Senators Ups and Downs Week 9

Mika Zibanejad prepares to punch Erik Condra after hearing a "drop a phat beat" joke for the hundredth time. - Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

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

Would you believe in three games last week, Ottawa played well enough to win, yet came away with a 1-2-0 record? Of course you would. That's how this season has gone. Even when things go right, they go wrong. The Senators followed up a 6-4 win over the Capitals with a 5-2 loss to the Canucks and a 4-2 loss to the Red Wings. What do you do with that? The team gets no points for improving. They're quickly running out of time to turn their season around. In another month, they'll be needing major help to make the playoffs if things don't turn around.

Biggest Gains: Mika Zibanejad

A goal in every game this week (and a four-game points streak) made this easy. Mikachu probably didn't need any time in Binghamton to figure things out, but his play has definitely changed since joining the top six. He's playing less on the perimeter, and has swapped out slappers from the circles for sniffing around the net and hitting people. Now if he could just get Spezza going...

Biggest Losses: Jared Cowen

Cowen has been given more rope than any other player this season, but this week head coach Paul MacLean's patience came to an end, and Cowen was mercifully scratched. That didn't really change the team's fortunes, because Cowen's not really the problem, but he's not giving the coach any reason to trust him, and that's a huge issue. Get it? Because he's big?

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Even though he got the team's only win this week, Anderson didn't perform at an acceptable level. He wasn't strong in the win, and he got shellacked in the next game.
Robin Lehner Lehner got a chance against Detroit and did his best while getting no real support. The result was predictable.
Defensemen
Mark Borowiecki BoroCop was feisty against Vancouver, but we saw too much of the "make a hit" Borowiecki and not enough of the "play defense" Borowiecki for our liking.
Joe Corvo Best we can say is that he's not a big problem.
Jared Cowen See "Biggest Losses."
Eric Gryba Played against Vancouver, but isn't getting much opportunity these days.
Erik Karlsson Another three points (all assists) in three games. Kicked ass in Washington but couldn't match that level of play in the next two games.
Marc Methot Methot actually had two assists this week before coming down with the flu.
Chris Phillips Multi-point game, and he matched Karlsson in points! Now, if only we could think of a reason that might be an indicator of a problem...
Patrick Wiercioch Not even sure where he fits at the moment.
Forwards
Cory Conacher We'd rather have Ben Bishop right now.
Erik Condra Condra's biggest contributions come on the PK and possession. But both of those haven't been great. That makes us dislike Condra.
Derek Grant How happy do you think he is with a fourth line role? He can just fly under the radar.
Colin Greening Hey, Greening got a goal! 29 more and he'll redeem his rocky start!
Matt Kassian Kassian didn't play this week.
Clarke MacArthur Still getting it done with two more goals and an assist.
Milan Michalek He doesn't look slower to us. He just doesn't look like the same player. It's like all the tools are still there and they're all just not working in sync.
Chris Neil The two fights are not a big deal. The other four penalties, however, are.
Bobby Ryan Did what he was brought here to do this week.
Z. Smith Goal and an assist, but coupled with some subpar faceoff numbers.
Jason Spezza He was decent for the start of the week, but it looked to us like he was trying a little too hard during Daniel Alfredsson's return.
Kyle Turris Only one point for "T" this week. But his linemates were scoring.
Mika Zibanejad See "Biggest gains."

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

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