The Ottawa Senators continued to trend up this week with two wins while snatching five of a possible six points in the standings. Anders Nilsson stood tall against Boston on Monday, Thomas Chabot played a solid sixty only to see the Sens fall in overtime to the Canadiens, and Anthony Duclair stole the show on Saturday afternoon against Columbus.
So who took the honours of three stars this week? Stay tuned and find out—right now.
Anthony Duclair: With five goals in three games, including a hat trick against the team that sent him to Ottawa, you knew Tony D would take this spot. Anthony ranked third in shots among Senators this week with ten total, second in individual expected goals, and second in scoring chances per natural stat trick. The Duke currently sits just outside the top-ten goal-scorers in the NHL with 18 so far. Naturally, he’s on pace to shatter all of his personal bests for production in a season. Relive his absolute bomb from Saturday’s overtime victory:
Anders Nilsson: Another ho-hum week for Anders as he started all three games and has a 92.7 save percentage to show for it in all situations (93.3% at five-on-five). Nilsson faced the second most shots among NHL ‘tenders this week and Ottawa still walked away 2-0-1 so I should hope his teammates pick up his tabs in Florida this week. It goes without saying that the Senators can’t continue to give up 40+ shots against as they did in the games against Boston and Columbus if they want to compete in the long term. As the team experiences these growing pains however, they can count on Nilsson to bail them out like he did with this save against the Bruins:
And what do we say to a Bruins goal?— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) December 10, 2019
Anders Nilsson: "Not today."
Thomas Chabot: When Tommy rolls in at number three, you know you had a hell of a week. Ottawa’s star defender led the team in ice-time (again) and has positive numbers to show for it in five-on-five/score-adjusted corsi-for, fenwick-for, and expected goals-for. Chabot also went point-per-game this week with three assists in three games and managed to take just one minor penalty in almost eighty minutes of total ice time. Oh and don’t look now but Ottawa has powerplay goals in their last two games and you better believe Hotsam Batcho got assists on both. Just look at this guy skate:
Chabot looks like he got one of those flashing star things on Mario Kart on this zone exit/entry pic.twitter.com/Pe4cDqDaIy— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) December 12, 2019
Artem Anisimov: It feels as bizarre for me to type that as it does for you to read it, trust me. Arty had great on-ice numbers this week though (granted with generous offensive-zone deployment) and racked up a couple of points while finding himself top-five among Senators forwards in terms of individual expected goals-for. Anisimov also won the majority of his faceoffs this week and overall looked like the player we expected we would get when Ottawa acquired him from Chicago this summer.
Vladislav Namestnikov: Names had an abysmal week statistically and came in dead last in just about every on-ice shot metric at five-on-five among Senators skaters over the three games. To his credit, Vlad had two assists this week and looked good on the powerplay so he deserves some credit. We seem to get a different version of Namestnikov each week in Ottawa so for all we know he could get first star next week and it wouldn’t surprise me.
Who to Watch
The kids: Literally, we need a babysitter for them. DJ Smith distributed barely any ice time to his youngsters who averaged under ten minutes each (Logan Brown 9:17 ATOI, Jonathan Davidsson 5:10, and Max Lajoie 3:52(!!!)). I won’t rehash the politics of rookie minutes for the zillionth time on this site for the sake of the readers. Nonetheless, I had to share those numbers with you.
Craig Anderson could return from a knee injury this week
Dylan DeMelo will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken finger
Scott Sabourin continues to practice with the team and has graduated from a non-contact jersey
Christian Wolanin has resumed skating
Vitaly Abramov and Christian Jaros did not dress for Belleville’s game on Saturday