(Ups and downs is a feature that looks at the individual performances of the Ottawa Senators during the past week.)
Well, Senators nostalgia week was more fun to talk about than it was to watch. The team captured three of a possible six points on the week, a disappointing result considering their effort level. Unfortunately, the NHL doesn't give out points for effort. Luckily, they do give out points for overtime losses. So, we've got that going for us, which is nice.
The week saw visits to Ottawa from last year's whipping goat (that's a whipping boy AND a scapegoat in case you couldn't figure it out) Brian Elliott, unverified demigod Mike Fisher, and also saw Chris Phillips celebrate his 1,000th game in a big way... which makes for a nice little transition.
Biggest gains: Chris Phillips
Well, he scored his first two goals of the year in his 1,000th game. Those two goals means he's tied for the week's leader with Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson. That's pretty good company. Oh, and he played two of his best defensive games of the year against St. Louis and Nashville. All that is enough to forgive him a weak game against Edmonton, but the goodwill only lasts for a little while.
Biggest losses: Zenon Konopka
Konopka only played 7:06 against St. Louis, taking just one faceoff, which he, of course, won. He also had a fight, which means he spent almost as much time in the penalty box as he did on the ice. Apparently this performance was unimpressive enough that he was scratched for the remainder of the week while AHL callup Jim O'Brien remained in the lineup.
(read on for the full rundown...)
|Mercifully hooked after letting in two terrible goals against St. Louis. Stole a point against Edmonton with some great saves, but could have earned two points with some timely saves instead.|
|He won his start. That's all you can ask of a backup.|
|Carkner's speed was a liability the previous week, and it was probably a major factor in his being scratched most of the week in favor of Brian Lee.|
|The rookie's struggles continue as he was demoted to the third pairing this week.|
|With just one point, a minus-2 rating, and an uncomfortable pairing with Phillips, it's safe to say Gonchar did not have a good week.|
|12 shots and a multipoint (1G, 1A) game? Welcome back, Erik!|
|It's probably not possible for Kuba to get more even than he was this week.|
|It's the second half of the season, so Brian Lee is good again.|
|See "Biggest gains."|
|Last week we wrote that he couldn't carry the team at age 39. We may have been wrong--he was the team's best forward all week.|
|After being scratched last week, he drew back into the lineup (on the top line, no less) and immediately notched three assists in two games. Now the question is: Can he keep it up?|
|Condra is a great role-player.|
|He's played as many games as Filip Kuba for the team this year, and while he's never going to blossom into the 50-goal guy everyone expected, he's obviously doing something right.|
|Demoted to the fourth line. Does not deserve to be there.|
|No points this week as he learns to play with new linemates Turris and Alfie.|
|See "Biggest losses."|
|Milan was ridiculously dedicated to scoring a goal this week. We'd be surprised if he didn't manifest some kind of psychic power just from wanting it so bad.|
|A fourth line role doesn't seem to suit his playing style, which is strange because he's such an energy player--though he did have three shots against Edmonton.|
|Though not logging huge minutes, he's playing them hard, which means he can't be benched. Reminds us of another AHL callup who's played a ton of games this season. No, not Andre Petterson.|
|Apparently February is hitting month--he has 10 in three games. We liked "scoring month" better.|
|Six points in three games. He had one point during the team's seven-game losing streak. Coincidence? Nope.|
|No points this week. No points in the month of February so far, for that matter.|