(Ups and downs is a feature that looks at the individual performances of the Ottawa Senators during the past week.)
Impressive week for the Sens, as they went 3-1-0, with wins coming over the New York Islanders (twice) and Washington Capitals. The loss was a grinding disappointment against the Boston Bruins. Still, the Senators outscored their opponents 19-9 during the four games they played--so things went just about as well as could be expected.
Unfortunately, there was also some bad news, as master chef Craig "Gordon Ramsay" Anderson managed to cut his hand while trying to separate frozen chicken. Anderson makes enough to afford warm water in his house, so we're not sure what the problem was.
The nature of Anderson's injury exposed a major lack of goaltending depth in Ottawa's pipeline, so general manager Bryan Murray went out and got himself a good, young prospect in Ben Bishop. The price, of course, was a second rounder... in 2013. What does that mean for Ottawa's current goaltenders? Well, it's not good for one of them...
Biggest gains: Erik Karlsson
On Sunday, Karlsson broke a record that stood since the Senators franchise rejoined the NHL. And it looks like he is poised to set a record that will probably not be touched for the next 20 years. Add to that his 12 points in four games, and there can be no doubt about which Senator had the best week. Karlsson is putting up ridiculous numbers.
Biggest losses: Alex Auld
We don't usually single out a player for one bad game, which is what happened to Auld on Saturday against Boston. But the bottom line is that Auld played a game that didn't inspire any confidence in his teammates or his GM--you have to believe that Murray's acquisition of Bishop was a pretty strong statement on his faith in Auld's ability to play backup effectively down the stretch and into the future with the team.
(read on for the full rundown....)
|He was playing very well, allowing just two goals in two games this week, before "the incident" happened.|
|See "Biggest losses."|
|Gave up a putrid first goal, and then put together a string of good saves to give his team something to rally behind. A very promising game.|
|Got back into the lineup to make an impact against Boston, but did not do so.|
|Cowen was steady but unremarkable this week.|
|Gonchar actually recorded three assists this week.|
|See "Biggest gains."|
|Steady as they come, Kuba is a big reason for Karlsson's success.|
|Could it be that Lee has at long last earned a permanent spot on the team? We want to believe, but fool us thrice...|
|Two goals in four games is better than some forwards this week.|
|Alfie's four-game points streak came to an end on Sunday, but he still managed four points in four games. At age 39.|
|No points this week for the Bust. Probably because Spezza felt like shooting this week.|
|We liked Condra's game against the Islanders, but he was a minus-3 in two games against Washington and Boston. Against Boston, the rating is more understandable, but going minus-1 in a 5-2 win isn't cool.|
|We'll check back at the end of the season when he scores his next goal.|
|Five points in four games, including two multi-point games. And doing it from the fourth line. Why?|
|Starting to show chemistry with Turris and Alfredsson, but meanwhile Foligno has five points in four games. How long a leash does Greening deserve?|
|Remains scratched because Jim O'Brien is a better option. Might be trade bait, because he deserves to play.|
|Five points (3G, 2A) in four games and a badass goal celebration to ice the cake.|
|If it weren't for Karlsson, he'd be our biggest gainer: Five points (1G, 4A) in four games, a huge hit on Johnny Boychuk, and a toe-to-toe fight with Zdeno Chara. An impressive week, to say the least.|
|He's been playing well enough to keep Konopka out of the lineup, and when you consider how crucial games are at this point of the season and how strong Konopka is on faceoffs, that's no small feat. It doesn't hurt that his line has been chipping in points: he had a goal on Sunday and Nick Foligno's points have already been mentioned.|
|Head coach Paul MacLean said he liked Z. Smith's line on Sunday, and that's a welcome change--he's gotten (and earned) very little ice time this week.|
|Three goals and two assists in four games. Spezza is blazing: his points streak is at nine games, and the Senators have only played 11 total in the month of February. Think about that.|
|His multi-point night against New York on Sunday was badly needed: he only managed one other point, an assist, in the week despite getting numerous chances.|