Our Three Stars Of Week 8: Anthony Duclair, Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk
The star players came through with three wins.
No team can keep losing forever, and the Ottawa Senators have turned things around in the last two weeks. In the past seven days they’ve gone a perfect 3-0 for their first major run of wins this season. Most of that was riding on their top players, who comprise the three stars of the week.
- Anthony Duclair — Duclair was Ottawa’s best player this week, as he added to his scoring total with three goals and two assists. His game against the Red Wings was Ottawa’s best single-game performance, with his team getting 70% of the expected goals when he was on the ice (he was also above 80% against the Rangers). His flashy offensive skillset was on full display, making for some highlight reel plays. And maybe even more impressively, he wasn’t on the ice for a single goal against in all three games.
- Thomas Chabot — After lacking some consistency to begin the season, Chabot stepped up as a true #1 defenceman this week, flashing his offensive prowess for a goal and two assists, while also keeping the other team out of his own zone. Especially against the Rangers, Chabot seemed to be taking more chances for himself, stepping in a bit further and attempting a shot on net. When he’s playing confidently, he’s a treat to watch.
- Brady Tkachuk — The OT hero also deserves some love, as he scored a point in every game this week (2G, 1A). Like Chabot against the Rangers, he was firing on all cylinders offensively, with the opposition barely getting a chance to do anything. Maybe that’s partly to do with the Rangers being an abomination this season, but he was seizing nearly every small opportunity he had.
Craig Anderson — Truth be told, the Montreal Canadiens outplayed the Senators for the majority of the game. Yet Anderson kept them in it for the entire duration, stopping 35 of 36 shots for his best performance of the season to date. He’s clearly lost the starter’s job to Anders Nilsson at this point, and it’ll be a tough battle if he wants it back. But getting this type of performance out of a backup is better than what we could hope for.
Connor Brown — With the rest of the Sens’ forwards having excellent weeks, Brown has gone quiet as of late. Since his six-game point streak in late October, he has two points in his last ten games, including none in his last four. His line was caved in pretty heavily against the Habs, which has been the opposite of the norm up until this point. His trio with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Nick Paul is still an excellent combo for defence, but it appears Brown has lost the offensive touch he had earlier.
Who to Watch:
He’s not in the NHL yet, but Rudolfs Balcers is shouting his name to be called up, scoring seven points in his first five games since returning from injury. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him given a chance at some point in the near future, given the current instability of the Sens’ bottom six. He certainly excelled in his long 36-game stint in the back half of last season.