Senators Ups and Downs: Preseason Week 2

Cory Conacher hasn't let anything get in his way this preseason. - Richard Wolowicz

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

The Ottawa Senators had another good week in the preseason, going 2-1-0. The B-team was able to come up with a 3-2 win against a more-skilled Toronto Maple Leafs squad, and also managed a solid showing against a Montreal Canadiens team that was playing most of its regular season roster. Meanwhile, the Senators' A-team destroyed the Canadiens' AHL players. Most of the final cuts have been made, so there wasn't much to play for on Sunday, which pooped on everyone's stats.

Biggest Gains: Cory Conacher

Stephane Da Costa got strong consideration for this, but Conacher produced this week both with top six linemates and with AHL linemates. That should be good enough to win the remaining job in the top six. Considering that Conacher was benched in the playoffs last year for inconsistent play, his improvement this preseason has been quite impressive. More than any other player--with the exception of maybe JG Pageau--Conacher has seized the opportunity available to him.

Biggest Losses: Michael Sdao

There's not much to say here. Sdao simply isn't close to ready for the NHL. He's all over the place in his play, resulting in some egregious mistakes. . You can see what he's trying to do, so it's not all bad. Sdao just needs a lot of coaching so that he can play a calmer style. Some confidence should allow him to let the game to him instead of whatever he's trying to do out there now.

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Despite saying he was pleased with his performances, Anderson has simply not had a good preseason.
Andrew Hammond Got a surprise start when Nathan Lawson injured himself in warmups. Didn't like either goal he gave up, but he also made more than a few good saves in a 5-2 win.
Robin Lehner Guy is a stud. Won his game with AHL players against Toronto's NHL players, but got blasted in his final start.
Defensemen
Mark Borowiecki Had a decent showing in two games, but probably didn't do enough to challenge Eric Gryba for the last defensive spot.
Cody Ceci Had an two assists to go with a few mistakes in his two games this week. About what you'd expect from a rookie.
Fredrik Claesson No assists this week. Claesson will go down to Binghamton and probably play on the top pairing.
Joe Corvo Early candidate for this year's scapegoat.
Jared Cowen Tough to get a read on Cowen so far.
Erik Karlsson He had three assists in one game, so...
Marc Methot Mr. Steady.
Chris Phillips It's a testament to his veteran status that he's played with everyone under the sun. Got an audition to make the team? Phillips is your partner.
Chris Wideman Will probably be a bigger factor in Binghamton.
Patrick Wiercioch Slowed from his blazing start in terms of points, but looks ready to step up.
Forwards
Cory Conacher See "Biggest gains."
Erik Condra Probably the most secure player in the bottoms six.
Corey Cowick Binghamton bound.
Stephane Da Costa Partly due to his waiver situation, and partly due to his strong play, Da Costa looks like he's made the big team, and has been rewarded for improvements by getting a chance to replace Jason Spezza on the top line. How long he remains a Senator has yet to be seen, but he's forced the team to give him a longer look.
Dave Dziurzynski We were excited to see Dizzy's name on the score sheet from last night's games, then we realized it was for a hooking penalty.
Derek Grant We believe, but aren't 100% sure, that Grant lost every faceoff he took this week. Yikes.
Colin Greening Whether playing with Pageau or Zibanejad, Greening is going to get a chance to be more than a checking forward this year.
Mike Hoffman Despite his promising callup last season, Hoffman just couldn't beat out his competition this year.
Matt Kassian Matt Kassian is going to do what Matt Kassian does.
Clarke MacArthur Showed instant chemistry with his linemates--he's notched at least a point in every game this week.
Milan Michalek Say what you want about Michalek, but the points keep coming. Had another multi-point effort against Montreal, his second of the preseason.
Chris Neil We'd like to see him do more than skate around and scowl.
Jim O`Brien Has cleared waivers and will probably play in Binghamton.
Curtis Lazar He looks like a future player.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau This guy just doesn't know how to stop.
Andre Petersson Cooled off tremendously this week. Still think he's at the top of the callup list, though.
Matt Puempel Scored a goal! Should be confident heading into his first full year in Binghamton.
Buddy Robinson Still looks like he's on the right development path.
Z. Smith Just waiting to find out where he's going to line up. Wouldn't be surprised to see him take defensive zone faceoffs regardless of his center/wing status.
Jason Spezza Ow_medium Nursing a groin injury, which has everyone holding their breath.
Mark Stone Unable to beat out Conacher, Stone's battle now is with Petersson to be the best callup option when injuries create an opportunity.
Kyle Turris Turris' line has been the most consistent all preseason long, and that remained true this week. Considering secondary scoring is a question mark, that's a positive sign.
Mika Zibanejad With just one goal in three games, it looks like it's going to be more of a checking line year for Mikachu.

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

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