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Three Stars of Week #14

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This week’s stars are Paul, Ennis and Tierney

NHL: JAN 02 Panthers at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With two-thirds of their defence corps still sidelined, it should come as no surprise that the Ottawa Senators went 0-3-0 this past week, losing in convincing fashion to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a game more fitting of the team’s efforts this season. Lots of players found their way onto the scoresheet, let’s look at those who stood out.

First Star: Nick Paul (2G, 1A)

The player that was “Trending Down” two weeks ago has rediscovered his scoring touch. Nick Paul was one of two Senators this week to score two goals, and both of them came in a 5-2 loss to the Penguins. He also successfully defended his throne at the Hardest Shot competition of yesterday’s Sens Skills tournament:

Paul has consistently been a dependable player for D.J. Smith, especially when playing on a shutdown line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Connor Brown. His offensive production on the other hand, has been all over the place. Of his 13 points, 8 of them came in a ten-game span, along with 4 more in a three-game span. He might have a chance to pot a few more if that cannon of a slapshot was utilized on the power-play.

Second Star: Tyler Ennis (1G, 2A)

I can’t remember the last piece I wrote that Ennis didn’t claw his way into; not that I’m complaining. His three points in three games give him a total of 24 in 42, on par with Brady Tkachuk. His goal against the Panthers was highlighted by a quick move to the backhand, before the rather fortunate finish off of the defender:

Third Star: Chris Tierney

The other two-goal scorer for the Senators this week, the ”Ghost of Christmas Pass” increased his point totals to 22 in 42 games. Both he and Ennis are prime candidates to be moved at the upcoming trade deadline; each should hopefully be able to bring in at least a 2nd round pick.

Trending Up: Christian Jaros

Jaros got his first two assists of the season this week, including this fantastic feed to Paul:

D.J. Smith has implied that Jaros will be returned to Belleville once the defence corps heals up, but his current level of play is going to force Smith to consider giving him a longer look with the big club.

Trending Down: Craig Anderson

Anderson played two of the three games (vs FLA, vs TBL) this week and stopped 48 of 57 shots for a measly .842 SV%. It’s disappointing, especially considering the defence did as good a job as could be expected in both games overall despite the injuries. Anderson is three wins away from his 200th as a Senator, and my guess is that he won’t be moved at the deadline unless he reaches the milestone before then. Whatever happens, I hope he plays well enough to reach it.

Who to watch: Drake Batherson

Batherson’s second stint with the big club this season has started off strong, and is looking to be much better than his first. Not only did he look like an NHL-er away from the puck in the 15+ minutes he logged against the Lightning, but his offensive ability he’s demonstrated in the lower leagues translated to the NHL in a big way on the power-play:

It seems that Batherson’s time in the AHL this season has greatly improved his confidence and two-way game, and if he can continue playing at his current level, he will likely have a top-six spot in Ottawa locked down come October.

Infirmary:

  • According to D.J. Smith, there’s a chance that Dylan DeMelo (broken finger) will return to the lineup and play in Tuesday’s game against the Washington Capitals.
  • Nikita Zaitsev (undisclosed) and Ron Hainsey (lower-body) are also nearing a return to the lineup, and Smith hopes to have both in the lineup for Friday’s tilt against the Detroit Red Wings.
  • Smith has also confirmed that Anthony Duclair should be good to go for Tuesday.
  • No update has been provided on Anders Nilsson, who remains out with a concussion.
  • Christian Wolanin (torn labrum) is targeting mid-to-late February for his return to the lineup.
  • Down in Belleville, Vitaly Abramov (broken finger) and J.C. Beaudin (illness) are sidelined.