The Ottawa Senators began a pivotal four-game road trip this week and the three games the team played were a bit of everything: a low scoring shootout loss in Philadelphia, a strong possession game in which the Sens were blown out in Colorado, and a high scoring win in Arizona.
Who stood out?
Biggest Gains: Erik Karlsson. In the middle of his most polarizing season yet, Karlsson quietly had a dominant week. He was held off the score sheet against the Flyers but was among the team leaders in possession numbers while playing over 30 minutes. He was even more dominant against Colorado in a losing effort, recording an assist and four shots on goal. He was just as much of a force against Arizona and added another assist. In all the focus on his defensive abilities this season and what constitutes fair criticism for him, it's gone somewhat unnoticed that he's been absolutely dominant for the past month.
Biggest Losses: David Lewand. This is somewhat unfair to Legwand as he had two points this week (an assist against Colorado and a last second goal against Arizona) but his ice time was still down this week. He played just 6:22 against Philly and had some of the worst possession numbers on the team. His ice time increased later in the week, but it seems clear that Legwand is one of a handful of veterans being closely scrutinized by Cameron.
|Craig Anderson||A bad game against Colorado can be overlooked because of strong performances against Philly (97.1 SV%) and Arizona (96.9 SV%)
|Robin Lehner||Didn't have much playing time this week, but he let in a soft goal against the Avalanche in relief that killed any chance of an Ottawa comeback.|
|Mark Borowiecki||Still on IR. Here's to hoping he's able to return to full health.|
|Cody Ceci||The pairing of Ceci-Cowen is still struggling. There were still defensive breakdowns from Cowen this week, but he added a nice goal against the Coyotes. Good enough for neutral.|
|Jared Cowen||He had a bit of a tough week. Got burned with partner Ceci a few times. Cowen tried taking more shots against Colorado, but still had some of the worst possession numbers of any Senator all week.|
|Eric Gryba||Was overwhelmed this week, especially against Arizona but also Colorado. Should be part of the press box rotation.|
|Erik Karlsson||See biggest gain.|
|Marc Methot||Finally made it back to the lineup and played in consecutive games. Seemed more comfortable against Arizona and was more physical. Right now, that's enough.|
|Chris Phillips||Not good against Philly, scratched against Colorado, back in the lineup against Arizona. Despite the rest Thursday night, Phillips' possession numbers were bad. I don't expect Dave Cameron to banish Phillips to the press box permanently, I expect more of the same: one or two games out, one or two games in, regardless of results.
|Patrick Wiercioch||Yes, he was scratched against Arizona, but that had more to do with Phillips than it did with Wiercioch. Had good underlying numbers in the two games he played.|
|Alex Chiasson||Still without a point in 10 games but had good possession numbers in two of the three games this week.|
|Erik Condra||Bad week for Condra. He has a hard job but had some ugly numbers in a week when most Senators were on the right side of the possession game.
|Colin Greening||Candidate for biggest losses. Played just 4:21 against Philly and had terrible possession numbers. He was back over 10 minutes against Colorado and actually had great possession stats only to be benched in favour of Curtis Lazar against Arizona.
|Mike Hoffman||Another great week for Hoffman. Good possession numbers, two goals.|
|Curtis Lazar||While it doesn't count on an NHL score sheet, Lazar won gold Monday, got some days off, came back against Arizona and managed three shots. Good enough for this week.|
|David Legwand||See biggest losses.|
|Clarke MacArthur||A goal and an assist against Arizona combined with good possession numbers all week, good enough for an up arrow.
|Milan Michalek||A pretty good week for Michalek. He had 7 shots in 3 games, scored on the PP against Arizona to finally end Ottawa's PP drought, and had some good underlying numbers.
|Chris Neil||Still injured.|
|Pageau had a tough week possession wise, but he also has some of the toughest zone starts of any Senator. He did play up in the top six on occasion against Arizona.
|Bobby Ryan||A goal (Colorado) an assist (Arizona) and 6 shots this week. Add in some good possession numbers and Ryan gets an up arrow.|
|Z. Smith||Out indefinitely with a wrist injury.|
|Mark Stone||Two more points this week and good underlying numbers against Philly and Colorado.
|Kyle Turris||Just one assist, but 7 shots against Philadelphia while playing 25 minutes, and 3 shots each against Colorado and Arizona.
|Mika Zibanejad||7 shots this week, 2 assists against Arizona, and great possession numbers. More of the same from Zibanejad.
Special thanks to our friend winterion at Japers' Rink for our icons!