Since the trade deadline, we saw the Senators go 1-2, with a win against the Golden Knights sandwiched between losses to the Capitals and Coyotes. Each game was decidedly close, with a single goal deciding each one.
- Erik Karlsson — The captain, likely tired of being included in trade rumours for two weeks, showed up this week. First, he hit 500 points for his career with a pair against Washington. He then had three assists in a victory in Vegas. He became the first defenceman to have five consecutive 40-assist seasons since Nicklas Lidstrom. Let’s remember though he would’ve got there earlier if it wasn’t for an Achilles injury in a lockout-shortened season in the middle there.
- Mark Stone — He “only” had four points this week, but he was the driver of the rejuvenated Jean-Gabriel Pageau line. He had the jump we expect to see in his game, and was all over the ice. It’s not really fair, since a healthy Stone is nearly always on this list, but it’s hard to keep such a dynamic player off the list.
- Bobby Ryan — Four points for a rejuvenated Ryan this week. In the Vegas game in particular, he just looked so much like the guy who activated beast mode against the Bruins last spring. It’s nice to see him pumping up his trade value contributing offensively.
- It was nice to see Pageau get some offensive linemates, and he contributed two goals. I mean, Derick Brassard is the better offensive player, so I’m not surprised to see Pageau moved down the lineup, but seeing what he can do with better wingers than Pyatt and whoever is wonderful.
- Max McCormick seemed to have some jump in his game. He didn’t look bad with Duchene and Hoffman, which is more than can be said for Tom Pyatt or Alexandre Burrows.
- Fredrik Claesson got some time (~15 minutes per game) on the Karlsson pairing this week, and wouldn’t you know it, they dominated the run of play. Almost like maybe Johnny Oduya shouldn’t have been in that spot all season./
- Hard to call Jim O’Brien “trending down” since he hasn’t played for the Sens in the NHL since 2013, but he really didn’t do anything this week that made me want him in the NHL over maybe five forward prospects the Sens have down in Belleville.
- Marian Gaborik got hurt and is out, after just seven games in a Sens uniform. At least Bobby Ryan is not the most injury prone player on this team anymore./
Who to Watch this Week
The Sens go to Dallas tonight, so watch for Jason Spezza and Marc Methot to have huge nights. On the Sens’ front... Thomas Chabot is due for another standout game.
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