At the official halfway mark of the 2016-17 season for the Senators, I think it’s good to look at where the team is and where the players are in terms of point production. I could do this at any point in the season really, but 1⁄2 is an easy number to multiply.
Of course most players won’t have identical second halves with the same amount of points, but I like getting a sense of where guys are headed.
For some added context, I will show each players career high in points, as well as their career average to get a sense of how well they are playing right now. Let’s see how the team looks:
Erik Karlsson: 70 pts (High: 82, Average: 66)
Karlsson hasn’t been quite as offensively minded this season, so I’d be surprised if he got more than 70 this season. Although, 60+ points for a defenseman is still incredibly impressive, so it’s nothing to scoff at.
Mark Stone: 65 (High: 64, Average: 62)
Stone is a pretty consistent player, and this could be the third consecutive year he gets between 61-65 points. Honestly though, I think he’ll get more than 65 and could even challenge Karlsson for the team lead in points. He’s that good.
Mike Hoffman: 61 (High: 59, Average: 52)
I definitely think Hoffman is capable of getting at least 60 points, as he’s shown for three seasons now that he has elite speed, a phenomenal shot, and simply great offensive ability. I say he hits that 60 point mark for the first time and ends up 3rd on the team in points.
Kyle Turris: 58 (High: 64, Average: 47)
Turris’ career average is dragged down by his time in Phoenix, as his average as a Senator is 55. I’d like to see a bit more production, as 65 points looks a lot better for a first line centre, but it’s hard to complain too much. This is who he is now, and that’s totally fine. Anything above 60 is gravy.
Ryan Dzingel: 42 (High: 9, Average: 35)
This is obviously his first full season in Ottawa, and he’s been a huge surprise. Without Dzingel playing well, the Senators certainly wouldn’t be where they are right now. He’s been able to replace Clarke MacArthur’s production, as he can fit anywhere on the top three lines easily. It’s nice to see a player like him sort of come out of nowhere and become a quality player.
Derick Brassard: 40 (High: 60, Average: 49)
Brassard’s point production has been disappointing, and if he ends up with only 40 points, then something has gone wrong. At the same time though, he’s been Ottawa’s best possession player and is probably due for some better luck. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get near 50 points or even more than that.
Zack Smith: 37 (High: 36, Average: 25)
It’s abundantly clear that Smith benefits from playing with Mark Stone, and that’s fine. If he keeps playing with Stone and Brassard, then he should keep getting points. He’s better suited for the 3rd line, but he isn’t necessarily hurting the team when he has been in the top-six recently. 37 might be a bit high, but it’s certainly possible.
Dion Phaneuf: 34 (High: 60, Average: 43)
34 points is decent enough for Phaneuf at this age, although as someone with a good chunk of powerplay time, you’d maybe hope for a bit more. He hasn’t cracked the 40 point mark since 2011-12, so I would not expect a spike in production anytime soon.
Bobby Ryan: 35 (High: 71, Average: 59)
$7.25 million gets you 35 points. It’s going to be really sad if Ryan can’t notch 40 points on the season. He should be able to easily do it, but I wouldn’t count on it happening. His contract gets more depressing by the day.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau: 28 (High: 43, Average: 32)
Pageau has had a disappointing year so far, although a lot of that can be attributed to having poor linemates. For someone who was supposed to be a 2C/3C though, 28 points is not going to cut it. I think he’s a bit better than that (35-40 point range), but there’s a good chance he ends up with a low point total if he keeps playing with Tom Pyatt.
Tom Pyatt: 22 (High: 19, Average: 19)
We have to be honest with ourselves: Tom Pyatt has not been good at all this season. His 11 points so far is higher than it should be, and I don’t think he gets to 20 in the end.
Chris Wideman: 19 (High: 13, Average: 18)
19 points isn’t very much, although I like how Wideman has played this season. We cannot always evaluate defense through points, and I honestly think he has been the 2nd or 3rd best defenseman on the team this year. It’d be nice if he was on pace for 30+, but he’s still been quite good.
Chris Kelly: 14 (High: 39, Average: 29)
Much like Pyatt, Kelly should not be on this list. He used to be quite the effective bottom six centre, but even as a fourth liner he has not been good enough. 14 points would be a career worst, so it’s obvious that he’s declined hard at the age of 36.
Cody Ceci: 10 (High: 26, Average: 20)
For a defenseman whose supposed strength is offense, it’s very disappointing to see Ceci never being able to produce many points. He did not have an even strength point until a few weeks ago, which is quite horrendous. Like I said earlier, defense is not all about points, but even in the defensive zone he has struggled. He should end up with more than 10, but 20 seems like a long-shot.
Marc Methot: 11 (High: 23, Average: 17)
Methot is not a point-producer, and we’ve come to expect that he isn’t going to get many goals or assists. 11 is a bit low for my liking, but it’s not too big of a deal when his partner is Erik Karlsson.
Chris Neil: 4 (High: 33, Average: 20)
I knew Neil didn’t have many points, but I didn’t know it was only two. As a 4th liner, you still have to provide a bit of offense. In his prime, Neil could chip in every so often, but that’s no longer the case. I don’t see how he’ll get more than 4-6 points this season.
Mark Borowiecki: 4 (High: 11, Average: 7)
I find it hilarious how low Borowiecki’s totals are in his career. It’s a momentous event when he scores, as he’s never had more than one in a season. I doubt anyone cares at all about his point totals, as there are plenty of other ways to evaluate him.
Curtis Lazar: 0 (High: 20, Average: 18)
I saved the most depressing for last. 0 points in 21 games is hard to do, no matter your skill level in the NHL. He’s had a bit of bad luck obviously, but I think it’s time to realize that he just is not going to be an effective offensive contributor at this level. With a good second half, he might end up with 10 points. Even then, that’s not so encouraging.
In total, there aren’t a lot of players on the team that are projected to have big point totals. Karlsson, Stone, Hoffman, and Turris are all on pace for good totals, but there’s quite a big drop-off after that. Guys like Ryan, Pageau, Brassard, Ceci and perhaps a healthy MacArthur will have to step it up in the second half if Ottawa wants to have more of a balanced attack up front.
Right now, Ottawa’s on pace for 210 goals for, which would be their lowest since 2010-11. They are also on pace for 214 goals against, which would be their third best since the 2004-05 lockout. As for their record, they are on pace to be 44-30-8, good for 96 points.
It’ll be interesting looking back at these and seeing who got better and who got worse in the second half of the season.
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