Just two games this week for the Senators, who managed to get one out of four possible points. As the losses continue, so do the down arrows. Let's try to make some sense of the carnage.
Biggest gains: Zack Smith
As Peter pointed out, Smith's third goal in just 15 games puts him ahead of Peter Regin, Chris Neil, and Jarkko Ruutu, who have all played significantly more games than he has. The difference is that Smith is on a line with Jesse Winchester, who remains Ottawa's best forward, and Ryan Shannon. The effort of that line dwarfs the others. Smith is part of that effort level and the results speak for themselves.
Biggest losses: Jarkko Ruutu
Since returning from getting scratched, Ruutu's biggest contribution has been a blatant attempt to injure Martin St. Louisin the game against Tampa Bay, which earned him an extra two minutes for tripping. He should have been tossed for unsportsmanlike conduct. While Ruutu was an extremely valuable player for the team last year, his antics are useless this year. All he does is put this team in bad spots. Since his last point, on December 17th, has accumulated 12 penalty minutes and just 4 shots on goal. His 48 PIMs on the year put him third behind Chris Neil and Matt Carkner.
(read on for the full rundown...)
|Brian Elliott||It was a Dr. Jekyll week for Ottawa's only healthy goalie. He played well enough to win both games, but did not get the goal support needed to actually win.|
|Pascal Leclaire||Quite possibly the only person I've ever heard of who injures themselves by rehabbing an injury. Runner-up for biggest loser. Also doesn't deserve the medical cross anymore -- you should just assume he's hurt from here on out.|
|Filip Kuba||He should be scratched for Brian Lee, or traded to make room for Brian Lee. Kuba has contributed nothing to the team all year.|
|Chris Phillips||Oh, Chris. What happened? We're attacking our own players now?|
|Mr. Bumbles was a plus two this week and had a beauty of an assist against Chicago.|
|Lee has played well enough this week to bump Kuba from the lineup, salaries be damned.|
|Erik Karlsson||Karlsson, who had another point this week, also had some egregious giveaways. Remember, it's only his second season and there's still a lot for him to learn.|
|Chris Campoli||Played very well this week. Moved his feet, got an assist, and finished plus two. It helps to be on the ice when Winchester's line is out there, apparently.|
|Matt Carkner||Scratched for Brian Lee this week. Far more deserving of ice time than Filip Kuba.|
|Jason Spezza||Should not be rushing back this year. Rehab the crap out of yourself, Jason, and come back healthy for next season.|
|Alex Kovalev||We knew what we were getting when we got him. And we got it, all right.|
|Daniel Alfredsson||Again helped the team rally, this time against Chicago. He can't do it all himself, but he's still trying.|
|Milan Michalek||Finally managed to hit an open net to take Chicago to OT. Also overzealously swung his stick to end any hopes of a rally against Tampa Bay.|
|Mike Fisher||Fisher finished plus one against Chicago and left the game against Tampa Bay with an apparent leg injury after blocking a shot.|
|Nick Foligno||Eight shots on goal against Tampa Bay, including a breakaway played perfectly. Dwayne Roloson's poke check denied Foligno a goal, but he was flying this week.|
|Chris Kelly||If Mike Fisher is out for an extended period, Kelly will need to step it up big time.|
|Chris Neil||Neil threw his weight around this week, but has essentially nothing to show or it.|
|Jarkko Ruutu||See "Biggest losses."|
|Peter Regin||He's trying, but the points just aren't coming.|
|Jesse Winchester||Michalek-Winchester-Alfredsson. I'm calling for it.|
|Ryan Shannon||His high effort level seems to fit well with Z. Smith and Jesse Winchester. Go figure.
|Zack Smith||See "Biggest gains."|