While going 1-2 in Western Canada this week may seem less than ideal, it really wasn’t a bad seven days for the Ottawa Senators. They almost staged a furious comeback against the Vancouver Canucks, and won a hard-fought overtime game in Edmonton. A 5-1 loss to the Calgary Flames didn’t leave many bright spots, but hey, we’ll do our best won’t we?
So, here are the Ottawa Senators Three Stars of Week 24.
- Brady Tkachuk - When Mark Stone was traded, there was a massive vacuum in Ottawa as they struggled to find a leader. Brady Tkachuk, only 19 years old, has become that leader. Our beautiful boy tallied three goals this week, including his first career overtime winner against the Oilers. It’s hard not to love Brady Tkachuk, he plays his heart out every shift, and seems like a really good guy, judging by his floss-off with a young fan. Let’s hope this is a homegrown star that’s around for a long time.
- Max Veronneau - This may come as a surprise to a lot of people, but Max Verroneau was easily one of Ottawa’s top-end players this week. He’s settled comfortably on to the top line with Tkachuk and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and has complimented the gritty forwards with his speed and skill. Veronneau was awarded with his first NHL goal against the Canucks, and it appears that there are more in his future.
- Anthony Duclair - When Duclair was announced as the main piece in return for Ryan Dzingel, a lot of people were apprehensive. A player on his fourth team in five years, who had been criticized for being lazy was bound to bring doubters. He’s done his best to silence those doubters, though, with eight points in his first 14 games as a Senator, including a goal and an assist this week. It looks to me like the Anthony Duclair experiment has been a success, and he should be rewarded with a contract extension this summer.
- Thomas Chabot returned from injury against Edmonton, and looked better than he has in months. The sophomore defenceman added an assist, and his team-leading 50th point of the season. Chabot is an absolute stud, and it’s great to see him back and having success again.
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau may have had to sit out against Calgary with a suspension, but he had a really good week centring the top line. He played with fire, and relentless tenacity, especially when the Senators were being blown-out by Vancouver. Don’t be surprised if he gets the ‘C’ on a short-term basis at some point.
- Craig Anderson broke a string of 13 winless starts against Edmonton, and just barely. Andy has struggled this season, evidenced by being lit up by the Flames on Thursday. One has to wonder how much the Senators’ greatest goalie has left in the tank.
Who to Watch:
While Rudolfs Balcers has been racking up the assists, he hasn’t found the back of the net himself for nine games, going back to March 3rd against the Florida Panthers. Look for him to snap that skid this week.