The Ottawa Senators were eliminated from the playoffs this week with two consecutive losses, 7-3 in Ottawa and 6-2 in Pittsburgh.
Biggest Gains: Kyle Turris
Turris had two goals and one assist this week, significant when the team only scored five goals in two games. It's not surprising to see that his production jumped when Jason Spezza returned, since that's what we saw at the beginning of this season. With six goals and three assists in 10 playoff games, Turris should have put an end to any debate about whether he or Mika Zibanejad should anchor the second line next year. It looks like Turris is going to be a major asset for the Senators next year.
Biggest Losses: Craig Anderson
We're loathe to dump on a guy who undeniably had a Vezina-caliber season, but Anderson got worked over by the Penguins in the two games he played, giving up six goals in each one. Many of those goals were the result of some kind of defensive breakdown ahead of time, but the Senators had relied on Anderson to make big saves off of those breakdowns all season long, and he just wasn't able to come up with them in this series. Part of that, of course, is a testament to the skill of the Penguins' shooters--give a guy like James Neal 10 shots a game and there will be goals. Still, the Senators were relying on Anderson to steal them some games in this series, and he just wasn't able to do so this week. Tough way to finish a great season for the Senators' best goalie.
|See "Biggest losses."|
|Allowed one goal on four shots in relief this time, which is not as good as one on 21. Still, when it's the 7th goal, how much fault are you going to lay on a guy?|
|Had two more good games. He's probably earned one-way contract with some team next year.|
|Cowen was guilty of trying to do too much and getting victimized often because of it. Still lots to learn for a guy who missed almost all of the season. Pittsburgh makes a lot of youngesters look silly.|
|Gonchar doesn't have the same excuses as Cowen--he's a Hall-of-Fame defenseman. But it's obvious he's on the downside of his career. It wasn't inexperience that caused him to be a minus-6 in two games--it was an inability to keep up with the Penguins' stars.|
|Eric Gryba||Was unable to return before the Senators were eliminated.|
|Still managed two more assists on essentially one leg. But it was obvious he wasn't himself, and the Penguins took full advantage.|
|Methot was a plus-1 in two games where 13 goals were scored. He looks like a major win for the team.|
|IMan, did you see that toe save? Phillips was rarely put in situations where he could be burned, and so he wasn't terribly burned this week.|
|Patrick Wiercioch||Was unable to return before the Senators were eliminated.|
|Led the team in points for the series. Also led them in real talk.|
|No points for Condra this week, but that doesn't diminish his outstanding postseason.|
|Was scratched for Stone, and then was ineffective in his game five return, though he did draw yet another penalty. He will likely benefit greatly from an offseason and training camp with the team.|
|Just one assist in two games as Greening was unable to hold back the tide single-handedly. But then, how could he have?|
|Did not play.|
|Did not play.|
|Two goals in two games back on Spezza's wing, though one was the result of being on the PK with Alfie. Too little, too late.|
|As the games slipped away on the scoreboard, there wasn't much Neil could do to be a factor.|
|Like many of the Sens' rookies, Pageau was more or less steamrolled by a more experienced team. The effort is there. The talent is there. The experience is all that's lacking.|
|He had one assist in two games (ultimately giving him one assist in the series) and it was a bad time for him to go quiet.|
|Was supposed to be a big part of true checking line, but they were destroyed to a man. It's an intriguing idea, but a failed experiment this time around.|
|Mark Stone||Wasn't having much of an impact before appearing to get injured on an uncalled slew-foot.|
|He's probably going to be okay.|
|See "Biggest gains."|
Just another kid who got pulverized. The playoffs are a harsh mistress, but now he knows what he's in for. Look for a huge improvement next year.
Special thanks to our friend winterion at Japer's Rink for our icons!