Senators ups and downs: Week Ten

Ups and downs is a feature that looks at the individual performances of the Ottawa Senators' players for the past week.

It was an ugly week for the Senators. A quality win over Tampa Bay was followed with three straight losses to Washington, New Jersey, and Vancouver. The first time the Sens played the Canucks this year, it was a 2-1 loss in a tightly-checked game. This time, it was a 4-1 drubbing in a chippy game.

Are the Senators regressing? Maybe. But it's important to remember that this is a young team and there are going to be some growing pains. The avalanche of red arrows we're about to see doesn't mean it's time to give up on anyone.

Except Spezza.

(Just kidding.)

Biggest gains: Nick Foligno

Foligno owned an impressive six-game point streak that was snapped in the loss to Vancouver. More importantly, he had been playing at an impressively physical level. That might have been taken too far in the loss to the Canucks, as Foligno delivered two different head shots. We don't believe either one was intentional, so we'd like to see the physicality continue, and we loved that he was man enough to answer the bell and defend himself after the second hit.

Biggest losses: Erik Karlsson

What a difference a week makes. Ottawa's best defenseman was anything but this week. Karlsson piled up bad passes and defensive mis-reads like he got points for them. Of course, that is not the case. Consider it a learning week for the young player, who learned the hard way that the same moves he used to contain Alex Ovechkin last week wouldn't work quite as well a second time.

(read on for the full rundown...)

Here's something awesome:

Goalies Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Anderson has to play better if the Senators are going to have any chance of winning games.
Alex Auld In his only start this week, Auld was spotted a 3-0 lead. The final result was a 5-4 shootout loss where he looked handcuffed against every shooter. Yikes.
Matt Carkner

We are so glad he's back.
Jared Cowen

One of the team's few decent defensemen this week, Cowen played an absurd amount of minutes and had no games with a minus rating despite often playing on the top pairing.
Sergei Gonchar He was average before suffering an injury. The power play has looked abysmal without him.
Erik Karlsson

See "Biggest losses."
Filip Kuba Currently injured.
Brian Lee You're doing fine, Brian. The bar is low these days.
Chris Phillips Doesn't seem to be doing well with the young kids, and unfortunately, those are his only partner options right now.
David Rundblad Might have been headed to Binghamton prior to the injury to Gonchar.
Daniel Alfredsson

The mustache has to go.
Daniel Alfredsson, for real

In between two 2-point games were two 0-point games where Alfie played some pretty bad defense.
Bobby Butler

Got decent minutes but has nothing to show for it.
Erik Condra

Condra scored a goal against the Capitals and was one of the only Sens players to do his job effectively all week.
Kaspars Daugavins

Got a chance to play on the top line through sheer work ethic. What's not to like?
Nikita Filatov Scratched all week.
Nick Foligno

See "Biggest gains."
Colin Greening Eight games without any points was enough to get demoted to the fourth line. He then immediately scored a goal.
Zenon Konopka After racking up 17 PIMs against New Jersey thanks to the silly instigator rule, he was an easy choice to scratch upon Regin's return.
Milan Michalek

Two goals on the week gives him 18 for the year. That's pretty good.
Chris Neil With the rust out of the way, Neil was back to his old wrecking ball self against Vancouver. Of course, being Neil, he pushed it a little too far.
Peter Regin Returned to the lineup against Vancouver, pushing Foligno back to the wing.
Zack Smith

Another two goals against Tampa and an assist against Washington. Also took a stupid penalty against Vancouver that got Ottawa down 1-0 early.
Jason Spezza

Maybe he's prepping for the All-Star skills challenge by attempting all these low-percentage passes?
Jesse Winchester We'd give him a green arrow for his late game heroics against New Jersey--and he was strong in that game--but we really hated his fight against the Capitals.

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