This was a poor week for the Ottawa Senators, and their search for goal-scoring hit what is literally the lowest possible point: Goaltender Brian Elliott put up a shutout, and the team still managed to lose. It is a truly a low for the franchise, which itself followed a disappointing loss to the San Jose Sharks in Dany Heatley's return to Ottawa and, before that, a loss to what was the NHL second-worst Edmonton Oilers. The late-week win over the New York Rangers was a positive sign, but all three goals were from Chris Kelly--not exactly a source we can look to as a long-term solution.
To be honest, though, the team is lucky to have gone 1-2-1 in the week. Want to hear something scary? Only four forwards had one point (or more) in the week. Aside from one point from one defenceman, no points from the blue line. Four goals in four games, six points divvied out amongst the team. Not a single player in the top-six had a point, most of them adding to pointless droughts they'd already been working on.
Biggest Gains: Chris Kelly
Outside of Chris Kelly, the Ottawa Senators scored one goal in four games this week--and that one goal was knocked in by an opposition player. So although we're happy to count on Chris Kelly's reliable play (his hat trick against the Rangers won the game for us, and he led the team in shots against the Sharks), he basically gets the biggest gains by default. But thank you, Mr. Kelly, for being to lone offensive bright spot in the week.
Biggest Losses: Every top-six skater
Combine the points put up this week by Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Peter Regin, Mike Fisher, Alex Kovalev, Milan Michalek, and Bobby Butler, and what do you get? Zero. A big, fat zero. The Senators allowed an average of two goals per game this week, thanks to some great play from the goaltenders, but their forwards did nothing to help them get the wins they deserved.
|Brian Elliott||Elliott started two of the games this week, and allowed three goals against the Oilers while putting up a shutout versus the Sabres. But despite a GAA of 1.50, he lost both games. It's still unbelievable that he put up a shutout, but lost anyway.|
|Pascal Leclaire||Leclaire started the other two games this week, and also played well for Ottawa. His GAA was 2.50 through the week (four against the Sharks, one the Rangers), but he played well enough in both games for the Sens to win. Luckily for him, they actually did win one.|
|Filip Kuba||Kuba was even in +/- and had one assist this week. So... unremarkable, although he was the only defenceman to register a single point this week.|
|Chris Phillips||Chris Phillips gets an up arrow purely based on ridiculously lowered expectations.|
||Naturally, no points, but at least he was only -2 on the week! Gonchar had some howitzers from the point, including a huge one that hit the post against the Sabres, but isn't providing any offence whatsoever. He needs to.|
||Lee is basically always a down arrow, but it's not by fault of his own. His value continues to take a hit the longer he remains in the press box eating KFC double-downs. The Sens need to take the hit and demote him to the AHL already.|
|Erik Karlsson||I was going to give Karlsson a down arrow because he was -5 through the week (horrible), but his play late in the game against the Sabres, especially in overtime, sort of made up for that. Now, all we need are points from him.|
|Chris Campoli||Despite playing 14-19 minutes per game, Campoli had one shot on net in four games. He didn't do anything negative when on the ice, really, but he was just fighting losses--not helping to win.|
|Matt Carkner||Carkner actually managed two shots on net through the week, which wasn't great but was something. He was defensively solid, which is what he needs to do.|
|David Hale||Hale doesn't deserve this down arrow, but he got it when he was assigned to the Binghamton Senators. Hopefully he'll do well down there again.|
|Jason Spezza||No points for Spezza, running his pointless streak to seven games. He was also -4 on the week. In looking for reasons for the Senators' week of futility, the start with Spezza (although they don't end with him).|
|Alex Kovalev||No points for Kovalev this week, either.|
|Daniel Alfredsson||No points for Alfie in four games. He's now at seven games without a point.|
|Milan Michalek||Four games without a point for Michalek? Hard to believe, I know.|
|Mike Fisher||Wow, another no-point top-six player in Ottawa. So this is why we only won one game this week.|
|Nick Foligno||Scored his first goal of the season against the Oilers, which is certainly a plus, but was pretty lucky Ladislav Smid knocked it in on his behalf. Foligno is still struggling.|
|Chris Kelly||See "Biggest Gains".|
|Chris Neil||Hey, Neiler had an assist in the week. And he was +2 overall... not bad. But still... everything was pretty bad.|
|Jarkko Ruutu||Ruutu got an assist on Sunday! Yay! Give him five points on the season now.|
|Peter Regin||Regin was among the top-six skaters held pointless, but he was still playing well and getting chances--he had six shots in the three games he did play this week. I'm still dumbfounded as to why he was scratched on Sunday evening.|
|Jesse Winchester||No, Winchester did not have a point in the week. Yes, he still has as many as Ruutu.|
|Ryan Shannon||Zeros across the board for Shannon, although he did have four shots in the week, which isn't half bad. Okay, it is half bad, but at least it's not all bad.|
|Bobby Butler||Butler got his first real shot in the NHL this week against the Rangers, which is why he gets an up--but he didn't really do much with it. No shots in 16-plus minutes on the top line, but he had chances, and you've got to give a bit of slack to a rookie like The Bust.|