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Senators thumbs up/thumbs down, week 25

A good look at the Ottawa Senators' roster for the week of March 30-April 4, 2010:

Biggest gains: Erik Karlsson
Another four points last week for Karlsson, including two goals in the win against the Carolina Hurricanes--doubling his goal-output on the year. Karlsson's play against the Canes was crucial to the win, and he's looking like a completely different player from the start of the season: Taking chances, playing with confidence at both ends, shooting the puck well, and passing it even better. If he can keep going this strong heading into and through the playoffs, the Senators will be that much better off.

Biggest losses: Mike Fisher
Fisher had one assist in the week, which is also his only point in the last six games. He's been a streaky scorer for his whole career, but the Senators need him to start streaking heading into the playoffs.

(Read the full team's rundown... )

Goalies Trend Notes
Brian Elliott Elliott went 2-1 despite allowing 11 goals against, which is pretty good. His numbers weren't good, but the team bailed him out in a couple of games, and he didn't take as much flak as he would have otherwise.
Pascal Leclaire The best thing that happened to Leclaire last week was the news that he should get another start coming out. Still, he's become the unquestioned backup.
Filip Kuba Might be out for the season. Which is disappointing.
Chris Phillips Phillips was Phillips. Defensively sound, and physically solid. He deserves credit for helping shut down Alex Ovechkin, but that's just what he does.
Andy Sutton Sutton struggled to keep Alexander Semin in check against the Capitals, but was still pretty solid through the week.
Anton Volchenkov Volchenkov only got in two games through the week, but did pretty well in both of them, Had a goal in Carolina, and held his own against New York. Pretty much just what was expected of him, similar to Phillips: Good defence.
Erik Karlsson See Biggest gains.
Chris Campoli Camps had a goal against Washington, but was -1 against Carolina and -4 against the Islanders. He was awful against the Islanders... just awful.
Matt Carkner Carkner didn't have a great week, but he wasn't playing great to begin with. He's got plenty of room to improve and get back to his early-season form, but with Kuba out it looks like he'll stay in the lineup for the remainder of the season.

Jason Spezza Four points against Washington? Unreal. Three more against Carolina, and seven in the week? Wow. Spezza's been out of this world.
Alex Kovalev I might take some flack for giving a guy who was a -4 on the week, but he was big when he needed to be this week. He scored the game winner against Washington, and the shootout winner against Carolina; he's not going to give consistent offence, but if he puts up points at important parts of games, that works too.
Daniel Alfredsson Alfie had four assists against Washington, but got held off the scoresheet in the other two games. But he's about to play his 1,000th game, so he gets a thumbs up.
Milan Michalek Is finally returning from injury for Tuesday's game, so we'll get to see how the break affected his play.
Mike Fisher See Biggest losses.
Matt Cullen Zach Braff Cullen had a two-point week, which might have been his best with the Senators, and was the only Senator to play well against the Islanders. If he can keep scoring decently without sacrificing his defensive play, it will help round out the offence.
Chris Kelly Kelly wasn't as great as last week offensively, but he was still decent defensively.
Chris Neil Over the last little while, Neil hasn't been altogether too influential in games; he's been downright invisible in some. Still, he's been a big part of the Senators' terrific third/fourth line, but some big hits would help him stand out.
Jarkko Ruutu Solid penalty-killing, but some penalty trouble against New York. Pretty much played as advertised.
Nick Foligno Foligno's still on the fourth line, but has been bumped up to play with Kovalev and Fisher now. Hopefully, those three can help each other break out of some respective slumps.
Shean Donovan Healthy scratch through the week.
Peter Regin Another three points for Regin, which is a little off the pace he'd set the week before, but is still pretty solid. If he keeps it up, he will stay on the top line.
Ryan Shannon Healthy scratch through the week, but he's back Tuesday against Florida. Another chance for him to prove he should stay in the lineup.
Jesse Winchester Winchester played pretty well through the week, but he had no points and was -2 over the three games. Not bad, but didn't make it hard to scratch him when Michalek returns Tuesday.
Bobby Butler He wasn't on the roster heading into the week, so yeah, I'd say he's got a thumbs up. Butler got in a couple of games, but was scratched in the third game of the week and might not see much more playing time this year. Still, he had some good flashes in his limited time.
Zack Smith Smith was pushed out of the lineup and back to Binghamton because of Butler's signing, but he'll likely be back in Ottawa before the playoffs begin.