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Ottawa Senators Three Stars of the Week: Week 23

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The Sens are playing solid .500 hockey, four months too late

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Dallas Stars
Världens bästa Karlsson
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Since we last did this, the Senators went 2-1-1, with wins over the playoff-hopeful Stars and Panthers, a loss to the playoff-wishful-thinking Flames, and a shootout loss to the fellow-bottom-feeder Sabres. The Sens are truly playing decent hockey many months too late.

Three Stars

  1. Erik Karlsson — The captain had another five points in four games over the past week. He now has 10 points in seven games since the trade deadline. I think he’ll benefit from a summer of real training, but I have a hard time seeing how anyone looks at him now and says, “Yeah, this guy’s done.”
  2. Craig Anderson — Part of why Ottawa did so well this week is their goaltending actually held up. He finished the week with a .924 save percentage in three games, which is the kind of ‘tending the Sens could’ve used all year. Maybe next year he might still have something to give.
  3. Matt Duchene — With five more points for him, he also managed to hit a 20-goal season for the sixth time in his career. His vision is unrivalled, and his ability to generate a scoring chance out of nothing is incredible. Jason Spezza was the last player this team had that was capable of handling Karlsson’s full-speed slap-passes, but I think Duchene may be that guy now.

Trending Up

  • Mike Condon only played one game this week, but he put up a .946. As a scientist, I’m loathe to refer to a single data point as a trend, but he at least deserves a shout-out for being not the problem in his lone game
  • Thomas Chabot got a goal and an assist, and looked fine in the small chances he got with Karlsson
  • Magnus Paajaarvi (-Svensson) had three points, including two goals, and 11 shots. He looks like the kind of depth player a team could always use.

Trending Down

  • Mark Stone is out with a serious leg injury, one that could possible be the whole season. With the way this season has gone, they should just shut him down. His spot in the lineup isn’t in jeopardy, and there’s no reason to risk his long-term future for a handful of meaningless games
  • Max McCormick was scratched twice this week, and then only played six and eight minutes in the other two games. Fair or not, Boucher doesn’t seem to trust him over options like Jim O’Brien.

Who to Watch

The goalies. After a good series of game for them, I’m interested in seeing what happens with the second-half of a back-to-back tonight, followed by another back-to-back on Friday/Saturday. Should be a good chance to see if they are, in fact, “trending up”.