After recently losing four forwards in a couple of days, the Ottawa Senators took the ice this morning ahead of their game against the New Jersey Devils and gave some clarification on the group. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports on the injuries, including an unexpected absence from the skate.
- Bobby Ryan has a broken finger and will be out at least a month. The original timeline was somewhere between three to six weeks when it was believed to be a broken hand. In something that has become a trend for Ryan, he’ll sit out with a broken digit instead; the winger has broken a finger four times in the past three and a half years, and twice already this season. The struggling winger hasn’t been able to repeat even his 22 goal season from a year ago (which in itself was a down season) and has forced the Senators to look for an upgrade up front as the deadline approaches.
- Mark Stone, the victim of Jacob Trouba’s suspension-causing illegal check the other night is out with a neck injury and has no timeline for his return. Head coach Guy Boucher made it very clear that it isn’t a head injury as it first appeared. Remember that Stone suffered a concussion in training camp this season. As their best offensive forward, Stone’s absence will leave another big hole on the wing if he’s out for any length of time.
- Mike Hoffman, who exited the same game in the second period is out with a groin injury and will not play tonight. It doesn’t seem as serious as the other two, but groin injuries do tend to linger and get re-aggravated if pushed too hard too soon. Another winger, the Sens will have some interesting line combinations tonight as they start a four-game road trip.
- Dion Phaneuf was also missing from practice, but apparently just took the morning off for maintenance. Senators fans can breathe deeply knowing that he and Tommy Wingels will both suit up tonight for the game.
If the Senators want to capture the Atlantic Division crown, they may have to go out and add a player (or two) up front to fill in for these injuries. With Stone, Hoffman and Ryan out, they’ve lost three of their top five goal scoring threats and a ton of depth on the wing. Even a rental at this point may be worth it if the injuries linger, as they still have plenty of teams nipping at their heels for those last few playoff spots.