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Three Stars of the Week: Week 8

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For the second straight week, the Senators lost all three games. There weren’t exactly a lot of five-star efforts on the team

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Sigh.

After some entertaining wins in Stockholm against the Colorado Avalanche, the Senators have played like a team that isn’t interested in making the playoffs.

They’ve lost six straight games, with five of them coming in regulation. Ottawa played much better against the New York Islanders on Saturday and almost came back, but now that they’re on an ugly six-game losing streak, almost isn’t good enough. They looked downright dreadful at certain points against the Capitals and the Blue Jackets, and hopefully that isn’t a sign of things to come.

Suffice it to say, there weren’t that many stand-out efforts this week. Nevertheless, I did my best to compile this week’s three stars.

Three Stars of the Week

  1. The man behind the Senators twitter account, Craig Medaglia, deserves some praise for having to deal with angry fans for the past week and a half. Craig is also one of the best social media representatives, plus Ottawa had nobody worthy of being the first star, so I’m giving this to a man who is under-appreciated. In a frustrating week, nobody else on the team was good enough.
  2. Tom Pyatt scored the first goal against the Blue Jackets on Friday, and he looked like one of the few players who actually cared this week. Surprisingly, he actually had a 52.9 CF% in the three games, which is much higher than usual. Even though he’s sometimes too high in the lineup, Pyatt did everything he could to help the team these past three games.
  3. In a week where the Senators scored only five goals in three games, Mike Hoffman had two of them. That has to account for something, even if his overall game isn’t perfect.

Trending Up

  • Thomas Chabot only played in two games, but he’s convinced me that he’s at least good enough to get third pairing minutes. However, I don’t think the team sees that yet, as he was sent back down to Belleville on Sunday. He helped out on the powerplay against the Capitals as he got another assist, and his ability to be a quarterback from the blueline is extremely valuable. It looks like he’ll be back up in Ottawa for Wednesday’s game luckily.
  • There were some other players such as Mark Stone and Matt Duchene who played decently this week, but it’s hard to say anyone else is trending up considering they weren’t better than they were earlier in the season. It’s always disappointing when the first two sections are hard to come up with names.

Trending Down

  • I have no earthly idea why Bobby Ryan is in the lineup if he can’t even take a one-timer. There always seems to be something wrong with him, and that’s incredibly frustrating, even if it’s mostly out of his control. Still though, Bobby has just six assists in 14 games, which is not good enough for a guy who is supposed to be 20-25-goal scorer.
  • Johnny Oduya has played in 19 of the Senators 22 games thus far, but I don’t know why he doesn’t sit out more. He doesn’t really bring much at the age of 36, and I’d much rather have Chabot in the lineup. Perhaps at some point Boucher will realize his limitations, but that hasn’t really happened yet.

Who to Watch for

  • Matt Duchene finally got the monkey off his back on Saturday, and with that out of the way, I expect the floodgates to open. He’s simply too good for him to be unproductive for this long. Despite only having one point as a Senator, he hasn’t played poorly at all.
  • Zack Smith played in his first game since November 10th on Saturday, and because he didn’t score, he has now gone without a goal in the regular season since March 3rd. Something has to give with him, because it’s looking like Smith was simply a product of being attached to Mark Stone at this point. If Ottawa wants to be a good offensive team, they need Smith to be a part of a productive third line. He could also be included in the trending downward section, but I’d like to see if some time off helped him at all.