Ryan Dzingel may have wished that he signed a contract extension with the Ottawa Senators after all.
The winger opted against signing a contract extension before the trade deadline, which forced Ottawa to send him to the Columbus Blue Jackets instead. However, the 27-year-old hasn’t fared very well under head coach John Tortorella. He posted just 12 points in 21 games and has been scoreless in five playoff games. In Game 1 of Columbus’ second-round series against Boston, Dzingel only got 11:06 of ice time in an overtime game, the lowest among all forwards. That eventually prompted Tortorella to play Alexander Wennberg, who has long sat in Tortorella’s doghouse, in favor of Dzingel for Game 2, leading to what many believe was a healthy scratch, writes the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan.
While there was no confirmation that Dzingel was a healthy scratch, Brennan doubts that he is injured as he was one of the last players to leave the ice at the most recent optional skate. In fact Dzingel’s stock, which was quite high at the trade deadline, has dropped significantly and could have a major effect on his next contract. It is looking less and less that the speedy winger who played at Ohio State University will sign a long-term deal in Columbus next year and despite a 26-goal regular season, his suitors seem to be dropping.
- Speaking of Wennberg, the center, who had been a healthy scratch for seven straight games, fared quite well on the ice Saturday, playing 16:11 on the third line with Alexandre Texier and Oliver Bjorkstrand, according to NHL.com’s Jeff Svoboda. Wennberg could have proven that he belongs back in the lineup permanently as the center was crucial on the penalty kill that held the Bruins to just one goal on four chances.”The kill did a really good job,” Wennberg said. “Personally, it was good to be back out there. I tried to make good reads and have a good stick. It’s good to be out there.”
- In the same article, Svoboda reports that defenseman Markus Nutivaara could be close to returning to the lineup. While Tortorella won’t talk about lineup changes, Nutivaara skated with the team during an optional practice before Game 2 on Saturday and while he didn’t play Saturday, he could be ready to return to the lineup shortly. Nutivaara suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 2 of their series with Tampa Bay after being boarded by Nikita Kucherov and suspended for a game.
- Riley Nash, who took an explosive hit from former teammate Zdeno Chara in the first period of Saturday’s game, seems to be OK, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline. Nash looked shaken up, but was back on the ice not long after the hit. “That was a big hit,” Tortorella said. “It took him a few minutes on the bench, and next thing you know, he’s ready to go. He played a really good game, too, probably one of our most patient guys with the puck, especially on the wall play of our end zone.”