Ottawa Senator's Year End Report

Rick MiddletonContributor IApril 21, 2009

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 25:  Coach Cory Clouston of the Ottawa Senators huddles with his team during the final minute of the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center on March 25, 2009 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Carolina won 2-1. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Here is my season ending report card on the Ottawa Senators.

Goal tending:  Alex Auld played like the back-up he is.  Nothing too fancy and he got the job done when he had to.

Brian Elliott isn't ready for back-up status and will not be the starter because of the late season pick-up of Pacale Leclair.  He would be better off in Binghamton as a starter getting 50-60 starts than 20-30 as a back-up in Ottawa.

Defence:  Big let downs from much of the corps except Filip Kuba who was his usual steady self.

Anton Volchenkov did his usual job, but more is expected of him now.

Chris Phillips had a very off year.  Hopefully the World Championships will bring him back to full status.

Chris Campoli:  Much more is expected of him even though he is young.  He has the abilities, but has to focus more on the job.

Brendan Bell, Christoph Schubert, Alex Picard, Jason Smith:  Of all of them Bell made a mark, but he has to focus as well.  Consistency is the name of the game and he must be that to survive in the NHL.

Forward:  BIG disappointment.  All those big contracts and so little to show for it.  Fisher, Kelly, Spezza, Heatley and Neil; had to do more, but they did not.  Did the expense justify it?  Not at all. 

There were a few surprises like Nick Foligno and Ryan Shannon.  They thrived under Cory Clouston's coaching.

Overall this season was a disaster for a team loaded with talent.  With a few minor personnel changes this team will be respectable again.