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Ottawa Senators Ups and Downs: Playoffs Week 1

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Karlsson’s up and Pyatt’s down in this week’s edition

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game Two
Oh Captain, My Captain

The playoffs are upon us, and the Ottawa Senators have jumped to a 2-1 lead! The stars have been scoring, the defence has been defending, and the first round is only two games away from being won. After dropping the first matchup in a close 2-1 loss, the Senators took the next two, both in overtime with goals by Dion Phaneuf and Bobby Ryan.

This week served as a reminder of how much I missed playoff hockey. The stakes are higher, the pace is faster, and the intensity reaches new highs. Boston’s been a tough opponent, and still has a chance considering all three games have been decided by a single goal. This series is far from over yet.

Biggest Gains: Erik Karlsson

He wears the ‘C’ for a reason. Karlsson took this team on his back and has sprinted with it. His assist on the game-tying goal in game two was phenomenal in itself, then he had to top it with his incredible stretch pass to Mike Hoffman last night. If there’s any remaining signs of injury in Karlsson, I don’t see them.

Biggest Losses: Tom Pyatt

It hasn’t been a very strong playoffs for Pyatt, who was held to zero points and only one shot on goal in three games. The hard match against Boston’s first line in game one would have to do with that, although he was demoted in the other two games to play against lesser competition.

Ups and Downs

Player Trend Notes
Player Trend Notes
Goaltenders
Craig Anderson Anderson's had a bit of a mixed week. He was solid in game one despite the loss, and then had blunders in game two and three, both of which he eventually won. Last night's third period seemed to be his redeeming point after allowing three goals on nine shots.
Mike Condon Left to warm the benches.
Matt O'Connor Last game was April 7th for Binghamton, making 27 saves in a 4-3 win. Will act as the third stringer.
Defensemen
Mark Borowiecki + Injured after taking a hard fall in game two, there's no apparent timeline for his return.
Cody Ceci Not a great playoff week for Ceci, who spent a large chunk of his time hemmed in his own end. He gets the benifit of the doubt a little, considering how much time he was deploymed against the Bruins' top line.
Fredrik Claesson After having a strong NHL playoff debut, Freddy was sent back to press box in favour of Ben Harpur. Speaking of which...
Ben Harpur Looked like he fit in with the rest of the team, making some nice first passes out of the zone and taking a crack at a few shot attempts. Once again exceeding all my expectations.
Jyrki Jokipakka Likely won't see playoff action barring more injuries.
Erik Karlsson Incredible. See biggest gains.
Marc Methot Now returned from his finger injury, Methot didn't hold back at all from being physical, leading the team with a dozen hits after playing in only two of the three games.
Dion Phaneuf Add three points to Phaneuf's points column, including his first ever overtime winning playoff goal. He may not have been strong defensively along with Ceci, although his OT heroics earn him the up arrow.
Chris Wideman Learning the big league playoff ways, Wideman hasn't slowed a step, reverting back to the regular possession-driving self that he's lost over the last couple weeks. His game two goal sparked the third period comeback.
Forwards
Derick Brassard Leading the team in points (tied with others at four), Rangers fans were right when they said Brassard becomes a different player in the playoffs. He's benifited a lot from Karlsson, but seems to have also regained his scoring touch.
Alexandre Burrows It might just be me, but I've found Burrows so far to be invisible these playoffs. He's supposed to have been an agitator, but I haven't even noticed him in the scrums.
Chris DiDomenico No games for DiDo.
Ryan Dzingel Although his 4th line demotion looks bad on the surface, Dzingel's been a key part to the Sens' depth that has been backing off the rest of the Bruins' roster.
Mike Hoffman Legendary. The stretch pass from Karlsson, the finish from Hoffman; everything about that play was gorgeous. His two-goal performance yesterday was what ultimately propelled the Sens to the series lead.
Chris Kelly Landing in the press box for all three playoff games after avoiding a scratch the entire regular season was not what I was expecting. The penalty kill hasn't missed him much either, still looking strong with the system.
Clarke MacArthur If Clarke MacArthur's power play goal on Saturday didn't get you a little emotional, I'm not sure what to say. As for the rest of his play, it was impossible to tell he had just missed almost two years without playing.
Chris Neil Neiler's been relegated with everyone healthy.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau Assignments were quite difficult for Pageau this week, having to spend extensive time facing off against Patrice Bergeron. He was held off the score sheet this week, but I'm glad that experiment is now over.
Tom Pyatt Losses.
Bobby Ryan Last night's overtime winner was enough to earn Bpbby an up arrow, but he did so much more. He's the team leader in shots on goal, and has shown to have the energy we've been wanting from him the entire season.
Zack Smith Interesting move by Boucher to put Smith back at centre. Him and Stone led Sens forwards in hits this week with ten each.
Viktor Stalberg Nitro boosters on, Stalberg's somehow managed to work his way into Ottawa's top six alongside Brassard and Ryan. It seems to have been working.
Mark Stone Anybody seen Mark Stone lately? It's been nineteen games since his last goal, and we could really use a couple from him.
Kyle Turris Linemates Dzingel and Burrows are both scoreless, with Turris held to a single assist. That combo should probably be switched up soon.
Colin White Learning a bunch in practices, but has yet to make his first playoff appearance.
Tommy Wingels In light of all of Ottawa's depth, scratching Wingels has made sense. He had three shots on goal in his single game, though.

#ALLIN