What a week, huh? Wasted efforts against Anaheim and Philadelphia and a total collapse against Montreal. The arrows aren't pretty for a team outscored 15-4 in its last three games. The fallout resulted in the dreaded r-word finally coming to the surface. Biggest gains: draft position! Just kidding. Let's look at the carnage.
Biggest Gains: Nick Foligno
Easy to see this coming. Since unleashing eight shots against Tampa Bay on January 8th, Foligno has been a berserker on the ice. An assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick against Philadelphia, he kept the energy rolling as he moved from Jesse Winchester's wing to Mike Fisher's. Still, you have to wonder where this Foligno was earlier in the year.
Biggest Losses: Cory Clouston
I don't believe that blame should be laid solely on the man, but when it's game 50 and you're talking about going back to basics... well, you messed up somewhere. At this point in a lost season, it looks like he's trying anything he can think of to spark the team. There can't be any other explanation for some of his moves. I don't believe that Clouston should be fired -- it's my personal belief that Bryan Murray carries more of the blame for this team -- but after a week like this, you have to wonder how he could possibly return as head coach.
(read on for the full rundown...)
|Brian Elliott||What can you say? Played well enough to win against Anaheim, but didn't win. Shellacked by Philadelphia. Shellacked in relief of fellow shellackee Mike Brodeur against Montreal. You have to feel bad for the guy. It's been a nightmare season and he's been part of his own destruction.|
|Pascal Leclaire||So now I'm thinking that it's smart of him not to play another game. He's an unrestricted free agent after this year, and it's not like more games behind this team will help his audition.|
|Robin Lehner||Spared the bloodbath this week by being returned to Binghamton. Apparently he didn't look good in his return to the AHL.|
|Mike Brodeur||Not Martin destroyed any mystique of last year with a bad peformance against Montreal. He returned to the B-Sens the next day.|
|Filip Kuba||He's the owner of the eternal down arrow. I don't want to make him into a whipping boy, because there's plenty of blame to go around, but he never seems to do anything positive on the ice.|
|Chris Phillips||Speaking of no positives...|
|Probably regretting signing his contract right about now.|
|It's time to eat a little crow, because I never believe Lee would look like a serviceable defenseman for the Senators, but his play this year -- while not awe-insipiring -- should be noted. He's good enough to keep playing. I just don't know if that's because our defense is not good or he is improving.|
|Erik Karlsson||Managed a plus-one rating in a 25:14 of play against the Flyers, where the Senators lost 6-2. So, that's kinda good, right?|
|Chris Campoli||Assisted on Chris Kelly's lone goal against Montreal and generally seems fired up.|
|Matt Carkner||22 PIMs in two games before missing the Montreal massacre with a "lower body" injury. My guess is that his knuckles were sore, personally.|
|Jason Spezza||Rumor is that Spezza is ahead of schedule in his rehab. If that's true, we should stop and think about what that says for his character: The team's owner essentially gave the order to tank, and its best center is busting his ass to return to a lost season. I don't know about you, but that gets my respect.|
|Alex Kovalev||Kovalev's return against Montreal was more of the same. It's unfair to fault him in that game -- just about everyone was terrible.|
|Daniel Alfredsson||Alfie was a plus-1 while the team gave up 15 goals this past week. He remains the team's best player.|
|Milan Michalek||Another goal (shorthanded!) and assist this week. Michalek has been using his speed very well.|
|Mike Fisher||His three-game point streak came to an end against Montreal. Fisher's line has been hot recently but he proved again this week that he's not a "gamechanger", as Eugene Melnyk would say.|
|Nick Foligno||See "Biggest Gains."|
|Chris Kelly||Scored Ottawa's only goal against the Canadiens, ending a four-game pointless streak. Paradoxically, Kelly's streaky play belies the fact that he's been one of the most consistent players this year.|
|Chris Neil||Much like last week: deserves a green arrow for being one of the few players still trying to motivate a sinking club (19 PIMs against Philadelphia), but deserves a red arrow for his inability to make more than that happen. We'll meet in the middle and call him even. Also suffered a scary eye injury, but will apparently be all right.|
|Jarkko Ruutu||Out with a lower body injury.|
|Peter Regin||Regin was scratched for Brian Lee last week. And not so Lee could play forward. Yikes.|
We know he's going to give it his all. Was highlighted by head coach Cory Clouston along with Z. Smith as being one of the team's best players.
|Ryan Shannon||Ineffective, like most of the team this week.|
|Zack Smith||24 PIMs against Philadelphia and Montreal. Picked up two game misconducts for not giving a crap. I love him.|
|Bobby Butler||I guess it's a little telling that I forgot him, huh? Still, the busted one had a team-high six shots against Montreal. He's clearly got the work ethic to be an NHL player... he just needs some more experience. The rest of this season should be used for that.|