Senators ups and downs: Week 23

Ben Bishop is terrible at limbo. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

(Ups and downs is a feature that looks at the individual performances of the Ottawa Senators during the past week.)

It wasn't a terrible week for the Senators as a team--they briefly held the division lead, and captured three of a possible six points. But the way in which they did those things was not one that inspires confidence. The power play went 0-for-the week, and allowed a shorthanded goal in the process; the team only managed one win in three games against teams not in playoff contention; the Senators only scored five goals in those three games; they squandered not one, but two long 5-on-3 opportunities. Luckily, there are nine games left to correct things, because this is not the kind of momentum a team wants to approach the playoffs with.

Biggest gains: Ben Bishop
Green arrows are scarce this week, and Bishop was the team's steadiest player, starting all three games. He allowed an own-goal from Karlsson, but gave his team a chance to win every game. He can't be faulted if they didn't get the job done.

Biggest losses: Matt Gilroy
In his nine games here, he's missed more empty nets than Brian Lee has goals this season. His pinches seem oddly timed, he is not overly physical, and he either doesn't have the hockey vision we were led to believe or he doesn't have a good understanding of head coach Paul MacLean's system. Not every trade deadline audition is going to go like Anderson's did last year, but Gilroy hasn't done anything to help the team win this week.

ok, I believe you
Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson

Reportedly practicing in full gear, so a return is probably happening soon. If only he could fix the power play.
Alex Auld

Once Anderson is healthy, Auld is simply no longer needed.
Ben Bishop

See "Biggest gains."
Defensemen
Matt Carkner

If Gilroy's play is keeping him out of the lineup, the coaching staff must have no faith in him at all.
Jared Cowen

Had a quality fight and hasn't been awful.
Sergei Gonchar

If we had to take a drink for every time the puck hopped his stick this week, we'd be dead. Maybe that's bad luck, but maybe it's not, either.
Matt Gilroy

See "Biggest losses."
Erik Karlsson

A goal and an assist salvage his week, but we're still not thrilled with seeing him try to do it all himself--though frankly, this week, he was probably his own best option.
Filip Kuba

Outscored Karlsson this week. Yes, really. His two assists were topped off by a game-winning overtime goal against Montreal.
Chris Phillips

Handcuffed with Gilroy. Where's the leadership?
Forwards
Daniel Alfredsson

When Alfie himself says he's not playing well, our hands are tied.
Bobby Butler

The year of consistent inconsistency continues.
Erik Condra

One assist this week. The Bingo line reunion is a bust so far.
Kaspars Daugavins

Back to being scractched.
Nick Foligno

No points this week. Not even a fight against Luke Schenn made us happy.
Colin Greening

Hey, there we go! Greening is on a three-game goal scoring streak, and he has done it on a few different lines. Strong contender for Biggest Gainer.
Rob Klinkhammer

We're not clear why he's on the second line. It's not to get points (he has just one in seven games), it's not to get the puck out of the corner (Alfie's still the first man in on that line), and it's not to distribute the puck (that's still Turris' job).
Zenon Konopka

If toughness was the team's problem, he'd draw back in.
Milan Michalek

Has no goals since his hat trick game.
Chris Neil

Got ejected against Toronto but managed to take Mikhail Grabovski with him, which is a pretty good trade. But watching him try to lead rushes is painful, and often results in turnovers.
Jim O'Brien

We don't have high expectations here, which keeps us from being disappointed. We liked the third line better when Z. Smith was scoring there, though.
Zack Smith

Speaking of scoring, he'd probably have his old job back if he could do it as well as he was early in the year.
Jason Spezza

It's been a hard week mentally for Spezza--of that, we have no doubt. And while we don't blame him, we hope he regains his focus soon. The team is floundering without him creating offense.
Kyle Turris

We love his talent. We do not love his inconsistency.
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