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Ottawa Senators Ups and Downs: Week 23

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Smith scores his way into Biggest Gains, while Hoffman's demotion has him as Biggest Losses

Smith-Pageau-Stone have basically been Ottawa's biggest gainers for 2016
Smith-Pageau-Stone have basically been Ottawa's biggest gainers for 2016
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Things finally seemed to break among the fandom this week. TSN hosts, TSN callers, the blogosphere, and everyone else seemed to hit a breaking point with this week's 6-2 loss to the Panthers. I can't guarantee it'll lead to changes, but at least most people seem to think something needs to change.

Biggest gains: Zack Smith

He probably isn't some newly-discovered offensive dynamo. It's highly unlikely that he suddenly discovered the trick to being great in his sixth NHL season at age 27. But none of that should matter. Right now, he has a goal in five straight games. He's made an argument for being the team's most reliable scoring LW. If Ottawa was pushing to the playoffs, I'm sure we'd all be a lot more excited for a guy having a career year in a huge way. I'm a little worried that a year from now our GM will offer him the Clarke MacArthur contract, but for now, I'm loving his success.

Biggest losses: Mike Hoffman

He isn't scoring, and it's led to demotion. He's a spent a bunch of time benched, a bunch of time toiling in the bottom six. It's looking more and more like the team will look to trade him in the summer rather than commit to him long-term. For now though, it's no fun watching the guy with the best release on the team fail to bury it over and over and over.

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Bad loss to the Cats, great shutout of the Maple Leafs. Unfortunately, shutting out the Leafs doesn't get you the plus it would've a decade ago
Andrew Hammond I think that game against the Hurricanes was good on his part
Defensemen

Mark Borowiecki It'll be a few months until he starts working out again
Cody Ceci That game against the Hurricanes gives us hope for Ceci's future
Erik Karlsson Really doesn't look himself. At least got two points against Florida
Michael Kostka
Ottawa's best possession player against the Cats. Not sure why he gets the call-up over Claesson though
Marc Methot Everyone's having a bad season, so it's hard to hold too much against him
Dion Phaneuf
I actually quite liked Phaneuf's week
Chris Phillips Hi Chris!
Chris Wideman
Not great in two games this week, scratched in the other
Patrick Wiercioch One game this week and it was fine. He's four short of his career high in games, and I'm not positive he'll pass it.
Forwards

Alex Chiasson No big gaffes stick out for me, so that's a small plus
Ryan Dzingel
OK week for Dzingel? Well, he got another goal so that's good
Dave Dziurzynski
No one's even talking about him anymore
Scott Gomez
His line against the Leafs managed one shot on goal and allowed seven
Mike Hoffman See Biggest Losses
Curtis Lazar He's rounding into a perfectly capable fourth-line centre, which is great considering how hyped he was a year ago
Clarke MacArthur Looks like this season's pretty much out of the question
Chris Neil 37 more games to 1000
Jean-Gabriel Pageau Three assists against Toronto almost gets him an up arrow. Almost.
Nick Paul
Got scratched one game this week, which surprised me a little
Matt Puempel
Got into one game this week, so it's a good thing Prince was traded so he could get a real NHL shot
Bobby Ryan If it weren't for Methot, Ryan would be running away with this year's coveted "cost-per-point" trophy
Zack Smith See Biggest Gains
Mark Stone Five more points for Ottawa's sophomore slumper (according to media reports around a month ago)
Kyle Turris Shutting him down for the season was definitely the right choice
Mika Zibanejad Has a chance to take over the #1 centre spot, and isn't showing much good or bad in the role, which is probably bad overall

Special thanks to our friend winterion at Japers' Rink for our icons!