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Mid-Season Report Cards: Forwards

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The S7S staff turn in their grades for each of the Sens’ forwards

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Ottawa Senators
“Who do you think got the best grade?”
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With the team off on their mid-season break, the staff here at Silver Seven Sens will be handing out first half grades for the players, coaching staff and management. First up are the forwards:

Derick Brassard

Stats: 42GP, 12G-16A-28PTS, 52.39 CF%, 49.77 xGF%

Colin: Brassard is quietly on pace for a 16 point increase on last season, much more in line with what was expected when the Sens first acquired him. He’s taken over as the #1 centre, even in spite of Duchene’s arrival, and his underlying numbers are excellent (+6.17 relCF% is tops among all forwards)

nkb: Brassard’s chemistry with Stone has been one of the few bright spots up front this season. He’s been about as good as the team could have hoped in the first half.

Staff Grade: B

Alexandre Burrows

Stats: 41GP, 3G-4A-7PTS, 46.30 CF%, 44.66 xGF%

Spencer: Burrows shouldn’t be playing regular minutes, or maybe any minutes at all, at this level. He’s noticeably slower and less effective than everyone he plays with and against.

Beata: Why is he on this team? What purpose does he serve? He has a knack for taking dumb penalties and he’s not doing anything productive with what little ice time he’s being given. Thinking back to his time in Vancouver when he was the trigger guy for the Sedins and watching him now, it’s hard to believe he’s the same player.

Staff Grade: D-

Filip Chlapik

Stats: 7GP, 0G-2A-2PTS 51.00 CF%, 47.45 xGF%

Colin: Chlapik has shown himself to be be competent in his limited minutes, although I think he’s still getting used to the big leagues. He’s proven in the AHL why he’s one of Ottawa’s best prospects, and I hope to see him more in the second half.

Ary: For a player who I believed might need more time to develop, Chlapik looks like he’ll be able to translate his game from the Q to the NHL sooner rather than later.

Staff Grade: B

Christopher DiDomenico

Stats: 13GP, 3G-3A-6PTS, 51.58 CF%, 60.90 xGF%

Ross: I expected nothing from this guy, and he actually looks like an NHL player. Of course, that’s also meant waivers and a needless trip to Florida trip and back.

Trevor: DiDomenico sometimes gets grouped with Burrows, Dumont, Thompson, and Pyatt, but DiDo was actually quite effective when he was in Ottawa. It was a small sample, but his shot rates were fantastic and he seems like a perfectly capable 4th line player — unlike some of the other options available. I’d love to see him get another chance.

Staff Grade: B

Matt Duchene

Stats: 28GP, 6G-6A-12PTS, 48.82 CF%, 48.04 xGF%

Ross: He was unfortunate to join this team just as regression caught up in a bad way. Still, he has the individual skill to be lethal, and the last few games it looks like he’s starting to figure out how to play with Hoffman

nkb: The numbers don’t look great, but the flashes we saw in the early going have been more and more frequent in the last few games. Six points in his last four games saved him from a much more scathing grade.

Staff Grade: B-

Gabriel Dumont

Stats: 16GP, 1G-1A-2PTS 45.48 CF%, 47.18 xGF%

Colin: The waiver pick-up we should’ve seen coming from miles away, Dumont has actually been one of Ottawa’s best players in terms of shot suppression; a skill he’s proven to be adept at in the past. He’s also an offensive vacuum, though, and his failings there outweigh any defensive contributions.

Spencer: He’s taking valuable development opportunities from the likes of Chlapik and White while doing next to nothing with those minutes.

Staff Grade: D-

Ryan Dzingel

Stats: 42GP, 13G-5A-18PTS 51.82 CF%, 49.35 xGF%

Beata: Dzingel’s play has been one of the few bright spots this season. I suspect the Mark Stone factor is a pretty big reason for his point totals, but he’s nonetheless been a lot of fun to watch.

nkb: On a team starved for forward depth, Dzingel has taken the opportunity afforded to him and made the best of it. He’s unlikely to shoot 18.8% for the year but he’s also been a bit unlucky to have only have 5 assists (his on-ice shot metrics are stellar); a 20 goal, 35 point season seems well within the realm of possibility.

