Ottawa Senators Ups and Downs: Week 1

A review of the Sens' performances during the opening week of 2015-16

For those wondering, Ups and Downs will continue to be in its normal spot on Mondays. Just due to the long weekend, we're a day behind on this one. The opening week wasn't the greatest, despite the Senators picking up four out of six points. The team held on to win against the Sabres, let it slip away against the Maple Leafs before gutting it out in the shootout, and finished with an all-out bad performance against the Canadiens.

Biggest gains: Kyle Turris
Turris picked up a new linemate in Mike Hoffman, and kept his old linemate in Mark Stone. He also picked up three goals and an assist, which is not a bad start to the season for a guy trying to prove he deserves to remain as top-line centre.

Biggest losses: Erik Karlsson

I'm not sounding the alarm here on the captain, but he hasn't looked great yet. Finishing sub-50% in possession in three games this week isn't great. He didn't really show his ability to take over a game yet. All this with his regular partner in Marc Methot. I don't want to overreact to three games, but over those three games, Karlsson fell the most below his standard of one of the best defencemen in the league.

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson He's off to a decent start so far. He was more a victim of the team failing to try against the Leafs anymore.
Andrew Hammond Groin injury. Here's wishing him a quick recovery.
Matt O'Connor
He let in a rough early goal, but settled down against the Habs. I still think it'll be better for him to get a lot more starts in Binghamton.

Mark Borowiecki Does about what I expect him to do on the bottom pairing. Actually played a solid possession game against Buffalo and got nearly 14 minutes of even-strength ice time.
Cody Ceci Maybe deserved an up arrow, just for being better than expected in what was a lacklustre defensive group this week.
Jared Cowen Cowen had a pretty good game against Buffalo, a worse game against Toronto, and then saw his even-strength ice time cut in half against Montreal. Looks like Coach Cameron is already shortening his leash a lot.
Erik Karlsson See Biggest Losses
Marc Methot Was his steady reliable self. Was inches away from scoring what could've been a huge goal against the Habs.
Chris Phillips Could be on the IR for the whole year, which means a full season of a little red cross beside his name on this list.
Chris Wideman
Didn't get into any games this week.
Patrick Wiercioch More penalties than points isn't a great week for Wiercioch. The good news for Wiercioch is that he played more than 20 minutes against the Habs, so it looks like as Cowen loses Cameron's trust, Wiercioch gains it.

Alex Chiasson Did about what I expected. It's hard to look great on the dump-and-chase line with Smith and Neil.
Mike Hoffman Found his way onto the top line, and had three assists in three games. Not bad at all.
Curtis Lazar If anyone was doubting his role in the NHL this season, he should have silenced the critics against Montreal. His penalty-killing duo with Pageau is dynamite.
Clarke MacArthur He's recovering from injury, but has looked pretty good. Should help to drive possession on the Zibanejad line.
Milan Michalek Sure he's expensive for his role, but Michalek is a great complement to Pageau and Lazar. He could sneak his way into a pretty good season.
Chris Neil That leaner, meaner, quicker Neil from preseason? Can't say I've seen him show up. Still, he does about what he always has.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau Stood out in the game against Montreal, and got himself a shortie. Looks like he's ready to pick up where he left off last year.
Shane Prince
Didn't get into any games this week.
Bobby Ryan One assist on a empty-net goal in three games this week isn't enough for Ottawa's highest-paid player. I don't want to pile on the guy, especially this early into the year, but he didn't impress yet this year.
Zack Smith He's looked OK. I'm interested to see what Smith could do with Prince and Chiasson as linemates.
Mark Stone A goal and three assists on the new-look top line. Pretty good for Stone.
Kyle Turris See Biggest Gains.
Mika Zibanejad Debated about whether to give him neutral or an up arrow. Decided that if Ryan was down, that's at least partly on his centre. Still, two points in three games is pretty good, and he's showing he could be set for another year of improvement.

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