Senators Ups and Downs: Week 16

No one is brave enough to invade Robin Lehner's personal space. - USA TODAY Sports

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

It's all about perspective.

At one point in this season, we probably would have been thrilled with the Senators securing 3 of a possible 6 points in a week. But coming off of their best winning streak of the year, 3 of 6 leaves one feeling almost... unfulfilled--especially considering that the team played well enough to beat the Montreal Canadiens and was all over the New York Rangers before reverting to their old ways and letting their opponents take the game over through special teams. Still, the team is playing well enough to remain within striking distance of a playoff spot. In fact, they had nearly closed to within striking distance of Montreal for a division, rather than wild card, seed. There remains an outside chance that could happen. With games this week against teams directly competing for playoff spots, the Senators continue to be in control of their own fate. That's the only perspective that really matters.

Biggest gains: Robin Lehner

One game, no goals. Perhaps he has earned more playing time in light of...

Biggest losses: Craig Anderson

The amount of blame you can assign to Anderson's goals allowed this week is pretty subjective. There were a few obvious ones he'd like to have back, and a few others where one wonders just why he was hung out to dry. But, hey, whoever said Ups and Downs was fair? Whatever the reason, Anderson was on the wrong ends of a loss and OT loss, and gave up at least three straight goals in both appearances. It's tough to ask a guy for more when everything goes wrong, but when the other guy gets a shutout, well...

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson See "Biggest losses."
Robin Lehner See "Biggest gains."
Defensemen
Cody Ceci We really like his play.
Joe Corvo Didn't play at all this week. It's Gryba's turn, apparently.
Jared Cowen Blameless on the own-goal that cost Ottawa a point against Montreal, but still... kicked a puck into his own net. If we're going to fault Anderson for all 8 goals he allowed, we're for sure going to fault Cowen for one.
Eric Gryba Played against Montreal and New York--both losses. Still, 7 hits against Montreal probably contributed to coming back from a 3-0 deficit.
Erik Karlsson 5P (1G, 4A) in 3 games this week.
Marc Methot Hey! Methot goal!
Chris Phillips Nothing against Phillips, but we wouldn't be oppossed to seeing a Gryba-Wiercioch 3rd pairing--just for a different look.
Patrick Wiercioch Played in the shutout against Minnesota, but that wasn't enough to keep Gryba out of the lineup for the rest of the week. What's a guy gotta do?
Forwards
Cory Conacher We respect Conacher's feisty nature, even if it means he'll probably have a short career.
Erik Condra In a one-goal game, who do you look to break it open on a breakaway? Bobby Ryan? Nope, Erik Condra!
Colin Greening Greening is mostly out there to suck up punishment.
Matt Kassian The team lost as soon as he was out of the lineup. We don't get it.
Clarke MacArthur Could he score more goals than Bobby Ryan? Probably not, but the fact that we're even asking means he had a good week.
Milan Michalek The will is there.
Chris Neil Unimpressed with his return to the lineup. His biggest contribution was bumping Kassian.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau Returned to Binghamton, as expected.
Bobby Ryan Got back on track with a goal against Montreal. He was fully involved in that game with five hits, too.
Z. Smith Rocking a .712 faceoff percentage this week. That's... pretty impressive.
Jason Spezza Just one assist this week but we feel he's skating more aggressively.
Mark Stone No goals... not a good thing when Spezza is force feeding you.
Kyle Turris Can he rip that slapshot or what?
Mika Zibanejad No points this week, and he's looked a little inconsistent. It's important to remember that he's just 20, and that's to be expected.

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

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