

        • karlssens

          Seguin snorts more rock than I ever thought possible lol!

          • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

            Zzzzzz

          • karlssens

            Trust me.. He’s my age. I went to school with people who played with/against him.

          • Doc

            Like I mentioned, earlier, he might just be better surrounded in Dallas.

            These kids become millionaires at a very young age, they need to be sheltered and taught how to be a pro.

  • SensChirp

    Good story on Senators prospect Ryan Dzingel

    http://ohiostate.scout.com/2/1383714.html

    • Don Ciccio

      Hey Chirp, great story on Dzingel…….Also, I noticed that you said that Wiercioch deserves to play but it’s hard to take out Phillips…..Why is that? If Maclean wants to preach accountability and have respect from his players, then best players should play and in my opinion Gryba has been better than Phillips and deserves to stay in the lineup.

      • SensChirp

        If people don’t understand why it’s hard to healthy scratch a 1100 game
        veteran that you just extended for two years, then I’m not sure I’m
        going to be able to explain. He has struggled but you just don’t sit
        your “leaders”. Just doesn’t happen in hockey.

        • Don Ciccio

          If your “leaders” are costing you games then you absolutely have to sit them. Maybe the question is why did they extend him? Maybe I am too stupid to understand. Maybe you know some of the players personally and that is fine but don’t let that get in the way with reality of him not playing well…..Just so you know Larry Robinson is a Hall of Famer and when he started to decline, the Montreal Canadiens sent him to L.A……If you want to reach the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup then, it shouldn’t matter if you are a veteran or not. The last time the the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, Denis Savard was watching from the stands and he was one of their leaders.

          • SensChirp

            Realized afterwards that my post may have come off as condescending, did not intend it to be.

            They signed Phillips because after letting Alfie walk this summer, the room has been a disaster. Having a veteran that has been here all along is necessary right now.

            Phillips is struggling but he’s not the only. It’s easy for a fan to say “Sit him!” but much harder for a Coach and an organization to actually do it. It’s very very very rare that an Assistant Captain and guy identified as a leader, would be made a healthy scratch.

          • Don Ciccio

            No problem Chirp and I do realize why they signed him. Having said this, now that they signed Phillips for 2 more years, it now means that we will probably lose one or two of Methot, Wiercioch or Boro because of that. I know that there are rumours about Methot and his activities outside of hockey but I hope we don’t lose him because of the Phillips signing.

          • runningbear1974

            It does feel like Murray has forced Maclean’s hand for the next 2 years…

        • thirstytraveller

          One can be an off-ice leader and still have a positive impact on the team – Luke Richardson style

  • karlssens

    IMO, the only way for this team to reach the next level is to trade Spezza for a package including a first in this draft and a top 4 d man, or trade spezza right up for a top 2 d man. Then we retain Hemsky, Michalek, Ryan, MacArthur, Methot, and we have a good lineup. Bring up Da Costa/pageau/lazar to fill the 3d C position. Turris will have a big summer, bulk up, and kick it up a gear for next season.

    • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

      Who cares about a first in this draft

      • karlssens

        Would still be nice to grow our prospect pool.

        • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

          Not in this draft… We have enough b and c. Level prospects

          • MethotToMyMadness

            Exactly, that’s one reason why the Sens were ok giving it a 1st this year for Ryan. Next year is the key draft, many more possible A level prospects.

          • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

            I see easily ten guys I’d be happy to have and 2-3 I would be ecstatic

    • Hax

      I love when people think an athlete can just “bulk up” and add 20 lbs of muscle in a few months. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure Turris will spend this summer how he spent last summer – working hard. But he’s not going to turn into Ryan Getzlaf – ever.

      • karlssens

        He can still add a few pounds. Also, between 2012, and 2013 he gained 15 lbs according to the nhl website. An extra 5 lbs goes a long way especially if it’s in his legs.

        • Andrews theory

          i think the biggest issue with Turris is he needs his metabolism to slow down a bit then we’ll see some weight gain. he hasn’t looked anywhere near as fragile on the ice this year as he did when he arrived.

