What a strange week it was. The Senators suffered a blowout to the slumping Montreal Canadiens, bounced back with a hard-fought win over the Red Wings, and then followed that up with a disappointing effort against the Golden Knights who started a goalie from a Brockville-area beer league . This will be followed up by another weird week, with the Sens off until they face the Avalanche in back-to-back games in Sweden this coming weekend, followed by another near-week off before returning to North America.
Three Stars of the Week
- Tom Pyatt — I know I rag on Pyatt a lot in these parts, but he’s actually looked pretty good recently. His Corsi numbers are above team average, his work with Pageau has been impressive, and notably, he went point-per-game this week. And they weren’t even the patented Pyatt-style fluke points either! Having a solid bottom-six forward is crucial to the Sens, and Pyatt seems to be doing that. These lists are also partially based on expectations, and Pyatt is wildly outplaying his.
- Mark Stone — Another week, another Stone appearance on this list. Ho hum. Four points, great effort, great facial expressions. Stone’s ability to generate plays probably led directly to the Turris trade, since the Sens had to decide who was the priority to re-sign this offseason out of the two.
- Alexandre Burrows — In a two-loss week (one of the blowout kind), it’s hard to pick standout stars. Erik Karlsson looked good in two games, but that game against Montreal was horrific. Mike Hoffman had four points, but no goals, and that’s what I’m hoping for from him. So instead this week’s third star goes to a role-playing grinder in Burrows, who scored goals in back-to-back games. Like Pyatt, his expectations are low, and also like Pyatt, he was exceeding them this week.
- Mike Hoffman had four assists (though two were near-meaningless in that Habs meltdown), but only eight shots on goal total playing 20 minutes per game. Still, you gotta think that with all the chances he’s been creating, the puck will start going in for him again
- That Chris Wideman-Fredrik Claesson pairing has slowly turned itself into the best possession pairing on the team. It’s good when you can trust your bottom pairing to hold its own
- Ryan Dzingel had two goals, putting him 36% of the way to last year’s total through 17% of the number of games
- Erik Karlsson got his first goal of the season very late in the game against the Knights. Now we can stop wondering when that will happen and go back to focusing on how good he at everything (Except on Monday nights. Yikes.)
- The legend of Chris DiDomenico continued as he put up two more assists, bringing him to five points in seven games this season
- Craig Anderson hasn’t had a great season, and he had a very unmemorable week. His game against Detroit was good, but against Montreal he was awful, allowing six goals on 15 shots, and then against Vegas he finished with an .853 save percentage. Not good enough for Ottawa’s starter - maybe almost a full week of no games will help
Who to Watch For
- How could it be anyone other than Matt Duchene? He’ll be playing his old team, he’ll be free of all the trade rumours, and he’ll replace Nail Yakupov on his wing with Mike Hoffman. I think he’ll be all kinds of fired up for this weekend.