Ups and Downs: Week 25

After a couple weeks of nothing but up, it's down, down, down!

Oof, what a week. That win against the Sharks feels like ages ago. The Senators put up a 1-2-1 record in the past seven days. The losses came in three fashions: a 5-1 blowout to the Rangers, a 4-3 OT collapse to the Maple Leafs in which the Sens surrendered a two-goal lead twice, and a 4-2 loss to the Panthers in which the Sens couldn't quite get the comeback to work.

Biggest gains: Jean-Gabriel Pageau

In a week with slim pickings, Pageau stood out as a solid player. He put up two goals and an assist on the week. Against San Jose, he put up seven (!!) shots. By the game against Florida, he played 18:07, a regular season career high (he had one 18:47 game against the Penguins in the 2013 playoffs). It's clear that Pageau has earned his coach's trust, and his performance on the scoresheet this week showed why.

Biggest losses: Mike Hoffman

This may be a controversial choice, but hear me out. Sometimes players get the biggest losses because of egregious performances. This week, Hoffman loses the most because he definitely lost his coach's trust. Against San Jose, he put up three points, generally a pretty good total. In the other three games, he put up one assist to go with a -5 and a few notable giveaways. I still think Hoffman is the best choice with Zibanejad and Ryan. That being said, the whole line's been in a bit of a funk lately, San Jose game notwithstanding. By trying to do too much, Hoffman made some mistakes, and it led to him being demoted to the fourth line. In the future, if lines get shaken up, I can't help but think Cameron will drop him off that line again. In a week in which several players played poorly, Hoffman may have lost his permanent spot in the top six, which in my opinion is the biggest loss.

Goaltenders Trend Notes
Craig Anderson Oh, Andy. Had some good periods this week, but also allowed a couple stinkers. He's probably still battling that injury, but you can't help but think that one more save would've won either game he started this weekend.
Andrew Hammond Good game against the Sharks where he got injured. Bad game against the Rangers when he was clearly injured. He was on the bench against Florida, so maybe he's good to go again? The Sun's already calling for him to start against Detroit.
Robin Lehner The only goalie under contract with the Sens we know for sure won't be starting anytime soon.
Chris Driedger
Played the first 23 minutes of his NHL career in relief of Hammond, and made 10 saves on 10 shots. Joke candidate for Biggest Gains. Got sent down to Bingo on Sunday.

Mark Borowiecki I feel like I saw the worst of this guy this week. Slow, out of position, poor decision making. Not a worse option than Gryba or Cowen though.
Cody Ceci No good game this week, and a real bad one against the Rangers gets him a down arrow.
Jared Cowen Only played one game, in which he took a completely unnecessary penalty. Biggest reason he wasn't Biggest Losses is because I didn't want to be a broken record.
Eric Gryba Not a good week for Gryba either. Looked slow and out of position a lot. Took two penalties against Florida, including a completely unnecessary roughing penalty. In a season full of bad defensive performance, Gryba-Cowen may have been the most frightening pairing I've seen.
Erik Karlsson This one's partway between even and an up-arrow. Still, he put up three points, including his 20th goal of the year (tying his own franchise record) and only had a bad game against the Rags when everyone did. Wish he didn't get goaded into that offsetting minor with Willie Mitchell though when the Sens were on the powerplay.
Marc Methot Pretty average week for Methot.
Chris Phillips I'm not convinced he actually still plays for this team.
Patrick Wiercioch No points this week. Awful game against the Rangers and a bad game against the Leafs led to him being scratched against the Panthers. At least Cowen and Gryba did themselves no favours, so we'll likely see Patty W back in soon.

Alex Chiasson Looked great against San Jose, but was atrocious against Florida. That balances out for a player that most don't see as part of the Sens in the not-too-distant future.
Erik Condra Two points in four games, and six (!!) shots against the Sharks. (Remember Pageau had seven.) His strong play earned him some time up with Turris and Stone on the "top line"
Colin Greening Played three games this week. Did next to nothing. The only thing I remember is two hits on one shift against the Panthers.
Mike Hoffman See Biggest Losses
Curtis Lazar Two more goals this week. Rather indicative of the Sens' week that he was the second candidate for Biggest Gains.
David Legwand Two points, and is one of the Sens' better possession players regardless of linemates. Sure, he gets fourth-line competition, but he is reliable in his role.
Clarke MacArthur A great assist on the Stone goal in his first game back. That being said, it's a little concerning he needs a tinted visor so glare from the arena lights doesn't trigger his concussion symptoms.
Milan Michalek No word on Milo's recovery.
Chris Neil It's been six weeks and one day since it was reported that he would be out 4-6 weeks. I can't see a Neil return the lineup helping things much.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau See Biggest Gains
Matt Puempel Tough break that he'll miss the rest of the season with a high-ankle sprain right after he'd started to get some minutes on scoring lines.
Bobby Ryan Three assists against San Jose was his only scoring this week. He has only 7 points in over 360 even-strength minutes without Hoffman on the other wing this season.
Zack Smith Got into three games this week on the fourth line. He looked fine, even giving himself a breakaway against the Leafs. Not clear if being scratched against Florida was just to let him catch his breath.
Mark Stone Three points this week and played with a lot of jump. Stone makes whoever he plays with look better.
Kyle Turris Turris didn't look his normal self this week, scoring three points but also posting atrocious possession numbers against the Panthers and Leafs. I'm not convinced he's playing at full health.
Mika Zibanejad His two goals against San Jose were his only points on the week. He has only 7 points in over 340 even-strength minutes played without Hoffman on his wing this season.

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