Ottawa Senators F Bobby Ryan: Who Is His Ideal Centre?


The Ottawa Senators need to find Bobby Ryan an ideal centre to maximize his success on the ice.

The Ottawa Senators hold 2nd place in the Atlantic Division. The team has been decent over their last ten games with a 5-2-3 record. The Ottawa Senators have had less shot attempts than their opponent in sixteen of their twenty-three games.

How do the Ottawa Senators boast a 12-6-5 record while being outshot so heavily? This has been due to a scoring surge, some luck and great goaltending. One of the players who has contributed as of late is Bobby Ryan.

Bobby Ryan has played very well recently. Ryan is a player who is often criticized by Ottawa Senators fans due to his large salary. I believe Ryan has been the beneficiary of a change in line mates. I have written various articles this year discussing the Senators need for scoring throughout their line-up, as has my colleague Stuart McGinn.

Ryan has performed much better with Kyle Turris than he has with Mika Zibanejad. David Johnson provides a very useful stat known as WOWY. WOWY stats give great insight into how a player performs with or without certain players. The WOWY numbers between Turris and Zibanejad are quite informative. Let’s examine the numbers and see just how much better Ryan has been with Turris.


The table above displays how Bobby Ryan has played during Even Strength play. Ryan has scored five goals and eight assists during even strength play. Ryan has logged close to 300 minutes of time on ice this season, 188 minutes with Zibanejad and 90 minutes with Turris. Ryan has spent less time on ice with Turris but achieved more points with him. Ryan has two more goals when he has been on the ice with Turris than he has with Zibanejad.

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Ryan has two more total points with Turris than he has with Zibanejad. These numbers are quite remarkable when you consider that Ryan has spent about half as much time with Turris. Ottawa has the 3rd worst CF% in the league at 46.4. The Senators are consistently outshot during games. Ryan’s CF% is 50.9% with Turris and only 40.9% with Zibanejad. Numbers do not lie. Ryan has performed much better with Turris.

I am not sure if this is simply a matter or chemistry or skill. Clearly Turris is a very skilled player but is he significantly more skilled than Zibanejad, or is he just a better fit for Ryan? More analysis would need to be done to declare if Zibanejad is actually bad with more player than just Ryan.

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Bobby Ryan has performed much better when paired with Kyle Turris. It will be interesting to see if Dave Cameron continues to pair Ryan with Turris on the first line. It is quite clear that Ryan plays much better with Turris than he does with Zibanejad. The Ottawa Senators will need to start supporting their goaltenders better if they hope to make a serious run this season.