After getting a bit nervous in last week’s edition of Ups and Downs, the tides have turned as the Ottawa Senators will be facing the Boston Bruins in round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The week began with the second half of a home-and-home with the Detroit Red Wings, taking that game 2-0. The Sens followed up with two more wins, only to lose to the New York Islanders in the final game of the regular season, in which half of Ottawa’s main roster stayed home to rest.
It was a classic week for The System, as Ottawa only allowed four goals over the stretch. Hopefully a sign of good things to come in the playoffs.
Biggest Gains: Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Pageau led the Sens this week with two goals and four points, while playing some of the smallest minutes on the team (average 13:27). Although Ottawa doesn’t have the elite first line centre like the Bruins have with Patrice Bergeron, Pageau will be part of a strong three-way punch along with Brassard and Turris.
Biggest Losses: Mike Condon
I had to give it to someone, alright? His lone game against the New York Islanders was a bit shaky, allowing three goals on 21 shots. With Craig Anderson back in superstar form, and Condon approaching UFA status this offseason, we may have seen the last of Mike Condon in a Sens uniform.
Ups and Downs
|Craig Anderson||▲||Three wins and a .972 SV%. Are we even worthy?|
|Mike Condon||━||See biggest losses.|
|Matt O'Connor||━||Will serve as the third string goalie in the playoffs. Hopefully we won't have to go there.|
|Mark Borowiecki||▲||Threw another 15 hits, solidifying his title as the league's most frequent hitter. He hasn't seemed lost on the ice either, taking on a few extra minutes in place of Marc Methot. Also had some fantastic underlying numbers.|
|Cody Ceci||━||Showed a bit more of his offensive side this week, with four shots on goal against the Bruins.|
|Fredrik Claesson||━||A bit of a quiet week for Freddy, cooling down from his previous six points in ten games.|
|Andreas Englund||━||Had a couple defensive breakdowns against the Islanders, although it was only one game.|
|Ben Harpur||▲||To be honest, when I heard Harpur was called up, I was expecting a disaster. From what I saw of him with Binghamton and at training camp, it left me wondering how he was drafted in the first place. Now he looks like a fringe-NHLer, which has completely bowled over my prior expectations. He led the team in TOI this week.|
|Jyrki Jokipakka||━||Played one game, and will probably go back to the press box with everyone returning. He's never played in an NHL playoff game, although he won the Calder Cup with the Texas Stars in 2014.|
|Erik Karlsson||━||Erik scored against the Red Wings on a beautiful shot, and will be returning rested for game one of the playoffs. Hopefully he's 100%.|
|Marc Methot||━||He's likely to return to the lineup tomorrow, although it's not guaranteed.|
|Dion Phaneuf||▲||His relative expected goals % of +11.97 was third best on the team behind Borowiecki and DiDomenico. Keep the momentum going!|
|Chris Wideman||▲||It was Wideman's turn to block shots this week, leading the team with six. Also tied for the team lead with eight shots on goal.|
|Derick Brassard||━||Brassard always came up big in the playoffs with the Rangers, so hopefully he can continue the trend. Felt nice to see him score against his former team.|
|Alexandre Burrows||▲||He just won't stop scoring, will he? Added another goal and two assists.|
|Chris DiDomenico||━||His five shots on goal in Brooklyn was tied for the most in a single game this week for Ottawa. Started to show a bit of his offensive potential.|
|Ryan Dzingel||━||Managed to break his point drought on Sunday, while being his usual speedy self. Had the chances, registering eight shots.|
|Mike Hoffman||━||Almost caught up to Kyle Turris with his 26th goal of the season. Broke his career high with 61 points, leading all Ottawa forwards.|
|Chris Kelly||━||Finished the season as the third lowest scoring forward to play all 82 games. The Sens didn't have many penalties to kill, leading to Kelly playing under 10 minutes a night.|
|Clarke MacArthur||▲||At first I was just happy he was back, but now he's proven he's still an effective forward. His ice time is progressively increasing.|
|Chris Neil||━||Earned a secondary assist in his first, and possibly last game back. Might get a chance in the playoffs if things start to get really physical.|
|Jean-Gabriel Pageau||▲||See biggest gains.|
|Nick Paul||━||Managed four shots on goal in his call-up, displaying his offensive imporvement from playing in Binghamton this season.|
|Tom Pyatt||━||Played slightly more diminished minutes this week while continuing to put up poor possession stats.|
|Bobby Ryan||━||Finally broke his offensive drought on the final day.|
|Zack Smith||━||Out injured this week, but he should also be back for the start of the series.|
|Viktor Stalberg||━||Didn't seem as noticeable as he was previous weeks, but the added depth should definitely come in handy in the later rounds. ;-)|
|Mark Stone||━||He doesn't seem to be quite at 100% health, but that didn't stop him from adding another two points.|
|Kyle Turris||━||Following up a three-point performance in Detroit last Monday, Turris cooled down with one assist in the next three games. Should be well-rested for facing Boston.|
|Colin White||━||As much as Guy Boucher has been avoiding playing young players this season, White was trusted playing 20:06 in the final game of the regular season. He didn't manage to get even a shot on goal, but he didn't look out of place, making some nice rushes up the ice.|
|Tommy Wingels||━||Had three shots in consecutive games against the Bruins and Rangers. Could potentially get knocked out of the lineup with Zack Smith returning.|