Staff Grade: A-

Mike Hoffman

Stats: 42GP, 11G-18A-29pts 49.44 CF%, 44.98 xGF%

Trevor: I’ve seen Hoffman take a lot of criticism of late and I just don’t understand it. He’s on pace for 57 points, 4 off his career high, despite consistently working with poor line-mates. Yes, his defensive game is not (and never will be) perfect but he’s a legitimate first line winger who can score from the perimeter like nobody else.

Ary: I just hope I’ll get to give Mike Hoffman a grade at the end of the year.

Staff Grade: B-

Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Stats: 42GP, 6G-9A-15PTS 44.92 CF%,41.63 xGF%

Spencer: The biggest drop off not between the pipes from last season to this one is Pageau. He went from playoff hero to almost-zero and that especially hurts for a guy on a fancy new contract.

Ary: It’s hard being Pageau because I think he could be an essential part of a good third line, but he hasn’t really had the line-mates to do that.

Staff Grade: C-

Nick Paul

Stats: 11GP, 1G-0A-1PTS 54.92 CF%, 45.38 xGF%

Ross: Plus: he’s been better than most of Ottawa’s bottom-six regulars. Minus: he’s been something like the 9th-best forward in Belleville and seemingly only gets the callup because he’s the last remaining piece of the Spezza trade.

Trevor: He can probably be a replacement level 4th line player, but he isn’t going to produce much by the way of offense since he isn’t even producing in the AHL. Still, I’d rather see him get ice time than say Dumont.

Staff Grade: C

Tom Pyatt

Stats: 42GP, 5G-10A-15PTS, 43.35 CF%, 37.58 xGF%

Beata: As with Pageau, I can’t really blame Pyatt for the way he’s been deployed but it’s ridiculous that he’s being given so many opportunities. He isn’t terrible, and every once in awhile I can kind of see what Boucher likes about him, but I don’t understand why he’s playing such a big role on this team when it’s clear he’s easily replaceable.

nkb: Pyatt’s offensive contributions this season have been a pleasant surprise, but they don’t nearly make up for the rest of his struggles. Part of this isn’t his fault: he can only do what the coaches asks him to do, but it’s abundantly clear he isn’t capable of playing on a line tasked with facing the opposition’s top trio. He can only play the ice-time he’s given, but I can also only grade him on how he performs in that ice-time

Staff Grade: D

Bobby Ryan

Stats: 32GP, 5G-12A-17PTS, 48.72 CF%, 50.96 xGF%

Colin: Slightly better than his disappointing 2016-17, although far from his famed Playoff Bobby (TM) performance. Seems like he just can’t escape the finger injuries.

Spencer: Health plays a part in his struggles but he also only has 5 goals. Five.

Staff Grade: C

Zack Smith

Stats: 28GP, 3G-7A-10PTS, 47.59 CF%, 46.13 xGF%

Trevor: He needs to thank Mark Stone every single day for that contract extension.

Ary: I’d trade him for “cost savings” without much thought;t he’s a solid third-liner, but I’m not sure he’s worth his cap hit.

Staff Grade: D+

Mark Stone

Stats: 42GP, 18G-24A-42PTS, 50.68 CF%, 49.16 xGF%

nkb: The stats are great, he makes everyone he plays with better, he can take on the toughest assignments and still succeed — what more can we ask of him? A nearly perfect first half of the season for the big right winger.

Beata: What else is there left to say about Mark Stone? He is perfect.

Staff Grade: A+

Nate Thompson

Stats: 39GP, 4G-7A-11PTS 43.90 CF%, 40.11 xGF%

Colin: Brought in for the penalty kill, he’s ‘helped’ it by allowing roughly two more shots per 60 shorthanded minutes than anyone else on the Sens. His 5v5 contributions haven’t been any more helpful.

Ross: On the bright side, his 4 goals guarantee he’ll outscore the guy we all thought the Sens should have signed in Jaromir Jagr

Staff Grade: D-

So that’s what the staff thought of the forwards in the first half of the season. What did you think?

Stay tuned for the defense and the goalies tomorrow!