Wins but still no winning streak. The Senators remain inconsistent, but show signs of improvement, earning points in three of their four games last week. Collecting 62.5% of the possible points they could keeps them in the playoff hunt in the churning Eastern Conference, but at this point, it's a two-horse race for what the Senators need most: Consistency or wins.
Biggest gains: Bobby Ryan
With two multi-point games, Ryan has tied Erik Karlsson for the team lead in points. What we absolutley love about Ryan is that he's not a one-dimensional goal-scorer, nor a one-dimensional player. He leads the team in goals with 15, but we've seen him score in a multitude of ways from all over the ice. His 15 assists speak to his offensive awareness--Ryan's got a knack for setting up goals if he's not in a position to score them himself. And while he'll never be a Selke Trophy nominee, he's also not a liability in the defensive zone. All of those traits were on display this week.
Biggest losses: Mike Hoffman
Hoffman got a short audition alongside Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris, produced no points, and got sent down to Binghamton. Our own Bobby Kelly feels that audition was essentially pointless (much like Hoffman!) but it's a fine line. How long does a player get to make an impression? Pageau got a longer look before getting demoted, while many feel Jared Cowen had gotten much too long a look before finally getting scratched. Whatever the reasons, Hoffman whiffed on his first at-bat. With the way this season has gone, it probably won't be his last shot.
|Craig Anderson||Good in a win, bad in a loss. So it goes.|
|Robin Lehner||Bad in a loss, good in a loss. So it goes.|
|Cody Ceci||One hell of a debut for the kid, but as he quickly found out, the game is harder when you're not playing Buffalo. Don't think we've seen the last of him this season, though.|
|Joe Corvo||Had such a strong stretch that he actually wound up on the top pairing with Karlsson by the end of the Kings game.|
|Jared Cowen||Even, we guess? We have no clue how to rate a guy who had his two best games of the season and then was suspended for the next two.|
|Eric Gryba||We don't get the hype. Didn't look any better than Cowen, and even if he was, that's not a very high bar to jump, is it?|
|Erik Karlsson||Merely a goal and an assist this week. And 13 shots over 4 games. And he looked good across all four games despite some highly visible mistakes. We've give him a green arrow if all we were looking at were effort, but results matter too.|
|Marc Methot||His reign of flu terror continued this week.|
|Chris Phillips||The more we watch, the more we don't believe Phillips should be playing top-4 minutes.|
|Patrick Wiercioch||A goal and an assist are good enough when you're on the third pairing.|
|Cory Conacher||Last week, we said he was becoming an afterthought. He now has a three-game assist streak going.|
|Erik Condra||We'd have given him biggest gains if he were able to score in the shootout.|
|Jean-Gabriel Pageau||Should be sticking around a little while longer.|
|Colin Greening||We like when Greening uses his strength. We just wish more points came along with it.|
|Mike Hoffman||See "Biggest losses."|
|Matt Kassian||We all know the deal with Kassian at this point, don't we?|
|Clarke MacArthur||Two more goals this week.|
|Milan Michalek||He had a goal, but not much else. He doesn't look slower, just less good at hockey.|
|Chris Neil||He beat up Cory Conacher in practice and then Conacher had a good game. LEADERSHIP.|
|Bobby Ryan||See "Biggest gains."|
|Z. Smith||Scored a big goal and seems to be taking most of the defensive zone faceoffs these days.|
|Jason Spezza||Three more assists, and he went 20 of 22 on faceoffs against Buffalo in Ottawa. That's ridiculous.|
|Kyle Turris||With a goal and three assists, seems to be finding his game without MacArthur.|
|Mika Zibanejad||No points this week. Wonder if that's because it's harder to generate offense with Kassian?|
Special thanks to our friend winterion at Japer's Rink for our icons!