The Sens (and their fanbase) went into this week with lots of confidence. The team was coming off an incredibly successful road trip through Western Canada which included 6-0 and 6-1 wins over the two Alberta teams. And to top it all off, their captain, the best defenseman in the world, was finally returning to the lineup.
Unfortunately, the week didn’t go quite as planned. While the team was dominant against Vancouver, they couldn’t quite get the bounces and were shut out 3-0. Then they blew a 2 goal lead against the Devils in overtime. Thankfully, they redeemed themselves on Saturday night with a highly entertaining 6-3 win over the rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Erik Karlsson. Who else? The captain made his triumphant return to the lineup on Tuesday night against the Canucks, and so far has shown no sign of rust. Though Karlsson did not manage to create any goals for the Sens on Tuesday, he made up for it in the next two games, racking up three assists in each one and generally looking like his old self. It’s good to have him back.
- Derick Brassard. I guess it took Brassard a year to get used to his new team, because he has come out flying to start the season, looking more like the monster we saw in the playoffs than the good, but underwhelming player we saw last season. Brass racked up two goals and an assist against Toronto, plus another goal against New Jersey.
- Mark Stone. Look, I know he’s been on this list three times in three weeks now, but Mark Stone is just that good. He had two goals and an assist against Toronto, and one of those goals was a gorgeous unassisted one that sucked the momentum out of the Leafs and provided a bit of breathing room for the Sens. He also looked like himself all week.
Mike Hoffman. Hoff only got one assist all week, but that wasn’t due to a lack of trying. He was flying against Vancouver and hit his usual number of posts throughout the week.
Ryan Dzingel. The winger is on a very strange line with Turris and Burrows, but it seems to be working. He’s looked good all week.
Mark Borowiecki has been surprisingly good this week, and I feel like he deserves credit for that.
Johnny Oduya. It might be that he still needs time to adjust to #TheSystem, but the newest addition to the Sens’ defense corps has not exactly impressed so far. His lowest moment was an egregious giveaway late in the Toronto game that very nearly led to the Leafs tying the game.
Who to watch this week
Dzingel and Hoffman. Ryan’s injury opens up a spot on the left wing, and with the way Brassard and Stone have been playing of late, whoever ends up on their left side is likely to get plenty of opportunities to rack up the points.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that Dorion acquires a new player from a certain Colorado-based team…