Senators ups and downs: Week 25

Praise Alfie! (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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

They whittled away their cushion. Buffalo and Washington were nipping at their heels. This week: at Winnipeg, at Philadelphia, at New York (Islanders). Win, win, win. Playoffs. Boom.

Biggest gains: Daniel Alfredsson
We should just nickname him "Ghostbuster," because in the immortal words of Dr. Peter Venkman, "Sometimes, shit happens, someone has to deal with it, and who ya gonna call?" On Ottawa, that person is still Alfie. With three goals in two games, including the go-ahead and game-winner in a wild game against Winnipeg and a doom rocket off a feed from Karlsson against Philly, Alfie showed he can still deliver when he needs to.

Biggest losses: Zenon Konopka
Uh, we guess. Hard to pick out someone who struggled this week. We chose Konopka because it doesn't look like he'll play again this season unless there's an injury, not because he had a particularly bad week. There's just other players head coach Paul MacLean would rather use.

(read on for the full rundown...)

Goalies Trend Notes
Craig Anderson

Wasn't always pretty, but he won all three of his games. That's what starters do.
Alex Auld

Didn't play, which is great for the Senators' playoff chances.
Ben Bishop

His injury is reportedly not as serious as originally thought, but it's still unlikely he'll play again before the regular season ends.
Defensemen
Matt Carkner

Just when we thought he was done, he's played strongly once he returned to the lineup.
Jared Cowen

As games become more crucial, his minutes are being reduced--but that's okay. We've seen that Cowen can play 30 minutes a night, but it's probably smarter to lean on the veterans when points are crucial. Cowen has played well regardless, so the reduced time isn't an indictment of his play, just smart coaching.
Sergei Gonchar

His play appears to be on the upswing. He's chosen a good time for it.
Matt Gilroy

What happens here is anyone's guess. We've written off Carkner and he came back strong. Maybe Gilroy will as well.
Erik Karlsson

Only four assists in three games this week, and we call that struggling for him. We're kind of spoiled, huh?
Filip Kuba

Plus-3 with an assist against Winnipeg in a game that was 6-4 Ottawa. Everyone who booed him at the home opener should give him ten dollars.
Chris Phillips

Eating up all the minutes not going to Cowen, and doing it well. Just like Gonchar, he has chosen a good time to play well.
Forwards
Daniel Alfredsson

See "Biggest gains."
Bobby Butler

Got to play on Sunday, and probably could have had a goal if Turris had decided to pass instead of shoot.
Erik Condra

He's going to be more important come playoff time.
Kaspars Daugavins

Goal against Winnipeg. Fourth-liners scoring goals is always good.
Nick Foligno

How good has he looked on the second line?
Colin Greening

He's been streaky all year. Currently, he's in an unproductive streak.
Rob Klinkhammer

Probably out now that Winchester is healthy.
Zenon Konopka

See "Biggest losses."
Milan Michalek

Four points (2G, 2A) in three games. We'll take it.
Chris Neil

Nothing wrong with his play this week. He's obviously ready for the playoffs.
Jim O'Brien

JOB has been killing it on faceoffs.
Zack Smith

More than a few chances for him this week. Now they need to go in.
Jason Spezza

Four points in two games. He probably would have destroyed the Islanders if he played them.
Kyle Turris

Take it away, coach MacLean: "Kyle gives us that ability to play whoever we want against anybody, and if that's the matchup they want, then it works for us as well. I think he plays in the whole rink and he plays well. He's sound defensively. We're real pleased with how he is playing."
Jesse Winchester

Notched an assist in his first game back.
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