If the way the Ottawa Senators started the week left you feeling great, the way they finished it had to leave you with an awful taste in your mouth. After shutting out the New York Rangers, the worm turned on the team as they were shut out by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team finished the week 2-1-0 in three games, and if that's not good enough for you, your standards are too high: Perfection isn't possible. The team now begins an extended road trip, an opportunity to put some points in the bank and solidify their playoff positioning against teams mostly below them in the standings.
Biggest gains: Mika Zibanejad
Last year, Zibanejad struggled in the second-line center role so much, the team had Zenon Konopka take his faceoffs for him, sent him back to Sweden after 9 games, and ultimately traded for Kyle Turris to fill the hole. This year, in that same role, he's taking his own faceoffs (though only at 46.9% for the year) and alongside Latendresse and Silfverberg, anchoring Ottawa's most consistent offensive threat. He had a four-game points streak snapped against Toronto, but considering the progress he's made from last year to this year--a year where he should still be playing in the AHL--and the fact that he's only 19, what we're seeing from a kid who hasn't had an easy start to his career is really promising.
Biggest losses: Kaspars Daugavins
Daugavins, who's done everything the team asked of him, got waived for his effort. If he was waived at his request--he was frequently scratched, and had to fight for his one-way contract prior to this season--he wound up with a good team in Boston... but he hasn't suited up in a game for them yet. It's tough to see such a fun guy get crushed under the business side of the game, but the NHL is a cutthroat league, and there wasn't a place for Daugavins beyond this season.
|Ben Bishop||Bishop played all the games this week, shut out the Rangers, and won yet another shootout for his team. They repaid him by giving him no support in a 4-0 loss.|
|Won his last start and hasn't played since. As Craig Anderson nears a return, barring a trade it looks like Lehner's 2013 NHL run will soon be at an end.|
|Andre Benoit||Interesting week for Benoit. Scored the game winner against New York, but really struggled against Boston and Toronto--physical teams that his size is a liability against.
|Eric Gryba||Overall, a solid, if unremarkable, week for the youngster.|
|Sergei Gonchar||Gonchar had no points this week, ending his streak in a painful way. The team needs better from him if they want to avoid having to steal games.|
|Mike Lundin||Not sure why Lundin was scratched for Benoit, considering he had an assist in his only appearance of the week. But if that's not good enough to stay in the lineup, that's not a good sign.|
|Marc Methot||11 hits and an assist on the week. But why was Methot not matched up against Nazem Kadri on Saturday?|
|Chris Phillips||Meanwhile, Phillips had another goal, giving him 5 on the year, but he was worked like a chump by Toronto.|
|No assists for Wiercioch this week. Not coincidentally, the team's power play was just 1-for-8 on the week.|
|No points this week, and a bad penalty put his team down early against Toronto.|
|Condra had an assist this week, and even though it didn't seem possible, his penalty-killing got better--guy got two breakaways on the same kill this week. Of course, it's Condra, so no goals.|
See "Biggest losses."
|Got a few games in before returning to Binghamton.|
|Greening should be on a three-game goal streak, but his third goal was disallowed by a quick whistle.|
|Matt Kassian||Performed his role, we guess.|
|Guillaume Latendresse||Scored yet another goal, and created two breakaways against Toronto. Is there a forward with more scoring chances in the past few weeks?
|17 hits, and 2 assists, after cutting his ankle.|
|Drew in for Peter Regin but doesn't have much to show for it.|
|Last week we wrote he appeared to have stolen the fourth line center job form O'Brien. This week, he's scratched for two of three games. What's the point in trying to figure out this situation?|
|Just one assist this week, but we're not going to bag him for the turnover in Toronto.|
|Managed not to tip in anything on Bishop for a change, and though he had no points on the week, consider this: Against Toronto, he led the team in shots (5), hits (6), and faceoffs (11 of 15)--in just 13:25 of ice time.|
|Just one assist this week, though Turris seems to be able to skate around defensemen at will.|
|See "Biggest gains."|