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Senators Ups and Downs: Week Ten

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 2:  Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Toronto Maple Leafs chases Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators during NHL action at the Air Canada Centre November 2 2010 in Toronto Ontario Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
TORONTO - NOVEMBER 2: Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Toronto Maple Leafs chases Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators during NHL action at the Air Canada Centre November 2 2010 in Toronto Ontario Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
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A three-game week was another sub-.500 one for the Ottawa Senators, but at least there was a sign of hope in one capacity: A moderate increase in goal-scoring, as the Sens put up seven goals (six different goal scorers, to boot) over the course of the three games. Ottawa kicked it off with an ugly loss to the Montreal Canadiens, a late collapse to lose to the New York Rangers, and then a win over the terrible New Jersey Devils.

Biggest Gains: Erik Karlsson
Karlsson had four points in three games this week, factoring in on more than half of Ottawa's offensive production. For a second-year pro defenceman, that's kind of incredible, even if he did finish the week even in plus-minus. With the four points, he's now got 16--tied for second on the team in scoring. It's been a year of disappointments, but Karlsson's development has been a rare bright spot.

Biggest Losses: Daniel Alfredsson
The tough times for the captain continue, and his scoring drought extended to a career-high ten games in the week. He may be fighting through an injury, or just struggling with declining physical abilities, but this team is dependent on him to lead and contribute offensively in order to win and get back in the hunt for the playoffs.

Goalies Trend Notes
Brian Elliott Elliott was lit up by the Rangers, allowing two back-breaking goals to suck any momentum the Sens had after taking three different one-goal leads. He also allowed one goal on two shots in a very short relief appearance against Montreal.
Pascal Leclaire Leclaire went 1-1 in the week, taking the loss in Montreal but also getting credit--deserved credit, as well--for the win against New Jersey. With little consistency and yet another apparent injury, though, he's still not on the upswing.

Filip Kuba Not points and a -3 in the week, Kuba's still seeing plenty of ice time. I'm not sure if he will continue seeing plenty of ice time, but he's hardly contributing to the team's success, even when they're lucky enough to get some.
Chris Phillips Phillips is an up again this week, mostly on the back of a very impressive performance against Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils. It was the first we've seen of the shut-down version of Chris Phillips, and it was a welcome sight for a team desperate for defensive stability.
Sergei Gonchar Gonchar had only one assist in the week, despite playing significant minutes and getting loads of powerplay time. It's unfortunate that he's being asked to play a more defensively-responsible game because that's obviously impacting his offensive output, but he's still got to put up points; especially on the powerplay, and especially when Karlsson's shown it can be done.
Brian Lee Playing Lee hasn't even entered the realm of possibility in weeks.
Erik Karlsson See "Biggest Gains".
Chris Campoli One assist in a week that wasn't very memorable. But that doesn't simply mean he didn't do anything well; it also means he didn't do anything that stood out as horrid.
Matt Carkner Similar to Campoli, although Carkner deserves credit for handing Derek Boogard his lunch in a fight--credit which, unfortunately, gets offset by his blood-flicking gesture to the Rangers bench.

Jason Spezza A couple of points for Spezza, highlighted by an amazing assist against Montreal, is impressive. But when the linchpin of our offence has his point-totals doubled by a sophomore defenceman, he's not exactly pulling his weight. Spezza is doing as well as he can with struggling linemates, but he's still going to need to do more.
Alex Kovalev No points and a public spat with the head coach isn't exactly helping Kovalev's case for a new contract next season. When he was moved back to the top line and played the final minutes against the Devils, it may have marked a burial of the hatchet with Cory Clouston; he'd better hope so, anyway.
Daniel Alfredsson See "Biggest Losses".
Milan Michalek Michalek had one goal against the Devils, which was some much-needed offence. But it was only his 11th point in 27 games, and at some point the 'coming off knee surgery' excuse has to wear thin.
Mike Fisher Two goals against the Rangers ended Fisher's five-game pointless drought, but it wasn't enough to help Ottawa to a win. He was virtually invisible against the Devils, too, but two goals goes a long way in giving him an up this week.
Nick Foligno Three points in the week--a goal and two assists--went a long way in easing some of the venom people had towards Foligno, but he's still got a long way to go to get back to being considered a real top-six forward.
Chris Kelly Kelly had an assist in the week, on pace with his expected production. You'd like more from him, but might not be right to expect it--although he does need to get smart again when killing penalties.
Chris Neil One assist for Neil, no fights, but nine hits. Not bad, not not great; your prototypical neutral marker for the week. You've got to think more is expected of him, though.
Jarkko Ruutu Ruutu seems to be picking up his play a little bit since an absolutely terrible start to the season. He had one goal in the week, the game-winner against Jersey, but still has some improvement to do.
Peter Regin Wow, if Regin ever in Cory Clouston's doghouse. He was scratched against the Habs, but returned for the next two games--only to play barely 15 minutes in those games combined. No, we're not please with his offensive production this season, but it's hard to expect him to change that if he's not given the opportunity to do so.
Jesse Winchester No points for Winchester in fairly limited minutes. He's got five points on the season, which is about what you'd expect, but is currently running up an eight-game pointless streak.
Ryan Shannon Shannon only got to dress in one game this week, and was scratched against New York and New Jersey to make room for Butler. His seven-game pointless drought might have had something to do with that.
Bobby Butler Butler got to play all three games this week, but--surprise, surprise--didn't prove to be the answer to the Senators' woes. He's now been sent back to the AHL to get back into the scoring title race.