  • MethotToMyMadness

    The Sens statistically will not make the playoffs, and I think we’ve all come to terms with that now. The next 14 games are about playing spoiler. Using that as a focus, may just be what the Sens need to break out of this funk. If they are playing without the stress of the playoffs in mind, we could see a turnaround to the recent disaster we’ve been witnessing.

    I have to say, one of the best things to watch is the Leafs on a tailspin. That’s 3 loses, and counting and they are the only team to have played 71 games, so everyone has games in hand on them. They had a decent hold, but if they continue to slide to the Teams they are competing with, they may get bumped. And that would make me a VERY happy Sens fan.

  • karlssens

    Ryan will never be a Kessel. Kessel has the speed, aggression, snap shot that Ryan will never have. I cannot see Ryan scoring 40 goals, but I still hope the sens keep him.

    • Zelle

      He’s better in his own zone and willing to take a hit though. I’ll take that in exchange for speed. His shot is also decent and he has great puck handling skills.

  • karlssens

    Here’s a deal: spezza + Wiercioch for Seth Jones??

    I wish!

    • MethotToMyMadness

      That deal is made with the expectation that Jones will be as big as everyone expects him to be. And there is no denying he’s got all the tools to do that, but after only 1 year in the league, Nashville would have to give up WAY more than that to land a top 1′st line C like Spezza. And In this imaginary trade scenario conversation, I hope Murray makes that abundantly clear! ;)

      • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

        Especially due to the fact that Nashville would be absolutely lethal with any level of serious offensive threats

    • Hannibal

      Murray should put a package together containing Spezza and Cowen +/+ for Jacob Trouba and Wheeler. Trouba is going to be a stud and surpass EK46 defensively.

      • karlssens

        Whose ek46 lol

        • Hannibal

          EK65 sorry

    • Doc

      It’s…March….

      Ah fuck it. It’s going to be a whole summer of this BS.

      • karlssens

        Give in!

    • Andrews theory

      where do i sign?

      I really believe Nashville has 4 players that are untouchable;
      Rinne- he wins games on his own
      Webber- they have too much invested into him to walk away now
      Jones- he’s a franchise defenseman and will likely win more than one norris
      Fisher- fans love him, he’ll retire a predator and move into the office

  • Miguel

    put a fork in em chripers
    top reasons this team has taken a huge step back
    - Owner, just shut the fuk up! WE do not want to hear about our fukin budget… we get it!
    AND for that matter, if its not good news then let your management deliver the message we have lost confidence in the Euge, starting to sound like the Gleibermans
    - Management – they are not infallable, recent decisions have blown up on us, stop the bleeding and carry on…. unloading at deadline would have been the best choice. ( Hemsky was a great trade, but I believe he will leave this gong show for more $$$
    – stupid contracts to Greening and Phillips
    its not just that they sign them to bad contracts for the Org., but they also force feed them to us every damn night, and putting them on top lines when in fact they should be sitting!
    – on the same lines is forcing top picks and putting them too in positions to fail, Cowen and arguably Lehner are not ready for the NHL… seasoning or maturity or over ripe, is more important, or else god forbid they will be busts, but we should focus on others who may be even better (ie Bishop PW46 )
    -Coaching – many wrong decisons that were very controversial cost us points, and in turn lost the confidence of the room, this team has stopped listening, and this is the result, which is a very dangerous slope
    - too many 4th liners and 5-6 dmen getting too much TOI Greening, Condra Neil, Cowen Phillips etc. time to move some bodies to make room for the excellent prospects that we have been told we have since the beginning of our rebuild.
    - finally for the love of god, make sure we do not become a lottery pick team, or the way this season has gone it will be a #1 and it will be an even bigger hole to dig from
    end of rant for now :-)

  • Dirk-Diggler

    God dammit, Phillips is in the lineup tonight. I am going to the game and part of me is hoping Phillips gets lit up again. He needs to learn that his time is over and be so frustrated that he just quits. Phillips is holding our team hostage from moving to the next level. Get that bum out of the lineup.

    • Doc

      That’s the spirit.

