Senators Ups and Downs: Week 5

Up arrow for the look. - Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

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

Biggest Gains: Robin Lehner

A potentially controversial pick. Lehner came out of the week 0-0-2, both of which were losses in the shootout. He's still the backup goaltender. So why is he the biggest gainer? Well, with Anderson's possible injury, Lehner could become the starter for a little while. Call that a promotion. A pretty big gain.

Oh, and the guy made 53 saves in one game, beating the six-way tie for the team's all-time record of 47 (two of which are his, one from this season). He's got the 22nd-best GAA and 5th-best SV% in the entire NHL, and once again: he made 53 saves in one game.

The entire defence corps (minus Karlsson) owe him dinner after that.

Biggest Losses: Jared Cowen

A few years ago, we all went to sleep at night with dreams of a dominant duo of Jared Cowen and Erik Karlsson in our heads. Well this week we got to see the combination, and the result wasn't pretty. Cowen has been bad for most of this season, that isn't any secret. This week he's been especially so. After posting a -21 Corsi against the Islanders (-21!?) on Friday, Cowen improved slightly in the second half of Sunday's game, but only after throwing a check in the offensive zone that led to a goal against. Karlsson can't cover every one of Cowen's mistakes. He shouldn't have to.

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Before being taken off on a stretcher, Anderson was having a great bounceback game against Dallas after a weak performance against Chicago.
Robin Lehner Can't catch a break, but you can't ignore 53 saves.
Defensemen
Mark Borowiecki The callup had no hand in the Islanders debacle, had a great game debut, and then scored his first NHL goal against Craig Anderson. No word on whether he got to keep the puck.
Joe Corvo Scored a goal, gets scratched the next game. A week in the life of Joe Corvo.
Jared Cowen Doesn't belong on the team right now.
Eric Gryba Set a season-high in ice time against the Islanders, but had an awful game while playing it. It was his only game this week.
Erik Karlsson Five points in three games. Over a point-per-game player. Still not a god.
Marc Methot Very quietly gone about and done his job. Was somehow a positive possession player against the Islanders.
Chris Phillips Hasn't been a top-4 defenceman for a long time, still gets played as if he's one.
Patrick Wiercioch Had a decent week by 2013 Ottawa Senators defenceman standards.
Forwards
Cory Conacher A -22 Corsi in only 29 minutes of 5-on-5 time. His ice time kept decreasing.
Erik Condra Exactly as one would expect in Erik Condra Land, he scores a goal and is injured on the play.
Derek Grant Looks more and more comfortable on the ice.
Colin Greening It's difficult to tell if Greening being put on a line is an opportunity for him or a punishment for others.
Matt Kassian Played for the first time in two weeks and again had only six shifts.
Clarke MacArthur Exorcised the ghost of Bill Muckalt.
Milan Michalek Grtryno sdgdflyhj fstuyteu 3 points.
Chris Neil Neil may be a whipping boy, but sometimes you deserve to get whipped. Is bringing nothing to the team on the ice, and keeps bringing his linemates down. Takes bad penalties.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau The down arrow indicates demotion.
Bobby Ryan Biggest Gains runner-up 1A. Five points in three games, including the tying goal with 10 seconds left against Dallas.
Z. Smith Ice time keeps rising as Z. Smith keeps earning it with his great play.
Jason Spezza Managed three points despite being a negative possession player in all three games and being given linemates like Chris Neil.
Kyle Turris Biggest Gains runner-up 1B. Last season Turris was forced into the #1 centre role. This season he's earned it.
Mika Zibanejad Atrocious against the Islanders - although he did score a goal. Not even close to atrocious against Dallas or Chicago.

Special thanks to our friend winterion at Japer's Rink for our icons!

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