Ottawa Senators Mid-Term Grades - The Forwards

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Jason Spezza

 

Dec 14, 2013; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza (19) shoots on Los Angeles Kings goalie Martin Jones (31) in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre.The Kings defeated the Senators 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Expectation:  Spezza came back from back surgery that derailed his lockout shortened season, and the expectation was for him to be fully recovered and resume his role as the offensive catalyst for the Senators and to combine with newcomer Bobby Ryan to be a potent 1-2 punch on the first line.

 

In The First Half:  Spezza was good, but not great in the first half.  He still didn’t seem to be 100% and the chemistry wasn’t instant with Ryan and the coaching staff didn’t have the patience to see if it would develop.  Spezza had a revolving door of wingers on his sides and didn’t have much consistency in that area.

 

GRADE: C

Potential for Improvement:  If he can regain full health Spezza is still a number 1 centre, and can carry a line.  Whether that will happen this season is still up in the air.

 

 

Bobby Ryan

 

Dec 9, 2013; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan (6) controls the puck in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Senators biggest off-season acquisition advertised that he was “coming in hot” and he has been as advertised.  He leads the team in goals (18) and is second only to Erik Karlsson in points (36).  He has built great chemistry with Kyle Turris and has been the go-to guy offensively.

 

GRADE:  A

 

Potential for Improvement:  If chemistry would develop with Spezza, there is the opportunity for more offense since Spezza is a better playmaker than Turris at this point in time.

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