Senators Ups and Downs: Week 7

Patrick Wiercioch, about to score the elusive thing known to Senators fans as a "goal." - Al Bello

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

Unfortunately, when you have a perfect week, the only place to go is down--and that's what we saw this week, as the cracks of inexperience have begun to show amongst the roster of the Ottawa Senators' current stable of players. Despite going 1-1-2 on the week, there's no decisiveness--nor offense--in their wins or losses. The team has the talent to steal a win if they need to, the structure to beat most opponents, and the youth to blow those chances on any given night. Get used to it--there's no telling what this team is capable of until we see the final result of the game.

Biggest gains: Patrick Wiercioch

Scored a goal and set up another this week, as it's becoming clear that he has the offensive skills to play in the NHL. It's also worth noting that the power play has started to show signs of life with Wiercioch on it as well. Not unlike fellow rookie Eric Gryba, Wiercioch is making plenty of rookie mistakes, too, but his impact is coming in an area where the team desperately needs help: scoring.

Biggest losses: Derek Grant

Did not suit up this week, because Regin demanded to get put in and then justified it with his play. With winger Milan Michalek reportedly close to returning, you have to think Grant is the odd man out when the team needs to clear space on its roster to make that happen. We liked Grant's play on the fourth line last week, but if the choice is between him, Regin, and Michalek, well...

Goalies Trend Notes
Ben Bishop Flat-out stole two points from Montreal.
Robin Lehner
Looks ready for the NHL, despite going 0-0-2 in two starts. Gave his team a chance to win both games. Can't ask for more than that.
Defensemen

Andre Benoit He's finishing out the year in Ottawa, but hasn't been able to stay in the lineup nightly, although that will likely chance with Lundin's concussion.
Sergei Gonchar It's Gonchar or nothing. Also bagged a power play point against the Islanders.
Eric Gryba Some shifts he looks like a shutdown stud. Some shifts he looks like he's playing for the Senators' opponents.
Mike Lundin Jumping from the flu to a concussion is not a good trend for the kid, especially when the team needs bodies desperately.
Marc Methot Scored his first goal as a Senator against Philadelphia. Looks to be the only legit NHL defender the team has left.
Chris Phillips He's okay in sheltered minutes, but looks best when paired with Benoit.
Patrick Wiercioch

See "Biggest gains."
Forwards

Daniel Alfredsson

We didn't like seeing Alfie lose his cool in Philly, but overall he still looks like he can play the game for as long as he wants.
Erik Condra

Not surprisingly, he looks better on the fourth line than the second line.
Kaspars Daugavins

We don't think he's been outworked on a shift this season. His refusal to give up on a play directly led to crucial goal.
Dave Dziurzynski

Scored another goal this week, but the initial callup bounce looks to be wearing off.
Derek Grant

See "Biggest losses."
Colin Greening

His point production predictably dropped from last week, but his overall play hasn't.
Milan Michalek Could return this week.
Chris Neil

He's so polarizing. He had two assists in four games this week, but also took some momentum-sapping penalties. Seeing stuff like that is frustrating, but we can't ignore how huge his assists are given how rare goals are for this team these days. Nobody's perfect, we guess.
Jim O`Brien

Now the team's active leading goal-scorer. Also the only forward regularly in the lineup without an assist. Could have had two goals instead of just one this week if not for a lucky save.
Peter Regin

So, he demands to play and gets the shootout winner in the same game. And then he gets first line minutes against Boston. Enjoy it while you can.
Jakob Silfverberg

No points this week, and his magic shootout shot didn't work. Welcome to the NHL, rookie--no one can pull the same thing over and over here and expect success. Except for Craig Anderson.
Zack Smith

Z. Smith busts through the defense, kicks the puck to his forehand, and... the goalie makes a save. Z. Smith strips the puck, circles the net, takes a shot... and it doesn't go in. At least he's got seven assists.
Kyle Turris

This kid is doing everything but scoring goals. He's even getting chances to score goals. Goals will come.
Mika Zibanejad

Scored another goal this week. Remember, he's just 19, and the Zibanejad we're seeing is just the rough outline of the player he could be someday.
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