The Ottawa Senators’ last game against the New Jersey Devils marked as career milestones for forwards Curtis Lazar and Alex Chiasson. Chiasson, acquired by the Senators when they moved long time centre Jason Spezza to Dallas, was playing in his 200th career NHL game on Wednesday Night. Lazar, the always-smiling fan favorite, played in his 100th career game.
Both Chiasson and Lazar are in the middle of their second full season with Ottawa and for the majority of their time with the team, both have been struggling.
Coming to Ottawa along with a pair of prospects and a 2nd round pick, Chiasson was the only immediate effect that Ottawa got to see when trading away their former captain. So far, it hasn’t been pretty. In his first season with the Dallas Stars, Chaisson had 35 points in 79 games. He seemed to have a promising start to his career when he scored nine goals in his first 10 NHL games, but that glory was short lived. In 114 games in a Senators’ uniform, Chiasson has totaled just 31 points.
After his first year in Ottawa, Chaisson had 11 goals and 15 assists. In the 2014 off-season, his contract went to arbitration where, after asking for $2.475 million, he was awarded much less. He resigned with Ottawa on a one-year contract worth $1.2 million.
Though his hopes were to be a better player for the Senators’ this season, Chiasson has fallen short. His struggles have seemed to hit their peak. In 38 games this year, he has just two goals, three assists, and a 3.8 shooting percentage, which is the team low for active forwards. Chiasson hasn’t had a point in 8 games, his last one coming December 12th against Montreal.
Lazar and His Struggles
Lazar was no doubt a fan favorite when he emerged from junior after winning the Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings. When he first came to Ottawa in the 2014-2015 season, Lazar was given the chance to enter into the NHL right away. Having yet to play a game in the minors, Lazar has struggled to produce since joining the Senators.
A similar issue presented itself last year, and it was in the Senators’ efforts to get Lazar’s offense going again when they allowed him to play with Team Canada in the World Juniors.
This season, the problem has escalated and it has had many speculate whether or not a stint in the minors would be good for Lazar. Having been used in a variety of different ways this season, Lazar has often been referred to as the Senators’ “Utility Guy”, but his offense has continued to suffer. He has admitted that he has felt out of place. Through 33 games, Lazar has just 8 points.
In the New Year
Along with their struggles to produce offensively this season, Chiasson and Lazar have both had their fair share of issues when it comes to finishing plays. Entering into the New Year, they both need to improve their play to help shape Ottawa’s secondary lines to become more reliable and consistent on the score-sheet.