The team headed into the week on a three-game losing streak, and exited it on a two-game winning streak. Unfortunately, they managed to lose two more games before they pulled that off--which means the week finished 2-2-0. What was more frustrating is that the team outshot its opponents 118-99, including 74-41 in two losses. A better fate was there for the taking. As it is, the team sits fairly comfortably in a playoff spot, four points clear of 9th place Winnipeg with one game in hand.
Biggest Gains: Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Pageau was called up to win faceoffs and provide a spark. Pageau's faceoff record in two games? 9-9. He also had an assist in his first game and a goal in his second game. So... just another rookie who's been thrown into the fire and performed admirably. It's only two games, and Pageau will inevitably struggle should he stay in the lineup, but for now, he's giving the organization a reason to include him in their future plans.
Biggest losses: Peter Regin
On the other hand, Regin managed a 6-for-14 record in the faceoff dot in his two games. He also played just 5:37 against Tampa Bay before being scratched in favor of Pageau. It's a sad fall for a player who was just three years ago put up 3 goals and 1 assist on Jason Spezza's wing in six playoff games. Regin was once viewed as a top-line player. Now he can't even hold down a fourth-line spot.
|Craig Anderson||Didn't get much help against Florida and Tampa Bay, but shut out a desperate New Jersey Devils team to cap off a solid return from his injury.|
|You could argue that he saved the season by winning in Philadelphia.|
|Andre Benoit||Not surprising that Benoit would perform better against the skating opponents the Senators faced this week.|
|Eric Gryba||Gryba lodged 10 hits and an assist this week. More importantly, we didn't see any of the mistakes we've seen so far this season. Instead, Gryba was a big factor in the team's two wins.|
|Sergei Gonchar||No points this week. Is this the same guy that had a record assist streak?|
|Mike Lundin||Hard to see him drawing back in, especially with Jared Cowen rumored to be close to a return.|
|Marc Methot||Another assist this week--springing Z. Smith on a breakaway--and he's been skating the puck more. Methot's been the team's most consistent defender this year.|
|Chris Phillips||Also notched an assist this week, but Phillips looks out of place on both the power play and in the top four.|
|Like Methot, sprung Colin Greening for a breakaway, except this is a pattern for Wiercioch.|
|Last week we wrote, "Now is the time for Alfie to lead." This week? 2 goals and an assist. Reminder: Alfie is 40.|
|Conacher didn't put up offense that showed up on the scoresheet, but he hasn't played poorly, either.
|Continues to be a beast on the penalty kill--opponents were just 1-for-11 on the week--and the second he gets an upgrade on linemates, he notches an assist.|
|Goal and an assist this week, which means he's tied for fifth in team scoring. 17 points in 40 games, one fewer than Jakob Silfverberg.|
|Matt Kassian||Kassian was effective against Philadelphia, but was scratched against New Jersey. It seems obvious that he's a situational player only.|
|Guillaume Latendresse||Had a huge power play goal in the loss to Tampa Bay, but got bumped from the first line with the return of Milan Michalek.
|Milan Michalek||A goal in his first game back and plenty of speed to boot. Welcome back.
|7 shots and 9 hits. And he won the two faceoffs he took!|
|So, despite racking up goals early in the year, he's now buried behind Regin and Pageau.|
|Jean-Gabriel Pageau||See "Biggest gains."|
|See "Biggest losses."|
|Four shots and no points. His defensive play is still outstanding, but he's in a bit of a slump.|
|Peter explains it better. Z. Smith had a breakaway goal, and an opportunity for an empty-netter as well.|
|Turris had two assists this week. And a goal disallowed by video review. And a goal stolen by Alfie. And hit a post.|
|Like Silfverberg, Zibanejad only had four shots and no points this week. He's been strong on faceoffs, but the Calder Line had no points this week. As the center of that line, Mikachu drives that.|