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Ups and Downs: Week 2

Ups and Downs is a weekly feature on this site that rates the performances of the Ottawa Senators players during the past week.

Lazar, auditioning for Phillips' spot on the top defensive pairing.
Lazar, auditioning for Phillips' spot on the top defensive pairing.
USA TODAY Sports

Over the past week, Ottawa went 3-0, with wins over the Panthers, Avalanche, and Blue Jackets, despite getting outshot in all three games.

Biggest Gains: Curtis Lazar. This was a tough call, since both he and Mike Hoffman performed well after being scratched this week. Lazar gets the nod because he played in two games, and because he has more to lose, since rather than being a healthy scratch, he'd be returned to junior. After being scratched against the Panthers, he put up a 75.0% Corsi For (!!) against the Avalanche, easily the best margin on either team, and was inches away from getting his first NHL goal, settling for his first NHL point. His possession numbers against Columbus weren't great, but he went 2/2 on the faceoffs, had 2 shots, and had 4 hits. If he keeps playing like he did this past week, he's with the team for the season.

Biggest Losses: Colin Greening. He got his chance against Florida, and showed nothing. Lazar and and Hoffman in their first games back from being scratched showed why they deserve to be in the lineup. It seems at this point that even if one of the above falters, Condra is next in line. Greening looks to be a healthy scratch for the foreseeable future.

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Shutout vs. Florida, and put up a solid game against Colorado after a shaky first period.
Robin Lehner Tied last week's save percentage, again stopping 38 of 40 shots this week.
Defensemen

Mark Borowiecki Not a good week, possession-wise. To be fair to Borocop, the defense as a whole looks pretty terrible.
Cody Ceci Had an assist against Colorado, a game in which he also played 19:06, but is still putting up pretty terrible possession numbers even after being separated from Phillips.
Jared Cowen Scratched all week. Looks like he doesn't have his coach's trust anymore.
Eric Gryba Who knew Gryba was the only positive possession defenseman against Florida? Not really standing out as good or bad, which is good for a Sens defender this week.
Erik Karlsson Had 3 points, though the goal against Columbus was pretty fluky. Putting up poor possession numbers, though that may be due to lack of a suitable partner. This may be the harshest neutral of the week.
Marc Methot Injured. Please get well soon!
Chris Phillips The answer to being bad last week was not to put him on the top pairing. His TOI this season is the highest of his career, which does not bode well at 36 years of age. Committed several egregious giveaways.
Patrick Wiercioch No points for Patty W, but he did put up better possession numbers than most of the defensemen. Best news is that he's earned the trust of his coach enough to not get scratched for Cowen anytime soon.
Forwards

Alex Chiasson Bad week on the Corsi charts to go along with 0 points and 1 shot. He may want to have a word with his coach about his deployment, though: he didn't have a single even-strength offensive zone draw against Colorado.
Erik Condra Played two games, and looked his usual self doing it, but doesn't look to beat out Hoffman or Lazar for the last spot anytime soon.
Colin Greening See biggest losses.
Mike Hoffman Played one game, and easily made the most of it, with 1 G, 1 A, and one drawn penalty shot. Also the best possession player that game for either team.
Curtis Lazar See biggest gains.
David Legwand Scored his first two goals as a Senator by waiting on the doorstep, but looks like the odd centre out, playing with Neil and whichever winger has the most to prove.
Clarke MacArthur Point-per-game this week. That's about the most we can ask of him.
Milan Michalek Any guesses who's the best possession forward so far on the team? This guy! Responded to what looked like a demotion to the fourth line by finding instant chemistry with Lazar and Smith.
Chris Neil Point-per-game this week. Yes, you read that right. Also has no minor penalties yet this season. Exceeding very low expectations.
Bobby Ryan Looked like he was on a mission. Had 1 G against Colorado, and should've had 2. Hindered by the same zone deployment issues as Chiasson and Zibanejad.
Z. Smith Stole Lazar's first NHL goal. Looks to have got his off-season wish to play with better linemates.
Mark Stone Slick hands vs. Colorado set up the game-winner. Looks good on the top line with Turris and MacArthur.
Kyle Turris Two points, but not great in the #fancystats. Has also seen his ice time drop each game this season.
Mika Zibanejad Same issues as Chiasson and Ryan: used as a d-zone specialist, and the numbers say he can't quite handle it. Still searching for his first point of the season.

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