Is it way too early to form strongly held opinions about how the rest of the Ottawa Senators’ season will play out? Should we be ready to rush to judgement about a prospect’s career potential? How much can we really know from only two games?!
The answer to these questions is: yes, no, and almost nothing — but that isn’t stopping us from renewing our weekly rankings of the Sens’ top performers in our Three Stars feature.
- Brady Tkachuk — Our favourite shithead son delivered an impressive effort this week, notching his first two goals of the season while playing nearly 20 minutes a night on the top line and the first power play unit. Tkachuk’s been as good as we could have hoped for.
- Colin White — Tkachuk benefited from playing alongside White as much as White saw a boost from Chucky. They were, to my eyes, clearly the team’s two best forwards in last week’s games. White’s speed and vision meshes perfectly with Tkachuk’s puck recovery skills and net front presence. There’s plenty of hockey yet to be played, but fears of the tandem struggling without Mark Stone can at least be somewhat assuaged for now.
- Bobby Ryan — It may have been something of a low bar to clear, but Ryan boasted the best on-ice shot metrics of any skater on the team and the veteran forward notched a goal against the Leafs to boot. There were some awkward moments, but Ryan was also a helpful contributor on the power play.
Erik Brannstrom had some nice flashes in the first two games, most notably making plays at the point in the offensive end. There’s plenty of work to be done on his game, but we are beginning to see the outline of what he may yet become.
Drake Batherson and Filip Chlapik were re-assigned to Belleville after Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers. Say what you will about the decision (I think it’s a bit silly to demote a player after just two games) but there’s no doubt both youngsters fell a bit in the eyes of the Sens’ coaching staff.
Who to Watch For:
The Sens are left with only 11 forwards after Batherson and Chlapik were sent down to the AHL, so whoever gets the call-up will be someone to watch out for. If I had to guess, my money is on Vitaly Abramov since the Sens are still set down the middle (sorry, Logan Brown) and the speedy Russian very nearly made the team out of camp.