Senators Ups and Downs: Week 28

As the season winds down, it's easy to get the feeling the Senators are just playing out the string. Pride can only take you so far, and the young players who are "playing for jobs" just aren't at the point in their careers where they can create wins by themselves. Consequently, it wasn't surprising to see the team go 1-2 in three games this week. The effort is there, but the results are not. Really, that's been the story for the entire season, and we're glad we don't have to suffer through much more of it.

Biggest Gains: Colin Greening
Rebounded from an awful game against Atlanta by putting up three points (2G, 1A) in his next two games. Ottawa rewarded him with demotion back to Binghamton due to his emergency recall status, but we suspect he'll be back soon thanks to Marek Svatos's concussion. There are still plenty of ups and downs to be had in his career, but it's always nice to see a player bounce back strongly.

Biggest Losses: Marek Svatos
A different kind of biggest loss for Svatos this time around, as it seemed like he was really starting to find his groove as an Ottawa Senator. An unfortunate blow to the head from an errant stick seems to have curtailed that rise thanks to a rumored concussion. Svatos is this week's biggest loser because this injury may very well kill any chances he had of earning a contract with the team. A few more games like he had been having might have been enough for an extended look next year. Definitely a disappointing end to his season.

Goalies Trend Notes
Pascal Leclaire Soon his name will be gone forever from this list.
Curtis McElhinney Lost his only start this week, 5-2 to Tampa Bay.
Craig Anderson A fairly pedestrian week for the Sens goalie, as he gave up four goals in losses to both the Thrashers and Maple Leafs. He did not get much help from the players in front of him in either game, something songwriters call "Pascal Leclaire's Lament."

Erik Karlsson Only managed one point before succumbing to a cut on the leg. The Tampa Bay loss also marked the first time he had been a minus since March 15th in a loss to Pittsburgh. He had been a plus-8 in the games in between that one and the loss. Despite his diminished point production, it's a testament to how valuable he is to the team that the breakout looks atrocious without him.
Brian Lee After last week, Lee has 72 shot blocks in 47 games. We could be seeing a solid defender grow before our eyes, though there's still a long ways to go. He is no longer the liability to the team he once was.
Chris Phillips Notched a rare assist in the 4-1 win over Florida, but couldn't do enough to help his team win.
Filip Kuba Kuba's play against Toronto was so bad that it outweighs any good he might have done in the other games.
Patrick Wiercioch With two points in four games this week, Wiercioch's potential is there to see. With his mistakes, it's also to see that he still needs time to adjust and grow into the player he will wind up being.
David Hale We soured on Hale this week, as his play against Tampa Bay and Toronto make us question whether he can produce when the pressure is on. It doesn't look like it right now.
Andre Benoit Did much better in his second audition with the team, firing a team-high seven shots on goal in the loss against Toronto. Will probably get a chance to finish the season in Ottawa.
Sergei Gonchar It doesn't look like he'll return from his concussion before the year ends.
Matt Carkner Will probably miss the rest of the year.

Colin Greening See "Biggest Gains."
Jason Spezza Spezza's blazing finish continues. Two multi-point games in three outings this week. He looks like a leader. The team just needs to surround him with some talent.
Bobby Butler Bustler's hustle keeps him from a down arrow, but with just one assist to show for it, it's easy to believe him when he says he's feeling the difference in season length.
Milan Michalek Did you know? Michalek has had at least one shorthanded scoring chance in every game he's played in 2011. OK, we made that up, but it feels that way, doesn't it?
Ryan Shannon The goals have stopped coming, but Shannon continues to make a case for a new contract with the team through outstanding effort.
Erik Condra No mistaking him as a rookie. Followed a strong last week with unnoticeable play this week.
Nick Foligno The more we watch him play, the more we're not sure where he fits into the Senate Reform.
Zack Smith Disappointed with his stupid penalties this week. It's easy to forget that he's young, but we hope he'll learn to play a little smarter.
Chris Neil Neil beat up Steve Downie this week, which will always earn a green arrow from us.
Marek Svatos See "Biggest Losses."
Jesse Winchester
More of the same from Winch. He does his job.
Francis Lessard Remains the team's most minor contributor.
Stephane Da Costa Hard to judge him after one game, but it was at least easy to see the reason the Senators pursued him.
Daniel Alfredsson Out indefinitely with a back injury.
Peter Regin Out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

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