Chris Kelly hands the "Biggest Gains" torch to Erik Karlsson. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Ottawa played three games this week, interrupted with Christmas on Saturday. So... if the team isn't killing their own momentum, the schedule is doing it for them. Let's take a look at who made the biggest gains and most precipitous drops this week.
Biggest gains: Erik Karlsson
In the last two weeks, Karlsson has 11 points in nine games. He might go pointless on some nights, but he'll make up for it with big numbers on other night--like his three points against the Penguins on Sunday. He's been the Sens best defenceman of late, and probably all season.
Biggest losses: Milan Michalek
Crazy Legs recorded an assist against Nashville and generally skated hard. Unfortunately, he was also a minus two and racked up six penalty minutes against Washington, including the high-sticking penalty that lead to the game-winning-goal for the Caps.
|Brian Elliott||Elliott is really a microcosm of the team as a whole. He didn't look good against Washington, even with getting the benefit of two goals being waved off, and then played just about perfect games against Nashville and Pittsburgh. Consistency? What's that? Still, his 44-save performance against the Pens leads me to believe he could be getting on one of his hot streaks.
|Pascal Leclaire||Leclaire is hurt again. Raise your hand if you're sick of hearing that.
|Filip Kuba||Despite recording a point against Nashville, the only way to describe his play this week is "putrid." Finished -1 in a 3-1 win over the Penguins... how do you do that?
|Chris Phillips||He didn't do much this week, though he did have a mind-blowing interference penalty against Nashville. Still, he wasn't the liability that he has been most games.|
|Frighteningly bobble-prone these days.
|Lee got to play this week! And he wasn't terrible! In fact, he wasn't even bad. In fact, steady mediocre play means he was one of the team's best defensemen this week.
|Erik Karlsson||See "Biggest Gains"
|Chris Campoli||Campoli's numbers this week: Zero points, plus one, three hits, three shot blocks, and four shots on goal. That's about as average as you can get.
|Matt Carkner||Carkner got scratched for Brian Lee. No need to make jokes about Brian Lee's skills, but it's not a good sign when you get scratched for a guy who's been waived.
|Jason Spezza||Spezza had no points through much of the week, and then put up two against Pittsburgh. He was close to a down, but if his injury is serious, the team will miss him.
|Alex Kovalev||Kovalev scored against Nashville, and couldn't be knocked off the puck by anyone. Of course, he doesn't play that way all the time.|
|Daniel Alfredsson||The captain went pointless this week, ending a three game scoring streak (3G, 1A).
|Milan Michalek||See "Biggest Losses."
|Mike Fisher||He's being outplayed by Chris Kelly right now.|
|Nick Foligno||Bagged a power play goal against Nashville. Should have had one against Pittsburgh, but it was mysteriously called back (and he couldn't pot the penalty shot). Starting to look like a player willing to fight for pucks.|
|Chris Kelly||He's outplaying Mike Fisher right now.
|Chris Neil||An assist against Washington and plus one on the week. Neil seems to be playing his role well.
|Jarkko Ruutu||I wish I got paid a million dollars to do nothing.|
|Peter Regin||No forward on this team deserves more minutes than Regin. He fights for pucks and he's creating plays for his line.|
|Jesse Winchester||Winchester continues to do exactly what you'd ask of a fourth line center. Hard to find fault with him these days.|
|Ryan Shannon||His level of play has gotten him promoted to the top line, and he doesn't seem out of place.|