With the Ottawa Senators playing the majority of their remaining games this season on the road (12/18), it was nice to see them take advantage of a three game homestand. With the trade deadline now behind us (or so we thought), the Sens raced off to a three game winning streak against the Avalanche, Blue Jackets and Bruins.
Ottawa’s cushion in the Atlantic division just got a bit comfier after the win last night against Boston, now sitting in second place with the Bruins four points behind. The rest of the division seems to have fallen off as well, with the Leafs, Panthers and Lightning all at least eight points back from the Sens’ current 78 points (with no major difference in games played). Even with the Habs winning their past five, Ottawa’s still keeping pace sitting four points back with two games in hand.
The System was in full force this week, and the deadline acquisitions in Alex Burrows and Viktor Stalberg refuelled what was once a dead bottom six. While we may not yet be at the level of the Capitals or Penguins, there’s comfort in knowing that for the first time in ten years, the Ottawa Senators are on pace for 100 points.
Biggest Gains: Alexandre Burrows
The obvious choice for ‘Biggest Gains’, Alex Burrows not only single-handedly won the game against Colorado by scoring both of Ottawa’s goals in his debut, but he added another two points to his total against Boston. While his possession numbers were in the basement (5v5 CF% of 39.13%), the story of Burrows’ first game as a Senator is going stick in our memory for a long while. Pierre Dorion must be loving the GM’s meeting right now (unlike someone).
Biggest Losses: Cody Ceci
I had to choose someone, alright? Although Ceci wasn’t as dreadful as we’ve seen him in previous weeks, he was once again the Sens’ clear weak link on defence. He registered a point on two of Ottawa's nine goals, although they were both secondary assists. He continued to look lost in the defensive end, while logging 20+ minutes a night (27:12 against Columbus). Ceci was once my favourite player back from his 67’s days, but every defensive lapse makes me lose a bit more confidence in his play.
|Craig Anderson||▲||One goal against, two goals against, two goals against. Save percentage up to .930, and it keeps on climbing.|
|Mike Condon||━||Didn't play this week.|
|Mark Borowiecki||━||Finished well above positive in possession, but a lot of that is thanks to playing with Wideman. Led the team with 19 hits, 13 more than 2nd place.|
|Cody Ceci||▼||See biggest losses.|
|Fredrik Claesson||━||Make that EIGHT healthy scratches. #FreeFreddy|
|Jyrki Jokipakka||━||Cool name, but still waiting for his Sens debut. Considering the trend with our acquisitions, it might be a good idea to play him.|
|Erik Karlsson||▲||Three points in three games, and did everything else. Proved this week why he's the best defenseman in the league.|
|Marc Methot||━||Did anybody notice Methot out there, lurking in Karlsson's shadow? Two points, but like Ceci, only secondary assists.|
|Dion Phaneuf||━||Dion's a polarizing player. He contributes nicely on offence, but is looking slower as each game passes.|
|Chris Wideman||━||Held off the scoresheet, although it's difficult when you barely break 13 minutes a night. Led the team in possession (CF% of 62.30%).|
|Derick Brassard||▲||Was one of Ottawa's best forwards in yesterday's game against Boston. Only one point, but he looked dangerous.|
|Alexandre Burrows||▲||See biggest gains.|
|Chris DiDomenico||━||I'm honestly looking forward to see what he can do. Don't count him out just yet.|
|Ryan Dzingel||━||I'm torn. He was Ottawa's forward possession leader, but he lacks the ability to finish off a play. He can skate, but he'd occasionally look sloppy.|
|Mike Hoffman||▲||Reached 20 goals for his third consecutive season with his power play blast versus Boston. Led Sens forwards with eleven shots.|
|Chris Kelly||▲||His 53.23 CF% was better than usual, although that could be partially attributed to playing with Viktor Stalberg.|
|Clarke MacArthur||+||Anagrams to 'Crack heart mural', because he cracks the mural of our hearts. Man, I'm running out of these quick. Heal up, Clarke!|
|Chris Neil||+||Have we already seen Chris Neil play his final game? Let's hope for the best for Neiler.|
|Jean-Gabriel Pageau||▲||Looked dominant while being paired against other teams' top competition, especially against the Bruins' top line with Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak.|
|Tom Pyatt||━||Blanked from the score sheets but with a 57.33 CF% and seven shots on goal. Complete flip from what we're used to.|
|Bobby Ryan||+||Getting him back for the playoffs will make our depth all the better.|
|Zack Smith||▼||Not the greatest week for Smith. Scored the empty net goal against Columbus, but finished at the bottom with a 38.46 CF%.|
|Viktor Stalberg||▲||Scored in his second game for the Sens, and has given the 4th line new life. This is the depth piece the Sens really needed.|
|Mark Stone||▲||Add another six takeaways to his total. His assist on Karlsson's goal against Columbus was a thing of beauty, although he surprisingly had only three shots the entire week.|
|Kyle Turris||▼||Like Smith, the homestand wasn't very dominant for Turricane. Finished well into negative possession and was held scoreless.|
|Tommy Wingels||▲||Also contributed to the invigorated bottom six. Finally got his first point since his first game as a Sen.|