Senators' mid-season report card

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:23 PM ET

Halfway through the season, Bruce Garrioch says this Senators class needs much improvement.

Garrioch grades management and players:

GM Bryan Murray: Off-season acquisition of Sergei Gonchar hasnít worked and the Senators are outside a playoff spot. The players have to share in the blame. Itís not all on him. Grade: D

Coach Cory Clouston: Itís mid-season and this club is still searching for an identity. You have to wonder if the players are listening anymore or if theyíve tuned him out. Faces a big challenge ahead. Grade: D

Chris Phillips: Veteran has a decision to make before the trade deadline: Will he stay or will he go? Like most Senators, heís struggled, but does bring strong leadership qualities. Grade: D+

Brian Lee: Hasnít had a chance to contribute consistently spending so much time in the press box. They have tried to trade him. It hasnít happened because nobody wants to take the second year on his one-way contract. Incomplete

Milan Michalek: Coming off knee surgery, he hasnít bounced back the way he should have. Isnít performing up to expectations and should have more points with all the ice time he gets. Grade: F

Daniel Alfredsson: Captain continues to lead by example. He is the clubís hardest-working player, and is still at the top of team scoring. Consistently one of the clubís best players. Grade: B-

Mike Fisher: Only been OK on many nights. Another player who needs to find consistency at both ends. Heís at his best when heís hard-nosed and going to the net. Grade: C

Peter Regin: A disappointment after the playoffs he had last spring. Went from being one of the clubís best players in the post-season to one of its worst this season. Must be better. Grade F

Chris Campoli: Not flashy, not going to wow anybody. Could be contributing more points, but heís done exactly whatís asked of him. Not many Senators can say that. Grade: B-

Zack Smith: Called up from Binghamton with Spezza on the injury list, Smith is likely here for the long haul. The Senators donít need the big forward to be fancy. They just want him to play a hard-nosed game. Incomplete

Filip Kuba: Minus-11 in 24 games played during the first half. Missed while hurt, but what has he brought since returning? Mainly frustration. Must do more. Grade: F

Jesse Winchester: Brings a consistent effort every game and has been the clubís most improved player. Has given the fourth-line a presence and chipped in with the odd goal. Grade: B-

Jason Spezza: Out for an extended period with a shoulder injury, but didnít put up enough points before getting hurt. Came to camp prepared, but has struggled. Grade: C-

Chris Kelly: One of the clubís more consistent performers, while many of his teammates struggle. Can play in nearly every situation. Deserves more ice time. Mr. Everything. Grade: B

Chris Neil: Gives the same effort every game and isnít afraid to drop the gloves to spark the team. Has had a few scoring chances, too, and could have more points. Grade: B-

Ryan Shannon: Deserves more ice time. Makes the most of the little he does get. Uses his speed and goes to the net.

A smart player and a hard worker. Grade: C+

Alex Kovalev: You have to wonder whatís going to happen with him. Perhaps some team will take him as a deadline rental. Shows little interest in getting involved or contributing. Grade: F

Brian Elliott: Theyíve pretty much only won when heís been in the net. Saved the Senators from being a complete embarrassment. But he needs improvement. Grade: D+

Pascal Leclaire: Heís been great in the training room, keeping the medical staff company. His numbers have been good when heís actually played. Has received little offensive support. Grade: F

Matt Carkner: Hasnít had the same season he did in 2009-10. Must be more selective on when he drops the gloves. They need him on the ice. Grade: C-

Sergei Gonchar: The clubís big off-season acquisition hasnít worked out for either side. His penchant for giveaways is hard to watch. But he has contributed on the power play. Grade: F

Erik Karlsson: At the head of the class after a difficult start. Moved to the top of club scoring; his play has improved alongside Phillips. Karlsson is the clubís future ó and present. Grade: B+

Nick Foligno: Coming around of late and seems to be using his speed more to get to the net. The Senators arenít sure what theyíve got here. His top-6 forward promise remains unfulfilled. Grade: D+

Jarkko Ruutu: Their only plus player at the halfway point. Part of their most consistent line. Was a healthy scratch for two straight games. That was questionable. Grade: C-


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