Considering how many bad weeks there have been since mid-November, week 18 wasn’t too bad, as the Senators came out of the All-Star break with a 2-2-0 record. Let’s see who the honourable (and dishonourable) mentions go to:
- Mike Hoffman finished the week with one goal and three assists. His goal against the Canadiens yesterday was exactly the type of goal you expect from him, and I will dearly miss that quick release if Ottawa makes the mistake of trading him. Plus, how can you not love his shootout winner on Saturday against the Flyers?
Mike Hoffman with a sweet move to win it for Ottawa in the shootout pic.twitter.com/19z9mOFFuw— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 3, 2018
2. Matt Duchene continues his run of solid play, with his goal against Philadelphia being the most exciting play we’ve seen from him all year. He finished the week with a modest one goal and one assist, but I’m consistently impressed by him. He now has 11 points in his last 13 games.
3. Chris DiDomenico got the honours as the third star last week, and I’ll give it to him here again this week. He scored one goal vs. Philadelphia, and although his shot metrics weren’t anything special, when compared to his teammates he grades out actually quite well. Considering how little ice time he’s getting, I like what he’s been contributing from the fourth line.
- Mike Condon was excellent against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, and he almost got the shutout. He allowed four goals to the Canadiens yesterday, although two of them were on the power play. He would’ve gotten a star if he had played a bit better on Sunday, but considering he was 2nd star last week, he deserves some recognition again.
- There’s still something a bit off about Erik Karlsson’s game this season, but he had some much better moments in the past four games. The overtime winner against Anaheim was vintage Karlsson, and that’s the kind of goal we haven’t really seen this season.
- This isn’t really fair to include him in the “trending down” section per se, but I felt like I should put Bobby Ryan here because of how ridiculous and frustrating his hand/finger injuries are. It’s not like he’s choosing to get hurt, but man, he has become one of the most injury-prone players in the league, and that’s worrisome considering he still has four years left on his deal after this season.
- It’s incredible to me that Nate Thompson is viewed as a “shutdown centre” by Guy Boucher. He was trusted to keep the lead against Philadelphia in the last minute of play, and he iced the puck when there was absolutely no need to. That lead to the game-tying goal with just 3 seconds left. Rough.
Who to Watch
Out of all the Senators players on the trade block, I think Zack Smith is the most likely to move. And for that reason, it should be interesting to keep an eye on him to see if he can pump up his trade value in the next few weeks. I know that Calgary has been linked to him, and he seems like a typical forward depth acquisition for a team looking to get more scoring.
Considering his $3.25M cap hit is good for the next three years, I’m betting they’re looking to shed that salary off the books.