Ottawa Senators: Clarke MacArthur Has Been A Definite Bright Spot For A Struggling Team
While it’s been a disappointing NHL season up to this point for the Ottawa Senators, the team is certainly getting everything they could have asked for out of forward Clarke MacArthur. The veteran continued his hot hand with a pair of goals in a 5-4 shootout victory over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. It was just the fifth home ice win in 16 tries for the Senators and their first victory this season in a shootout. Jason Spezza had the game winning marker ending an 0-for-13 stretch for the team in shootout efforts.
MacArthur has been a tremendous addition to the team this season. He’s been one of the most dependable forwards on the club and has really found his scoring touch in the last few weeks. He’s netted eight goals and five assists in the last 11 games. MacArthur is now up to 11 goals and 14 assists on the season and leads the team with a plus-12 rating. His career-high for goals in a season is 21 as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 2010-11 and he’s on pace to surpass that total.
Unfortunately, there have been too many negatives for head coach Paul MacLean and his charges in contributing to a 12-14-5 season. The Senators have been frustrating in their inconsistency for both the coaching staff and their fan base. The team has had too much trouble keeping the puck out of their own net because of below-average play in their defensive zone and shaky goaltending. No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson hasn’t had the type of season that was anticipated as in 20 games played he has a 3.40 GAA and a save percentage of .895. The numbers for backup goalie Robin Lehner are actually much better.
Ottawa also has continued a season-long trend of falling behind in games. They have only scored the first goal in nine of their 31 contests. It’s clear the Senators are fortunate to be playing in a less than stellar Eastern Conference as despite the below .500 mark at this stage of the season they still are within striking distance if they can put a solid stretch together. However, being able to do that has proven to be a difficult task so far in what has been underachieving season.
Rick LaFitte is an NHL writer for Rant Sports