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 hasn’t worked and the Senators are outside a playoff spot. The players have to share in the blame. It’s not all on him. Grade: D

Coach Cory Clouston: It’s mid-season and this club is still searching for an identity. You have to wonder if the players are listening anymore or if they’ve 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, he’s struggled, but does bring strong leadership qualities. Grade: D+

Brian Lee: Hasn’t had a chance to contribute consistently spending so much time in the press box. They have tried to trade him. It hasn’t happened because nobody wants to take the second year on his one-way contract. Incomplete

Milan Michalek: Coming off knee surgery, he hasn’t bounced back the way he should have. Isn’t 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 club’s hardest-working player, and is still at the top of team scoring. Consistently one of the club’s best players. Grade: B-

Mike Fisher: Only been OK on many nights. Another player who needs to find consistency at both ends. He’s at his best when he’s 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 club’s 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 he’s done exactly what’s 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 don’t 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 club’s 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 didn’t put up enough points before getting hurt. Came to camp prepared, but has struggled. Grade: C-

Chris Kelly: One of the club’s 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 isn’t 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 what’s 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: They’ve pretty much only won when he’s been in the net. Saved the Senators from being a complete embarrassment. But he needs improvement. Grade: D+

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

Matt Carkner: Hasn’t 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 club’s big off-season acquisition hasn’t 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 club’s future — 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 aren’t sure what they’ve 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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