It’s been a down week for the Ottawa Senators. After reaching a high with two straight 4-3 wins over the Colorado Avalanche in Stockholm, the Sens have now lost their last three to the Penguins, Coyotes and Rangers. Although it’s difficult to pick three stars in a week where the team only managed three goals, there were still some standouts.
Three Stars of the Week
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau had Ottawa’s only multi-point week, scoring against the Penguins and setting up Mark Borowiecki versus Arizona. He was also deployed to shut down the opposition’s top defencemen, such as Letang, Shattenkirk and Goligoski, and for the most part succeeded. Don’t look now, but Pageau’s on pace for nearly 50 points on the year.
- Derick Brassard comfortably led the team with ten 5v5 shots on the week, as well as grasping the lead in Corsi (66.22%) and Fenwick (65.31%). Despite the big acquisition of Matt Duchene, Brassard’s been able to maintain the 1C position with ease, driving play with his linemates. He didn’t manage to find his way onto the scoresheet, although he’s firmly supplanted himself as a top six centre.
- Mark Stone was Ottawa’s most used forward this week, and used that time to score the opening goal against the Coyotes. His five shots was also near the top of the team, with him and Brassard forming Ottawa’s most dangerous offensive combo.
- Although he was injured against New York and appears to be out long term with a concussion, Mark Borowiecki still managed to break his career high in goals after only twelve games played. It’s only his second goal of 2017-18, but he was also effective at shutting down the opposition by defending the line.
- Matt Duchene is still waiting for his first point in a Sens uniform, although he’s still been effective in driving opponents off the puck along the boards, and then beating them on the rush with his speed. Alongside Ryan Dzingel, they’re probably one of the fastest combos the league has to offer. The points will come.
- Mike Condon’s game against Arizona proved to be costly in the loss, with his .904 save percentage on the season not as high as many had hoped.
- In his 23 minutes of play, Nate Thompson managed to be on the ice for four times as many shot attempts against as he was attempts for (6-24). He’s been getting defensive minutes with sub-par linemates, although he was below everyone else this past week.
Who to Watch For
- With all the injuries to defencemen, look to see who Guy Boucher decides to play. My guess is Ben Harpur since he’s already on the roster, although Thomas Chabot seems ready judging by his play for Belleville.
- Chris Wideman took a rough turn and is out injured for “months”, although details have yet to be confirmed. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery.
- Ottawa’s power play has gone through a bit of a slump recently, not scoring on 10 minor penalties and one five-minute major to Brendan Smith. Hopefully Guy Boucher can take some time to fix it, as it went through long slumps last season as well.