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Five Thoughts For Friday

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Alex Formenton to London, a rough road trip, and maybe even a few positives too...

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs

It was a bit of a rough week in SensLand.

A road trip marred by a porous defence, and somehow even more injuries yielded three of four consecutive losses for the Senators. Even the lone win against Buffalo last night provided cause for concern, with Ottawa almost blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.

Despite more than one noteworthy performance, the trajectory of this team appears less than stellar. And with that, here are Five Thoughts for Friday, November 2nd, 2018.

Just D-Andy

Three words.

Craig. expletive. Anderson.

Despite the brutal performance by the Ottawa Senators on their three-game road trip, the greatest goaltender in Senators’ history gave his team more of a chance than they ever deserved.

Even with backup tender Mike Condon getting the hook against the Arizona Coyotes, Andy finished the trip having faced 114 shots, yielding only 14 goals. Though a few were ugly, Anderson has to be commended for putting forth such a performance when he must have been exhausted.

With Condon being waived, and Mike McKenna getting the call to Ottawa, look for Andy to get a much-deserved rest in the next few games.

Shot Through the Heart

This is something I covered in my Five Thoughts from a few weeks ago, but good God.

125 shots. One hundred and twenty-five shots over four road games.

Sweet cream on an ice cream sandwich.

It goes without saying, but this type of defensive performance is going to yield even worse results, very soon. With the 37 year-old Anderson on pace to play north of 60 games this season, it’s not hard to see that the cliff is fast approaching. If Ottawa hopes to have any success this season, they need to find out what in the blue hell is going on in their end of the ice.

I have my own thoughts on this, but we’ll get to that a little later.

The Dark Knight

Following his ninth regular-season game, the Senators returned Alex Formenton to the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights.

As fun as he’s been to watch thus far, this was a good decision by Pierre Dorion and Co. The 19 year-old’s raw talent is evident, as he was easily one of, if not the best skater in Ottawa’s lineup. With that in mind, it was clear that he needs to round out his game before being an everyday player in the NHL.

Formenton’s defensive showing left something to be desired in his stint with the big club, posting a 38.42% Corsi rating. With one point in nine games, he also struggled to find a finish to his offensive opportunities.

He’ll dominate with London this season, and come back a man next year. While I’m sure he’s disappointed, the future is bright for Alex Formenton.

HOT-sam Batcho

I...I just...I really like Thomas Chabot.

This guy is freaking ridiculous. Chabot has been almost objectively Ottawa’s best player this season, and even over a road stretch wherein the Senators were nearly entirely dominated, he still stood out (in a good way) every game.

Hotsam Batcho was only -1 against the Avs, and put forth an even rating against the Golden Knights and Coyotes. He had three assists over the course of the excursion, and was Ottawa’s best defenceman every game.

He’s looking more and more like the Erik Karlsson-calibre player he’s been touted as, and one can’t help but cringe when they think of how good the two would have been together.

Damn, just damn.

Ceci, Do You Love Me?

I know, I know.

“The horse is dead, Brandon, put the stick down”.

But it can’t keep going ignored. The fact of the matter is, Cody Ceci needs to be better. This is a defenceman that Senators’ brass, for some reason, has touted as the future and a can’t-miss prospect since he was drafted in 2012.

SIX. YEARS. AGO.

Cody Ceci has a Corsi rating of 35.92%. There are four players on the team with a worse rating. Magnus Paajarvi, Mark Borowiecki, Paul Carey, and Tom Pyatt.

The fact of the matter is, Ceci can’t play the minutes he’s being asked to play. If he’s going to have a role on the Ottawa Senators, it needs to be a limited one. Right now, he’s playing roughly the same minutes as Thomas Chabot. Why aren’t Dylan DeMelo, Chris Wideman, or even Max Lajoie getting those minutes when they’ve been so obviously better?

It’s mind-boggling that this has gone on for years, with seemingly no end in sight. Ceci should be playing no more than 15mins a game à la Mark Borowiecki. Asking him to play upwards of 20mins a game, against some of the best lines in the NHL, is far out of his depth.

It has to stop, it’s hurting the team.