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Three Stars of the Week: Week 11

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Familiar faces, familiar results

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Another disappointing week for the Sens saw them drop their third straight game against the Montreal Canadiens. While the win against the Red Wings was entertaining, the Sens are having issues carrying momentum through games. Boucher, however, has become an expert at making excuses for them.

Three Stars

  1. Colin White: The progression of Colin White has been one of the brightest spots for the Senators this season. He continues to be consistently reliable every game especially with Duchene out of the lineup.
  2. Mark Stone: The Captain has this never-ending supply of great plays, passion, and energy to give this team a chance to win every night. His most valuable asset may be his effect on his linemates. He had the game-winner against the Red Wings and somehow managed to set up a go-ahead goal against the Habs in a period where the Sens had one shot on goal 10 minutes into the period.
  3. Thomas Chabot: The consistency of Hotsam Batcho is mesmerizing. His calmness and smart choices in the defensive zone are getting better with each game and that shot from the line, just perfect.

Trending Up:

  • Ryan Dzingel: There’s a lot to appreciate about the play of Dzingel, and while he needs to work on consistent point production, he is consistently making an effort. His speed is always a threat and has the right mindset every game.
  • Mike McKenna: While letting in 4 goals is usually not a good sign, McKenna had no chance to win against the Habs. Facing 46 shots, he still looked solid in net and may earn himself a few more starts.

Trending Down:

  • The rookies: In a rebuilding season where these young players are still developing, it’s expected to see some regression. Batherson, Lajoie, and Tkachuk have been a bit quiet lately but not for lack of effort. This isn’t to say they have been bad, but the growing pains are showing. Batherson, in particular, has been missing Duchene dearly and it remains to be seen how long he will stay up in Ottawa.
  • Tom Pyatt: The best game the Sens had this week is the one where Pyatt was a healthy scratch, it cannot be a coincidence. I am still baffled as to why Boucher thinks he deserves a spot on the roster but with McCormick on waivers, one can hope Pyatt is next.

Who to Watch:

  • Pageau and Duchene: Both are said to be progressing ahead of schedule on their injuries. The sense is that Duchene may be back this week which would be a massive boost for the Sens. There is no timeline for Pageau, but the fact that he’s participated in team skates is a good sign he may be back early in 2019.
  • Christian Jaros: He has been told he’s staying in Ottawa and he has deserved the roster spot. It’s not an easy place to develop on the Sens blue line, and I think Jaros has done a good job considering the circumstances. As his confidence rises, so should his performance.