      • Miguel

        sometimes we must take the rose-coloured glasses of and speak the truth, and sometimes it hurts. But Phillips was too slow for the NHL the last contract he signed… and the leadership we claim, has us last in the league in goals against, not all his fault, but is he not the leader of this bad defence?

  • Senators Pundit

    Chirp I don’t know how you do it but you manage to find a host of positives when the rest of us give you nothing but bitching and moaning on a daily basis.

    Well said old boy! Well said!

    • Miguel

      for anyone who had to sit through the only “playoff type” game we will see vs the Rangers, you should be able to sympathize with the negative spirits these days.
      but as you say we need that light at the end of the tunnel… thanks Chirp

      • Senators Pundit

        Oh I sympathize. I’m probably as negative as anybody on here.

        …Except for our fearless leader of course!

  • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

    So sounds like weircioch isn’t playing again… Hope they trade this poor kid in the off season

    • Andrews theory

      The current d squad is awesome why would you want to mess with that kind of success?

  • thepez

    Is PW46 being blackballed by the Sens a la Jim O’Brien?

    • Phil.

      Did we ever get some sort of explanation on O’Brien?

      • thepez

        He played a game against Boston where he took 2 hooking penalties and then we bever saw him again. Word was that he complained to Mac about his playing time.
        What doesn’t make sense with PW46 is that he signed a three year deal. He may not be that great in his own zone but either is any of the “top 6″.

        • Phil.

          Funny how when some players complain about ice time, it’s because they “want to play so badly” and “you want your players to want more ice time”. Other times it’s “have fun riding the bus”

      • Miguel

        yup not a Murray pick

  • Pugnacious Serf

    The Senator’s sloppy season is a product of their unexpected success last season. If this disaster of a season had been happening last year, we’d have cleaned out the weeds and let the kids run. The defense and goaltenders played well over their heads, and as a collective, owner, management, coach, players and fans thought we were better than we really are.

  • Mitchell

    If this season is now for playing and getting new experience sit Phillips… His got what 1000+ games? Weircoich hasn’t even played a whole season. And the kids good. That’s why we gave him 3 year 1 way… And now Borocop coming up.. Well have 8 people who will be up? Aren’t we on a budget?

    Methot-Karlsson
    Weircoich-Cowen
    Phillips-Ceci
    Borowecki-Gryba

    And without a doubt! Cleasson should see some time. I’m very high on his skill

    • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

      Wonderful asset management… This alone should have dictated not resigning Philips

      • Mitchell

        And regardless of his time spent here a 3rd pairing D man who just runs his mouth on everyone else to take there man as he either kicks the puck in himself or let a horrible pass go. 2.5!!!!! Is not justified. We could get a number of top 4 guys for that price. He wants to stay here. He wants I retire here. Then do it Philips. Do it. No one is saying leave to another team. Retire and quit. You’ll get your wish. 2.5?

      • Andrews theory

        100% result of losing Alfie.

        Alfies here, Phillips would be gone

        • Miguel

          yup lets right a wrong with another wrong… anothe management blunder

        • Phil.

          I agree. However had Phillips been traded or not resigned many folks here would be blaming BM for letting all the veteran leadership get away especially after Alfie. And the latest skid would be blamed on “lack of veteran presence”.

          • Tcharger – Ryan-For-51

            I doubt it…. Anyone that isn’t blind… Hell even blind people can see he is the problem

          • Phil.

            Easy there. There is a management staff, and presumably coaching staff, that think is is worth 2 more years.

    • SenaTHOR

      Do you really think that Wiercioch beats out Gryba who has the best defensive numbers against the highest quality of competition on the team?

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    Speaking of which Matt Puempel is killing it in his first year in the AHL. Leading the team in goals [sans Mike Hoffman] as a rookie is unheard of. They traded up for him for a reason. A goal scoring pedigree is the type of player the Sens are going to enjoy having in their lineup when he makes the team.

    • MethotToMyMadness

      He should continue growing nicely if he’s given more minutes with more responsibility. He’s getting a lot of PP time now and now leads with 13 PP Goals since Hoffman left. It appears they more of less told him this season to just play loose, take lots of shots and don’t worry about the rest. His -10 is a sign of that.

