Senators ups and downs: Week four

Ups and downs is a feature that looks at the individual performances of the Senators for the past week. It's less fun to write when there's a Sunday game and you have to manually calculate stats because they're not updated yet.

The momentum from the comeback against Columbus carried over into this week as the Senators won all four games they played, putting them on a six-game winning streak. This is a confident bunch right now, as evidenced by their outstanding comeback after being down 4-1 to the Rangers. The Sens also put together wins against Carolina, Florida, and most importantly, Toronto.

Don't look now, but the Ottawa Senators are fourth in the Eastern Conference with 14 points. It may last. It may not. But we should savor the play of a team that clearly refuses to give up.

Biggest Gains: Filip Kuba
KUBANDWAGON. Kuba is a plus-3 in his last two games, racking up four assists (three of them against the Rangers--he was a major part of the comeback) and playing at an extremely high level--allowing his partner, some Swedish kid who might be good someday, to collect assists like Beanie Babies. Kuba has been a pariah among Sens fans over past two years, and deserved much of the criticism. But if we're going to boo him for his shortcomings, we need to cheer him for his successes. He may be Ottawa's best all-around defenseman at this point in the season.

Biggest Losses: Zenon Konopka
Konopka's week started well enough: He fired a laser to beat Cam Ward in Carolina, and created another scoring chance on a 2-on-1 rush not long after. Unfortunately, things went downhill not long after. He played a puny 5:07 against Florida (though he did win five of his six faceoffs in the game, a superlative performance), and was ejected early in the second period of the Rangers game for boarding Artem Anisimov. Whether the penalty was too harsh is debatable, but it does not excuse a bad decision that put his teammates down 2-1 in a game which they had dominated up to that point. Konopka was a healthy scratch for Nikita Filatov the next game, a disappointing low finish to a week that began with promise.

(read on for the full breakdown....)

Goalies Trend Notes
Craig Anderson We can't give a down arrow to Anderson in the middle of a winning streak, but while he's making the saves he needs to make in order to give his team a chance to win, he's been pretty average outside of that.
Alex Auld Out with a mysterious injury. May be the victim of a hunt.
Robin Lehner Called up to replace Alex Auld, Lehner turned in a strong game, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Looks much more mature in net than he did last year.

Jared Cowen Different week, same story. Cowen belongs on the blue line.
Sergei Gonchar Five points (all assists, three of them on the power play) in his last four games. Five game point streak. This is the player Bryan Murray thought he was getting.
Erik Karlsson He is the NHL's leader in assists with 12. That's pretty good.
Filip Kuba See "Biggest Gains."
Brian Lee With the way the defense is playing, Lee will only see ice time due to injury. That sucks for him, because he doesn't deserve it.
Chris Phillps A reduction in ice time has him thriving.
David Rundblad We don't like to assign arrows based on one play, but did you see his pass to Greening? That's the kind of play we were looking for from the youngster: not a defensive liability, and creating offense.
Matt Carkner Currently injured.

Daniel Alfredsson GET WELL SOON, ALFIE!
Bobby Butler Very disappointing return from his groin injury. No chemistry with Da Costa so far.
Erik Condra He's showing real chemistry with Z. Smith. Really looking like a good third line player now.
Stephane Da Costa Got his second line center position back and exploded with a plus-three, one-goal night. And then... nothing.
Kaspars Daugavins How can you not love this guy? Skates with intensity and the night after being denied his first NHL point due to a scoring change, he gets it back by scoring his first NHL goal. He likes to score and he likes to win.
Nick Foligno Foligno scored a huge goal to help beat Florida, but is not showing the offensive consistency we want to see in a top-six guy.
Colin Greening Is really settling into his role as a power forward with Spezza and Michalek. He knows what his job is, and it's making life easy for his linemates.
Zenon Konopka See "Biggest loser."
Milan Michalek Adding three more points (1G, 2A), Michalek stays hot.
Chris Neil Neil is thriving in head coach Paul MacLean's system. He is still physical, but not a goon, is getting regular PP time on the second unit--and contributing: he had a tip-in goal against Toronto on Sunday.
Peter Regin Out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.
Zack Smith We want to give him a green arrow for a beastly performance against Toronto, but the stupid penalties he took in the other week's games hold him back. Another player developing well for Coach MacLean.
Jason Spezza
Ottawa's points leader is tied for second in the NHL in scoring. Speaking of leading, know who's carrying this team while Alfie's out? That's the difference in the locker room these days.
Jesse Winchester Not sure what else you could ask for from a fourth line player.
Mika Zibanejad

Got sent back to Sweden, but that doesn't earn him a down arrow. He will be a good player. He's just not there yet. How many 18-year-olds are?

Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.

But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).

Erik Condra
  • Ability to comment and participate in our community
  • Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
  • Ad-free reading
  • Our undying love and appreciation
Brady Tkachuk
  • Everything from the Erik Condra tier
  • 10% discount on all merch
  • Access to any future paywalled content
  • A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
Daniel Alfredsson
  • Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
  • Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team