Senators ups and downs: Week 11

Jared Cowen attempts to defy the laws of physics by trying to arrive at the place he is looking at by skating away from it. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Ups and downs is a feature that looks at the individual performances of the Ottawa Senators' players for the past week.

It was a quiet week for the Ottawa Senators. Nothing really important happened, and they played a few games.

Wait, that's not right at all? You don't say!

In fact, the Senators made a huge trade, sending defenseman David Rundblad and a second round pick to Phoenix for forward Kyle Turris. You may have heard something about that.

The team also picked up four points in three games against some top NHL competition, notching wins against Buffalo and Pittsburgh and losing to the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, but mostly just to the original Sens Killer himself, Tim Thomas. The wins will go a long way towards building team confidence, and it's great to see the team beat quality opponents. That's a good sign for the future.

Biggest gains: Jared Cowen

He's been rising for a while now, but his five points in three games this week are better than Erik Karlsson. And Cowen is the defensive half of the pairing! The kid is playing a stupid amount of minutes each game and looking strong doing it. He's a rookie, so there are going to be stumbles along the way, but his emergence as a big-time defender is an incredibly bright spot for the future of this franchise.

Biggest losses: David Rundblad

Not much choice here. His hesitant play led to numerous turnovers and eventually limited ice time this week. With Fiilp Kuba and Sergei Gonchar out of the lineup, there was an opportunity for minutes to be earned for the young defenseman. But playing important minutes while learning a new style of hockey would be a challenge for any player, and Rundblad's struggles aren't a knock on his talent. Nevertheless, it was his inability to seize an opportunity that ultimately made him expendable in the team's eyes.

(read on for the full rundown...)

Goalies Trend Notes
Craig Anderson

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Beat Buffalo but got hammered by Boston. Not that facing three hundred breakaways is easy, but a big save would have been nice.
Alex Auld

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Well, he won his start against the Penguins, so that's something. But the six goals the team scored probably helped more than his play did.
Defensmen
Matt Carkner

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His third pairing with Brian Lee is solid but unspectacular. That's probably okay.
Jared Cowen

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See "Biggest gains"
Sergei Gonchar

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Missed the week due to injury, but might be back on Tuesday.
Erik Karlsson

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Bounced back really well from a rough week. Four assists in three games helped vault him almost to the top of the leaderboard.
Filip Kuba

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Missed the week due to injury, but might be back on Tuesday.
Brian Lee

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Every shift he takes where he's not a liability is a win for the whole team. He's an ideal third pairing defenseman.

Chris Phillips

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His play improved this week, but that was probably due to the emergence of Cowen helping reduce his minutes.
David Rundblad

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See "Biggest losses." We're sorry to see him go.
Forwards
Daniel Alfredsson

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A ridiculous five points (2G, 3A) in two games, as he was held pointless in the win against Buffalo. Could have easily been the week's biggest gainer.
Bobby Butler

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He's not going to sniff the top six unless there's an injury.
Erik Condra

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No glaring mistakes, but no standout performances, either.
Kaspars Daugavins

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Might be sent down to Binghamton due to the acquisition of Kyle Turris, which would be a shame, because he doesn't deserve it.
Nick Foligno

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Is there a player that's taken more of a beating this year? It's inevitable that he'll miss time with the way things are going.
Colin Greening

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He must dislike playing on the fourth line. As soon as he was demoted, he started putting up points. A goal and an assist this week after getting back into the top six.
Zenon Konopka

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Easily his best week as a Senator. Took a goalie interference penalty on the power play, and got another chance the next game. This time, he won the draw and scored a power play goal.
Milan Michalek

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Took the league lead in goals scored before Erik Karlsson's thuggery sidelined him with a concussion.
Chris Neil

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We like Neil, but we don't like two stupid penalties in the same game.
Peter Regin

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Scored a goal against Buffalo, then went invisible.
Zack Smith

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Z. Smith doesn't wear a mouthguard. You know why?
Jason Spezza

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He had eight points (3G, 5A) in three games this week. And he was a plus-5. It was difficult not to name him the biggest gainer. Consider him the runner up. Monster week.
Jesse Winchester

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Minus-2 is not okay from a fourth line player.
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