In Dave Cameron's second week on the job, the Ottawa Senators posted a 2-1-1 record including an impressive win over the Anaheim Ducks. It would have been nice to escape Montreal with two points on Saturday night, but the team was done in by fatigue and somewhat lacklustre goaltending by Robin Lehner.
Speaking of goaltending:
Biggest Gains: Craig Anderson. Following several consecutive mediocre starts, Craig Anderson was stellar in securing both of Ottawa's wins this week. Between the 2-0 victory in New Jersey, for which he was almost solely responsible, and the 6-2 win against Anaheim, Anderson stopped 66 of the 68 shots sent his way this week. Among goalies with at least 20 starts, Anderson now ranks 3rd in the entire NHL with a .930 SV%.
Biggest Losses: Robin Lehner. It's almost too easy to give Lehner this title given the contrast between his play and Anderson's, but he truly was not very good this past week. Lehner appeared in two games, against Buffalo and Montreal, in which he posted .871 SV%. Goalies will have ups and downs over the course of the season, that's why we do these posts after all, and this week was a particularly down week for Lehner.
|Craig Anderson||See: Biggest Gains|
|Robin Lehner||See: Biggest Losses|
|Mark Borowiecki||Three assists for the suddenly scoring Borowiecki earns him the up arrow this week. Add to that some solid possession numbers (relative to the rest of his teammates anyways) and you've got a pleasant surprise of a performance from the local boy. He's still giving up the blueline way too easily, and he was at least partially to blame on the Plekanec goal late against Montreal, but those are minor quibbles.
|Cody Ceci||Ceci posted the 1 assist in four games this week, but more importantly continues to struggle defensively and his possession numbers reflect a player somewhat overwhelmed. He was at least partially to blame for the game-winning goal against Montreal pn Saturday and he's been suspect in his own end for weeks now. He's young, but he needs to start turning the corner defensively sooner than later.|
|Jared Cowen||After last week's scoring outburst, Cowen came back down to earth this past week. His pairing with Ceci was not very good, apart from a somewhat redeeming performance against New Jersey. He wasn't as bad as we've seen him but he wasn't very good either.|
|Eric Gryba||An admission: I find it very difficult to assign a grade to Eric Gryba when I write Ups and Downs. He very rarely strays in performance; he is consistently an unremarkable third pairing defenseman who plays 15-17 minutes a night. So, another "unchanged" from me as he played about as we would expect Eric Gryba to play.|
|Erik Karlsson||Three more assists for Karlsson, several good defensive plays and lots of national media getting on his case for unknown reasons? Just another week for the Kaptain.|
|Marc Methot||Word is that Methot may be out for a long time, again. I'm just puzzled.|
|Chris Phillips||After being scratched in favour of Patrick Wiercioch for the Sabres game, Chris Phillips returned to play...and was promptly the same player he was before being scratched. When Phillips was on the ice, the Senators barely managed 40% of the shot attempts this past week. He's been awful.|
|Patrick Wiercioch||Mysterious move to the IR gets a ?????? from me.|
|Alex Chiasson||Big game against Buffalo and some strong underlying numbers earns Chiasson the up arrow this week. The only real blemish on his record from the last four games: missing the open net to tie the game against Montreal in the third on Saturday. That one hurt.|
|Erik Condra||Two points for Condra this week, including a hard-working short handed goal against Montreal, somewhat off-sets poor possession numbers for the King of Corsi. Some of that was deployment: Condra started only three shifts in the offensive end this week, compared to fifteen in the defensive end.
|Colin Greening||Greening was a healthy scratch against New Jersey and played less than six minutes against Montreal, in which he somehow managed to be -2 in such a short time frame. He didn't commit any particularly egregious errors this week, but he's clearly very low on Dave Cameron's depth chart and he's not adding much when he's on the ice.|
|Mike Hoffman||Three points in four game this week for Hoffman, including a two goal performance against the Anaheim Ducks. The Zibanejad-Hoffman-Ryan trio has been hot fiyah since the now-departed MacLean united them and Mike Hoffman has played a big part in that. Here's to hoping he never cools off.
|Curtis Lazar||I wish there were an icon for "Off to play at the World Junior Championships" but I'll have to settle for the up arrow. Lazar also scored his first career NHL goal against Buffalo, so you might say it was a good week for the kid.|
|David Legwand||Just the one assist for Legwand, but the Senators fared pretty well with him on the ice this past week despite severely difficult zone-starts. Legwand's being asked to do a lot, maybe too much, but this week he was mostly up to the task.|
|Clarke MacArthur||Not a lot of scoring for MacArthur this week, just the one assist, but I thought his line generated quite a lot of offense when given the chance to do so.
|Milan Michalek||Returned to action after missing time with an injury and potted the one goal against Anaheim. He's been relegated to a bottom six role, and he's looked O.K against weaker competition.
|Chris Neil||Continues to be out after injuring his knee against the Los Angeles Kings. The latest report is that his injury is "week-to-week". Don't expect him back anytime soon.|
|Bobby Ryan||A goal and two assists for B.F.R, who continues to thrive alongside Zibanejad and Hoffman. Not much else to say except: "Keep it up!"|
|Z. Smith||Smith's stay on the I.R almost certainly won't be any shorter than his buddy Neil's.|
|Mark Stone||Three points, solid possession numbers, a key cog on the top line. For a "rookie", Stone's had a heckuva season.|
|Kyle Turris||Turris came awfully close to taking home "Biggest Gains" in consecutive weeks after posting five points in four games this week. He's officially off the schneid, and whatever malaise had taken a hold of the top line seems to have passed.|
|Mika Zibanejad||Three more points in the last four games for Zibanejad who's gone from "Underachieving out-of-shape bum" to fifth on the team in scoring and second in goals. He's been....good.
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