Well, the Senators manged to play more than one game this week, and they managed not to do too badly, posting a 2-1-1 record in four games, and picking up 5 of a possible 8 points. They took care of Florida twice and played what was definitely their most complete game of the season--without their captain, no less--in holding the Pittsburgh Penguins to one goal in a 2-1 shootout loss. Of course, sandwiched between good performances was a sloppy hootenanny in Tampa Bay--a game that's already looking like one you wish the team could have a do-over on.
No do-overs in the NHL, unfortunately. The only way out is through.
Biggest gains: Kyle Turris
Ottawa's leading goal-scorer hasn't yet showed consistent chemistry with his linemates--yet. But one of his goals came off a fantastic feed from Latendresse and another was from a fantastic feed from Alfredsson. Turris could have gotten Alfie his first goal of the season by returning another great feed later, but who can blame him for shooting with the way his season has started? He's been Ottawa's best forward, with and without the puck.
Biggest loses: Ben Bishop
Bishop was, shall we say, not great in his first action of the season--and the team cannot afford to have a backup goalie who is not great. Especially since they have a backup waiting who is great. If Robin Lehner wasn't on a two-way contract, Bishop would be in the AHL right now. It's as simple as that.
|Has yet to allow more than a goal in a game. Currently sporting a sterling .974 save percentage, which is pretty good if you ask anyone.
See "Biggest losses."
|At this point, I'm not sure what Benoit brings that Wiercioch doesn't, but he's been a mainstay on defense, and doesn't look terrible there.
|Delivered some big hits in both his games and was named the third star of the game against Pittsburgh. Not bad.
|Gotta give the guy credit--3 points in 5 games, an even plus/minus rating, and second in ice time behind Karlsson.
|Had a rough ride (on the Karlsson scale, at least) against Pittsburgh but remains tied for the team lead in points. Reminder: he is a defenseman, and should not be tied for the points lead.
|You have to wonder who the team would even take out for him.
|He is more than most fans were expecting.
|Despite a shaky start against Winnipeg, he and Gonchar have rebounded nicely. Phillips even notched a power play goal and helped keep both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scoreless.
|Played very well, but got scratched for his efforts.
|Flashes of the old Alfie on one of Turris' many goals, but he's already missed a game due to illness. Remember when he played through a broken jaw?
|Has looked much more confident this year, already scoring a sweet goal on a breakaway.
|Looked like the rooster of old in his two games... except faster. Really invaluable on the PK against Pittsburgh.
|Helped anchor the "Do you even lift?" line, but got the call on the first line when MacLean had to shuffle players. Answered with the only goal against Pittsburgh.
|He should have seven goals. No joke. But he gets a down arrow because he doesn't. Should get an up arrow soon--those chances are going to convert soon.
|You wouldn't believe that a point-per-game player like Michalek could get a down arrow, but you just feel like more points are possible when you watch him play.
|One third of Ottawa's best line. His assist on Condra's goal was just a nice heads-up play.
|Flying out there.
|He's getting the least ice time of any player. Doesn't seem to be a big part of the team's plans, which is a real shame.
|Got his first goal, and more than one post. Continues to miss the net often, which is correctable, but still annoying. Are the nets taller in Sweden or something?
|By my unofficial tally, Z. Smith actually leads the team in scoring chances. He got bumped up to the second line with Latendresse out, but fits better on the third line, and that's where he returned.
|Like Michalek and Karlsson, Spezza is on a point-per-game pace, and leading the team in faceoff percentage. Careful how much more you ask of the guy, lest you start demanding he turn water into wine.
|See "Biggest gains."