No real surprise here, right? (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Ups and downs is a feature that recaps the individual performances of the Ottawa Senators for the last week.)
On their long road trip, the Senators' tendency to live dangerously and spot their opponents leads has started to catch up with them, as we knew it would inevitably have to. Ottawa gave up the first goal in every game they played this week, which is not generally a recipe for success. Before heading out, the team turned in a 2-0 dud at home, losing to Winnipeg, and then came back from a 2-0 deficit the next night to beat Toronto, 3-2. They followed that up with a 4-1 win over San Jose and closed out the week with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Anaheim. Capturing 4 of 8 points on the week is nice, but so is playing with a lead. That needs to happen more if the Sens expect to make the playoffs and defeat any opponent they face.
Biggest gains: Craig Anderson
Anderson was the common thread across the games this week, as he was the driving factor in the wins--yet again keeping his teammates in games they should have lost, giving them a chance to turn the tide--and he was not at all culpable in the losses: his save percentage for the week was a sterling .950. Anderson is carrying the team through January.
Biggest losses: Bobby Butler
No points this week. No hits, no blocked shots, nada. Only four shots on goal. Is it Bulter's fault? No, not entirely, as his fourth line minutes make it hard to produce, but the bottom line is that his play opened a window for rookie Andre Petersson to play at least one game. Butler should rotate back in next game if Petersson's ice time is any indication, but getting scratched for a rookie when healthy is never a sign of confidence from a coach.
(read on for the complete rundown...)
|See "Biggest gains"|
|Will he see a start before the All-Star break? With the way Anderson's playing, we wouldn't bet on it.|
|Borowiecki played very well in his debut, but wisely was not exposed to the aggressive Anaheim forecheck.|
|The other Sens player to get scratched for a rookie, Carkner was also considered for "Biggest losses".|
|We would like to see him shoot more on the power play. Other than that, no complaints.|
|One assist and plus-2 this week, both in the same game--the win over San Jose.|
|Yeah, he cost the team a win against Anaheim, being the culprit for both goals against, but how many games has he helped the team win?|
|Two assists on the week is about as good as it gets for Kuba, considering that his primary role now is "Do whatever lets Karlsson do whatever he wants."|
|Currently out with an injury, which we suspect might be in his talent region.|
|About as even as you can get this week. Helped Borowiecki in his debut.
|Led the comeback against the Leafs with a two-point game. Three points in four games is pretty good for an old guy, huh? Oh, and he was named an All-Star captain, to the surprise of no one.|
|See "Biggest losses".|
|We can't help but feel Condra would be better suited on the third line, but there's no better option for the Senators right now.|
|Apparently Latvians are impervious to things like broken bones and pain.|
|Two assists and he fought Dion Phanuef. We'd have given him a green arrow just for the fight--the assists are gravy.|
|Two goals against San Jose? That's Michalek's gig!|
|You know Ryan Getzlaf is a top center when he's beating Konopka on faceoffs.|
|Just one assist this week. Not good enough, Milan.|
|Ottawa's lone goal against Anaheim and 21 hits in four games. Neil was a factor all week long.|
|Unremarkable debut for the rookie, but you can definitely see the promise that makes him so highly valued within the organization. We like him.|
|Obviously, he doesn't give a crap about concussions. Sidney Crosby should try to be more like Z. Smith--mind over matter.|
|Instrumental in the wins against Toronto and San Jose (1G, 2A), but where was he in the losses to Winnipeg and Anaheim (no points)?|
|Four points in four games, though like Spezza he was held pointless in the losses. But he's not the top line player, so our expectations are lower.|
|Out indefinitely with a concussion. Should also try to be more like Z. Smith.|