Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman has led the team in goal scoring in each of the last two seasons, a fact which prompted the team to sign the 26-year-old to a five-year, $20.75MM extension this summer. Even though he has totaled 56 goals since the start of the 2014-15 campaign, Hoffman is no stranger to slow starts and this season has been no exception. Despite the fact the Sens are tied for second in goals-per-game, Hoffman has yet to tally his first marker of the season. But, as Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen writes, it’s only a matter of time before he breaks through.
“I’m just trying to keep a level head, I know the goals are going to come. You don’t want to hit the panic button too early. I feel like I’m getting a lot of shots, a lot of chances every game.”
Like Hoffman, head coach Guy Boucher believes the gifted winger will find his scoring touch soon enough.
“I liked a lot of his game (against Arizona). The work is always when the guy is not getting (any chances) and you can see (the confidence) go down, which is not Mike’s case.”
Goal scorers like Hoffman are prone to slumps but when the get hot they tend to score in bunches. So far Hoffman’s inability to put the puck in the net hasn’t had much of an impact on Ottawa’s on-ice fortunes as the team has won three of their first four. Once he does ratchet up his output, the Senators chances of competing for a playoff spot will only improve.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference:
- The Pittsburgh Penguins blue line is a little beat up which today prompted the recall of David Warsofsky from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In a related move, the team placed Derrick Pouliot on IR. Pouliot has made just one appearance for the Penguins, and left that game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. It appears that whatever the injury, it could keep Pouliot out a while. In addition to Pouliot, Olli Maatta and Kris Letang are both banged up as well. Letang is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury but as Mackey writes, he might be healthy enough to suit up Saturday.
- Dale Weise of the Philadelphia Flyers is slated for a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety after his illegal check to the head of Anaheim defensman Korbinian Holzer in a game Thursday night. Weise wasn’t penalized on the play but the league wasted no time calling for the hearing. It appears it will be a phone hearing, meaning Weise won’t receive a suspension longer than five games. Weise, signed this summer as a free agent, has not yet recorded a point for the Flyers in four appearances.