All right, maybe one Halloween gimmick: The Senators were like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this week as they capped off their first winning streak of the year with a hammering at the hands of the Boston Bruins -- exactly one week after a hammering at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens. As our own Ryan Classic points out, the team is winless on Saturday so far this year. But it's not all bad -- they put up 10 goals in two games before the goose egg.
Biggest Gains: Alex Kovalev
Since being tagged with the BLACK DOOM ARROW, Kovalev's effort has improved significantly. While we had him trending downward last week despite an improved but seemingly aimless work ethic, Kovalev this week created repeated scoring chances throughout the, recorded three goals (two against Phoenix) in three games, and added an assist with the chance for two more against Phoenix as well. For a player of Kovalev's skill level, effort is not enough. He needs to be creating as well, and he did that in spades this week. The effect on the team was noticeable.
Biggest Losses: Chris Phillips
Big Game Chris has been awful this year, and there's no denying it. Expected to be his usual shutdown self, he has instead been a major source of soft defensive coverage and untimely and costly turnovers -- you know, the same kinds of things that Sens fans (including myself) like to criticize Brian Lee for. Obviously Phillips has a lot more leash than Lee does, but the team simply cannot succeed with such an integral piece of the defense playing so poorly.
(read on for the full rundown...)
|Brian Elliott||Elliott played steadily in the team's two wins, and was utterly stranded by his teammates in the loss against Boston. |
|Pascal Leclaire||Out indefinitely with a groin injury. I know... it's hard to believe that he is recovering slowly. |
|Filip Kuba||Still injured. There is a chance Kuba could return soon so he can get injured in a different way. |
|Chris Phillips||See "Biggest Losses." |
|Gonchar remains Ottawa's best defenseman so far this year. He is clearly getting more comfortable with his teammates as he's tied with Alfredsson for the team lead in assists with six. Also the owner of a team-worst minus seven rating. We knew what we were getting, and that's exactly what we got. |
|Remains scratched for David Hale. |
|Erik Karlsson||Karlsson appears to be rounding back into form. Scored a nice goal against Phoenix and hasn't been a complete defensive liability this week. |
|Chris Campoli||Rusty remains unremarkable as a defenseman. At this point with the team's corps, that's not necessarily a bad thing. |
|Matt Carkner||Rebounded from his bout of idiocy last week to finish this week as one of only four Senators players on the positive side of the plus/minus rating. |
|David Hale||Hale is the most unremarkable defenseman the team has had in some time. He does exactly what's asked of him; nothing more or less. |
|Jason Spezza||Spezza returned to lead the team to a triumphant shutout loss. One can't help but wondering if he is rushing his return from his groin injury. |
|Alex Kovalev|| ||Yowza. See "Biggest Gains." |
|Daniel Alfredsson||As of today, Alfie is currently 13th in the NHL in total points. He's 37. So, that's pretty good. |
|Milan Michalek||Michalek picked up his first assist of the year against Florida. He also rallied the team in that game with a sweet shorthanded goal. He finally looked fast in that game but developed tendinitis his surgically repaired knee. The cure is rest, and he will miss about a week. |
|Mike Fisher||Three points (1G, 2A) in his last three games. While subbing for Jason Spezza, he showed good chemistry with teammates Michalek and Alfredsson. Worrisome is the lack of power play points this year.|
|Nick Foligno||Added another assist against Phoenix, but also rang a couple of posts this week. |
|Chris Kelly||A goal against Phoenix and a shorthanded assist against Florida where he did all the work -- smart poke-check, beautiful pass over a stick to Michalek -- I'm not sure what else you'd ask for from your third-line center. |
|Chris Neil||Believe it or not, Neil had no penalties in either of Ottawa's wins before gooning it up with seven against Boston. Still leads the team in hits. |
|Jarkko Ruutu||Now he has toned it down too much. Ruutu has only a hooking penalty to show for himself this week, although he also had six hits against the Bruins. |
|Peter Regin||Regin's hunger continues. Played his best game of the season against Phoenix, recording the primary assist on both of Kovalev's goal. His numbers don't reflect it, but Regin is slowly blossoming into a playmaker for the team. |
|Zack Smith||Took advantage of Tomas Vokun not hugging the post to score his first goal of the season, banking it in off of the goalie's skate. Still, you'd like to see him do more with his minutes. |
|Jesse Winchester||Holding steady in his fourth line role. |
|Ryan Shannon||Shannon had just one assist this past week. Needs to return to his previous effort levels to remain in the lineup. |
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