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Three Stars of Week 18: Tkachuk, Pageau, Batherson

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Rough week, but still some bright spots to be found.

Ottawa Senators v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

In a week like this one, it can often be hard to pick three standout performances. For two out of three games, the Senators were almost entirely dominated. A 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks, and routes by scores of 4-1 and 5-2 to the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets, respectively, didn’t exactly yield much in the way of positivity.

However, me being the ray of sunshine that I am, I’ve done my best. Here are your Three Stars of Week 18:

First Star: Brady Tkachuk (3GP, 1G, 1A)

Our son Brady was, as usual, the sparkplug to Ottawa’s engine this week. Despite his team’s overall lacklustre performance, Tkachuk never stopped, evidenced by his beautiful goal against the Avs:

Were that not enough, he also tallied an assist on J.G. Pageau’s goal against the Jets, in a game where he also dropped the gloves with Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler. Whatever your opinions on fighting, there’s no denying that Brady Tkachuk did it all for the Senators this week, and continues to prove why he’s a damn special player.

Second Star: J.G. Pageau (3GP, 1G, 1A)

Speaking of Pageau, he had a pretty good week himself. The 27 year-old snapped a four-game goalless drought against Winnipeg, while adding an assist on Drake Batherson’s goal against the Ducks.

Though trade rumours may have slightly cooled off on the feisty centre, performances like these will help Ottawa maximize any potential return for him. If he stays, it’s something to build on for the future.

Third Star: Drake Batherson (3GP, 1G)

Folks, I am happy to inform you that it is, in fact, #BathTime.

Drake Batherson has arrived as an NHL player. The growth in his game is clearly visible, as he now has the confidence to use his skill on offence, playing with poise and precision. Batherson has also taken advantage of his newfound size, battling hard for pucks, and throwing some hits. He still has some work to do in his own end, but Drake Batherson looks like a Top Six mainstay right now.

Trending Up: Marcus Högberg

I’m willing to write off the Colorado game, because the Sens were outmatched from top to bottom, so all in all, another nice week for Marcus Högberg. He stopped 30 of 32 against Anaheim, earning Ottawa another loser point, and the only goal he give up in relief of Craig Anderson against Winnipeg was a 4on1 to Patrik Laine. Hard to blame him there. Look for Höggy to keep this pace up.

Trending Down: Tyler Ennis

Ennis has gone four games without a point, and is one contest away from matching his longest drought on the season. He hasn’t been bad by any means, but his shot totals have decreased over the last couple games, and I’d like to see what flipping him and Duclair could do for the snakebitten latter.

Who to Watch: Colin White

After an abysmal start to the season, Colin White looks like he’s starting to put the pieces together. He’s shown some obvious chemistry with Batherson, and the two of them have been creating a good amount of chances. White also had a sick assist on Artem Anisimov’s goal against the Ducks.

Infirmary:

  • Expect Christian Wolanin back any day now, likely starting in Belleville.
  • Still no word on Anders Nilsson, who has been out since December 16th with a concussion. It’s really not good when symptoms linger for this long, so here’s to hoping that Anders Nilsson the person is getting better, rather than Anders Nilsson the hockey player.
  • Mark Borowiecki’s wife, Tara, gave birth to their first son, Miles, this weekend. With that in mind, it seems likely that BoroCop won’t return to the lineup until Thursday’s home game against the Arizona Coyotes. Congratulations to the entire Borowiecki family, and welcome to the world, Miles!