Ups and Downs: Week 17

Bobby's up, Alex's down, it's Ups and Downs: Week 17!

Just two games on the schedule this week as NHLers got back to work after the All-Star Game. While the schedule may have been light on games, it was high on action for the Sens. Jason Spezza returned to Ottawa for the first time and was victorious in a game closer than the score line (6-3 Dallas) made it appear. The Sens bounced back on Saturday night, with another blowout victory against the Coyotes, 7-2.

Biggest Gains: Bobby Ryan

In two games, Ryan had two goals, two assists, and four points in two games. He was the driving force behind the success of his new line (playing with Mika Zibanejad and Clarke MacArthur) against Dallas and helped get the Sens back in the game in a losing effort. He had another strong game against Arizona, scoring a goal early in the third period to really put the game out of reach and a helper on a late goal. He had six shots this week and has been one of Ottawa's best and most consistent performers since Dave Cameron took over, but this week Bobby was on fire.

Biggest Losses: Alex Chiasson

In what was a relatively good week for most Senators, Chiasson didn't fare so well. Almost a healthy scratch against his former team on Thursday, Chiasson had a goal in the loss to snap a 17-game drought, but still found himself a healthy scratch against Arizona. It's been a tough stretch for Chiasson, and nothing Cameron has done has been able to get him going.

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Injured his hand against Toronto before the All-Star break. Slated to be back this week.
Robin Lehner Forced into action because of Anderson's injury, Lehner improved his standing this week. He was solid against Dallas, particularly in the second period. He got his first win in over a month against the Coyotes and wasn't at fault for either goal.

Mark Borowiecki After a lengthy layoff, Boro found his way back into the lineup against Arizona. It was a bit of a tough game for him possession-wise and he took an ill-advised penalty, but he did have 5 blocks and 2 hits which is what's expected of him.
Cody Ceci A steady possession week for Ceci, with an assist against Dallas and 5 shots this week. Continuation of last week.
Jared Cowen Rough week for Cowen. Bad possession numbers, reduced ice time as compared with the previous week, and no shots on goal despite the Sens breaking out for 10 goals in two games, outplayed by partner Ceci this week.
Eric Gryba Tough week for Gryba. He played decent enough against Dallas but found himself in the press box for the first time this season against Arizona.
Erik Karlsson Candidate for Biggest Gains. Good against Dallas with 3 shots, excellent against Arizona with 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 shots and awesome possession numbers.
Marc Methot Candidate for Biggest Gains. Methot as terrific against Arizona. While he was at fault for the first Coyotes goal on Saturday, he had great possession numbers, 3 assists (a career high) and threw an awesome hip check. He's back.
Chris Phillips Back in the lineup, Phillips tied Daniel Alfredsson for the franchise record in games played against Arizona. It's a fantastic achievement for the player, illustrating his loyalty, reliability, and steady play. However, the Phillips of today is not the Phillips who played most of those games. He just looked bad, again, especially against Arizona and had the dreadful possession numbers to prove it.
Patrick Wiercioch With Boro back, Wiercioch was predictably a healthy scratch for both games this week.

Alex Chiasson See Biggest Losses.
Erik Condra More of the same from Condra.
Colin Greening Candidate for Biggest Losses. Greening was waived once the NHL resumed after the All-Star Game. Normally that would earn you the biggest loss of the week, but it everyone has seen this coming for months.
Mike Hoffman Didn't have the best game against Dallas but bounced back against Arizona with a goal and 3 shots. Still, he play just 13 minutes in the game and just a minute on the powerplay, despite the fact that Ottawa spent almost half the first period with the man-advantage.
Curtis Lazar Seems a little overmatched in some ways and his possession numbers reflect this. However, he was more physical this week, with 5 hits and had a shot on goal.
David Legwand He was a healthy scratch against Dallas for the second game in a row, but got back in the lineup against Arizona. Legwand took full advantage of the opportunity, recording 2 assists, 1 hit, while going 59% on draws. He also played over 17 minutes, a big improvement over previous games.
Clarke MacArthur He looked better with Zibanejad and Ryan than he has for most of the month with Turris. He had an assist and 2 shots against Dallas and another assist and 2 shots against Arizona and some of the best possession numbers of the week.
Milan Michalek His hot play continued this week with some of the best possession numbers against Dallas and a goal against Arizona to give Ottawa a lead they wouldn't surrender. I won't ever love the contract, but I can live with this Milo, who was among Ottawa's penalty kill leaders this week too.
Chris Neil Had 5 hits against Dallas in less than 8 minutes of work and had 2 hits, a fight, and some power play against Arizona. I think this is what he's supposed to be doing and he did it well this week so Neil gets the green arrow.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau Had a tough game against Dallas but bounced back against Arizona and added a goal. He looks to be a solid bottom-six contributor.
Bobby Ryan See Biggest Gains.
Zack Smith Still out with an injured wrist.
Mark Stone Poor against Dallas, great against Arizona, scoring a goal and an assist. Balances out.
Kyle Turris Not a great week for Turris. First MacArthur, who has been Turris' winger since joining the Senators, was taken off his line. Second, it seems like he's been replaced by Mika Zibanejad as the team's number one centre, or at best is now in a 1a/1b situation. Add to that some lacklustre production numbers and it wasn't a great week.
Mika Zibanejad Candidate for Biggest Gains. Zibanejad had a monster week: 1 goal against Dallas, 1 goal and 1 assist against Arizona. Add to that 9 shots and 6 hits on the week along with some of the best possession numbers on the team in both games, and it sure seems like Zibanejad is staking a claim to the number one centre gig.

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