    • Miguel

      here is a problem as I see
      many good prospects are/will get frustrated with our sens so called depth.
      we have many decent players doing well in the minors, yet they are so far down, that they will not get a shot for quite some time. Hoffman Grant have all been down for 4 years, and guys like Peterson, and Prince, are fed up of being so far down, when the players playing up here Greening Condra hell even Neil, and even Conacher are not as good as they are, Hence their frustration.
      time to move some of the bad exeriments and give the better players a shot,

  • Phil.

    I get the hate on Phillips right now, but to me he is a fine 5-6D + PK. The problem seems to be that there aren’t 4-5 D that consistently play much better than him.

    • BeJamin

      Sens PK is near the bottom of the league… Phillips is a big part of why.

      • Michenator

        No, our insanely high rates of taking penalties is probably number 1. Phillips is not the issue on the PK.

  • spezzerman

    The best thing about seasons is that the last one doesn’t matter

  • PraiseAlfie11

    It was a crap year. Seriously, outside of the turris line, who actually met expectations? Methot maybe? Even my favourte sen KK65 had a rough year.

    • Millennium

      Methot had a bit of a weak start to the season. He’s been better lately though. Sorta like Spezza although not as much.

      Ceci is the success story of this year. Everyone else not named Turris or Macarthur has regressed this season.

      • PraiseAlfie11

        Good call on ceci…

  • A-Train

    Don’t mean to be a depressing broken record, but I have one big question about the future:

    Is there any elite talent in the pipe?

    Turris, Zibanejad, Ceci, Lehner, Puemple, Lazar. All good players, but a lot of question marks about where they slot in on a true contender.

    • PraiseAlfie11

      Excellent question. Turris is a good 2C and would be so on any team, zibby…I wouldn’t say is remarkable, not to the extent he’s hyped around here. Ceci would be 3rd pairing on a number of elite teams. Lehner would be a backup. Lazar is ranked a 7.5/C on HF with a “lucic” reference.

      HF has the sens prospects on the whole as #12.

  • WaitingSince92

    I’ve always considered the possibility that having Alfie this season WOULD actually “fix the issues this team is facing right now”.

    Think about what Clarke MacArthur said (about lack of consistent work ethic), then think about that little bit of pressure/intimidation Alfie puts on his teammates by working hard every game to set a good example.

    Seems like that’s exactly what we’re missing. One of those rare occasions where one player makes a world of difference with the rest of your team.

    I don’t know about you, but if Alfie were on my team, I’d be embarrassed if I didn’t leave it all out on the ice.

    • Phil.

      No doubt the team would be better with Alfie on it, but I think you over estimate his (and anyone else’s) ability the influence others. There are plenty of career floaters. Alfie couldn’t get Kovalev to play every night (or even most nights), for example.

      • WaitingSince92

        …and I think you UNDERestimate what certain players can do for their teammates, in terms of effort and confidence.

        I’m not saying Ottawa would be first overall, or even necessarily in the playoffs. What I AM saying is that they wouldn’t let in 6-8 goals every time there’s a must win. I think it would also have an effect on the game AFTER a blowout.

        Never said he was a cure all, but he’d make a marked difference.

  • NickofTime

    I came here to write basically the same thing. I think we all know & hopefully realize that these very same players given a few more breaks & bounces could very well be the playoff team we all thought they could be this yr. Lots of things simply went wrong with this team this yr like it was a curse & with better luck next season this team could be much better because of the adversity they had to face this yr.

    Other teams have had tremendous turnarounds from one yr to the next, there is no reason why this team can’t either & I believe they have done it before. Anyway, with a few minor changes in the off season this team should & hopefully will rebound into the playoff contender we all think they can be. If not, we can expect Spezza, Phillips, Neil, Anderson & a few more players shipped out next season to complete the rebuild of out with the old & in with the new.

  • Sensnation

    Chirp, may have been best to save the post mortem for after the season, there are several glaring errors in this one. Biggest of which, all teams that don’t make the playoffs are put in the lottery, so if as you say the Sens have no chance at the playoffs, there’s nothing they can do about making sure Anaheim doesn’t get a lottery pick.