• By: Dave Gross

Under-manned Senators get the job done out west

Photo courtesy of NHLI via Getty Images

Not bad at all.

Your heroes march out to California this past week in the midst of an eight-game whopper of a losing string and proceed to cut it with a pair of wins in the Los Angeles region.

The Cali-hat-trick though was not to be as Ottawa lost to the suddenly steam-rolling San Jose Sharks.

Given the facts and given the circumstances, this was a very good result from a club that got creamed in this space just last week (justifiably so).

No Craig Anderson, no Thomas Chabot and no Matt Duchene logically would suggest no wins on the west coast.

You can thank a few fellows for the ‘upset.’

Bobby Ryan really stands out and stood out in wins over the L.A. Kings and Anaheim Ducks.

Ryan bagged the game-tier in Anaheim before Colin White won it in overtime. Ryan also tied up the L.A. affair before Chris Tierney chipped in with a pair for that victory (of note, it was the first time this season Ottawa has won back-to-back road games).

"We feel like we were in a lot of games lately, and we let them go away in the third period and get away from us," Ryan said to NHL.com after the win over the Ducks. "Tonight, we just stuck with it."

The mega-criticized Ryan then set up Ottawa’s only goal Saturday in the loss to the Sharks.

The numbers are very good: Ryan now has eight points during a seven-game point streak.

Not bad at all.

Speaking of which, how about the Sharks?

Struggling to find their game for pretty much most of the first couple of months of the season, San Jose is now riding a six-game winning streak.

They’re a perfect 6-0 in January. December, the Sharks posted an impressive 9-4-2 record.

"A while back, we were kind of talking our game was trending in the right direction," captain Joe Pavelski said to NHL.com. "We started winning two and three (in a row), and lately we've been able to turn three into four or five. If we lose a game, we've bounced right back and won the next couple. It's good to see because there are tough stretches. We went through one early in the year."

With the trade deadline looming, San Jose will be a buyer. General manager Doug Wilson hinted as much this past week to the local media.

Notes and notions: NHL.com put together a ‘projection-prediction’ list for all the NHL teams in the second half. Ottawa – “Wing Ryan Dzingel (18 goals through 44 games) will finish with more goals than Mark Stone and Matt Duchene to lead the Senators in the category.” . . . Is Par Lindholm Swedish for Tom Pyatt? . . . Separated at birth – Brad Marchand and Peewee Herman . . . So, Seattle gets a franchise, the NHL draft and a guaranteed all-star game. How you doing over there, Quebec City? . . . As the love flows in from Ottawa fans for Brady Tkachuk, might want to keep an eye on big brother Matthew in Calgary. The ‘ancient’ Matthew (just turned 21) is on pace for a 93-point season . . . Those targeting Erik Karlsson for a deep tumble (he did have a slow start, everyone would agree), might want to look at the latest stats – 25 points in his last 16 games . . . Thehockeywriters.com have put King Erik in the conversation for league MVP: “Karlsson is not solely responsible for the Sharks’ positive turn, but he is the catalyst.” . . . The Senators can smile a bit. They’re one of the few teams this season Karlsson will finish pointless against . . . With the Tampa Bay Lightning now an almost certainty to top the Atlantic Division, a re-match of last season’s first round seeing Toronto tackle Boston seems probable. Unless the Leafs do something about their lack of grit (Wayne Simmonds?), the result is unlikely to change. The Bruins’ win Saturday gave them a 3-1 edge over Toronto this season.

Senators week ahead:

Wednesday, Jan. 16: Colorado at Ottawa (7 pm)

Friday, Jan. 18: Ottawa at Carolina (7:30 pm)

Saturday, Jan. 19: Ottawa at St. Louis (7 pm)