Ottawa Senators thumbs up/thumbs down

I know what you're probably saying: What the hell is this? Well, it's a look at how the Ottawa Senators players did over the last week, inspired by the... well... identical thing over at Japers' Rink. Luckily, J.P. is not only more creative than I am, but also generous, so he's said we can appropriate the idea for our own team, and here goes my take for the week of March 15-21: Ottawa had a record of 0-3, with eight goals for and 15 goals against. Pretty brutal. Basically, the top line did alright, the second line was a little less alright, and third line has completely fallen off the map, and the goaltending was abysmal.

Biggest gains: Jason Spezza
Three goals and two assists in three games, and his herculean effort was almost enough to virtually single-handedly power the Senators to a win over the Stars. Almost. Spezza's been criticized for not leading by example, but right now he's one of few drivers on a team with too many passengers.

Biggest losses: Brian Elliott
Elliott played two games in the week, lost both, and allowed nine goals in the process. He was Cory Clouston's number one guy heading into the week, but fell far down the pecking order with his performances. His SP was .839 and his GAA was an abysmal 4.56. Tough week for the kid, but he'll probably get another chance, because Pascal Leclaire played just about as poorly in his start.

(Read the full team's rundown... )

Goalies Trend Notes
Brian Elliott See the Biggest Losses.
Pascal Leclaire It's hard to believe that Leclaire dropped, given he started the week as a backup anyway. He made some strong saves in the early part of the game against Dallas, but those saves were off-set by some weak goals in the 5-4 loss, and he was pulled in the third.
Filip Kuba Kuba only got into one game this week, so it's hard to get a gauge on his play. Disappointing that he's back out of the lineup with injury, though; should we expect this for the remaining two years on the deal, too?
Chris Phillips Phillips finished the week -1, and had some grievous giveaways in the Toronto game, but a goal goes a good way in keeping him on an even keel.
Andy Sutton Sutton's week started decent with a goal against Toronto, but he finished -4 and had 8PIM--although I'd argue if four of those weren't warranted. His footspeed became a bit of an issue at times, but I'm still a fan of the acquisition, because he'll be great in the playoffs.
Anton Volchenkov Five hits and five blocked shots, and he came out of three losses +1? Not too bad, especially relative to the rest of the blueliners.
Erik Karlsson Perhaps the hardest week of the season for the kid, including the week where he was re-assigned to Binghamton. He had six shots on net, and some other good numbers, but combined for a -6 overall--including -4 against Dallas.
Chris Campoli Finished even on the week, and had nine shots on net in three games. He made a strong case for himself returning from injury, and even bumped Carkner our of the lineup for on game. He's got a good chance of sticking in the lineup through the playoffs, just to provide a balance between offence and defence.
Matt Carkner So far down. He was scratched against Atlanta, and only finished -1, but the downward trend in his play continued. I attribute a lot of it to the accumulating affect of all the fights he's been in this year, but it seems like he'll get an opportunity to sit out a few games to recharge.

Jason Spezza See the Biggest Gains.
Alex Kovalev
It looks like Kovalev's tuned out, folks. No points since before the Olympic break, a cumulative -4 in the three games, and some disinterested-looking play. He had seven shots on goal, and showed flashes of effort, but it wasn't consistent enough to get results.
Daniel Alfredsson Alfredsson had four points (all assists) in the week, but also had his struggles, particularly against Toronto. It might be due to Sweden's disappointing Olympic exit, but he will need to--and can be expected to--rebound before long.
Milan Michalek Michalek had an assist in the Atlanta game before getting knocked out with a leg injury. He hadn't really moved up or down before that, but will need to provide some offence when he returns.
Mike Fisher Fisher only played two of the games, and scored a goal and an assist against Dallas. His effort that game was certainly not lacking, but he was very quiet against the Thrashers.
Matt Cullen Two assists for Cullen, his third and fourth points since being acquired. Hopefully it's a sign of more consistent and reliable offence to come.
Chris Kelly Kelly was -3 in the week, but this is one instance where it's a deceptive one. He had a goal, nine shots on net, and was a big past of the reason why Ottawa's penalty kill was as strong as it was--the lone bright spot of the week.
Chris Neil Neil had a decent week, despite no points and a -2 rating. He had nine shots on net, and threw 12 hits, plus a (weak) fight against Garnet Exelby. He drove the net, got his shots, and forechecked hard.
Jarkko Ruutu Ruutu wasn't particularly notable in the week, although he scored a goal and (took a slash which forced him into) committed a brutal giveaway against Dallas, but was fine anyway.
Nick Foligno Foligno came back into the lineup, and really brought his energy whenever he was on the ice. He had a gorgeous assist on Spezza's first goal against Dallas, and now all he's got to to is complement his offensive flair with some defensive responsibility (he was -4 on the week).
Shean Donovan Didn't play a single game. Don't know why.
Peter Regin Regin has certainly faded as the season's gone on. One shot on net in three games this week, and no points. He was even, somehow, but definitely left a lot to be desired.
Ryan Shannon Basically, see above. Shannon's chronic bipolar disorder continues to frustrate us. He was -2 in the week, though, and had two shots on net.
Jesse Winchester Winch came in for two games, didn't play too much in either, finished -2 in the week with five shots and three hits. Not too bad.

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