Ottawa Senators: Who Needs To Step Up In The Face Of Injuries

Mar 22, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators right wing Curtis Lazar (27) skates in the first period against the Washington Capitals at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators right wing Curtis Lazar (27) skates in the first period against the Washington Capitals at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Ottawa Senators have been having a resurgent season after falling short of the playoffs last year.

The Situation

The past few weeks have seen them not only widen the distance between them and teams on the outside of the playoff picture. It has also seen them close the gap on the first place Montreal Canadiens. As of right now the Sens are just two points back with two games in hand. With everything seemingly going the way of the Sens disaster has struck.

Who’s Gone Down

In a game versus the Winnipeg Jets both Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman went down with injuries. Additionally, it’s been reported that Bobby Ryan will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken finger. Despite there being no reports on how long Stone and Hoffman will be out, it looks likely they will at the very least miss the game against New Jersey. If they are out for an extended period of time the Sens will have to look to others to step up and fill the void in their absence.

The Usual Suspects

With the loss of Stone, Hoffman, and Ryan, players such as Turris, Brassard, Smith, and Pageau will be responsible for stepping up while some of team’s heaviest hitters are down. While all these players are up to the task of putting up points and have shown in the past that they are very capable, they can’t be relied upon solely to carry the forward group.

An Opportunity

This is a perfect opportunity for Curtis Lazar to show that he has the ability to play in this league. In his first two seasons he had 15pts and 20pts. This isn’t terrible for his first few seasons, but he has been expected to produce more. To make matters worse he has just one point, an assist, in 31 games this season. Lazar was a first round pick in 2013 and despite never being expected to be a superstar, he was expected to turn into a middle 6 player who could help with some secondary scoring. With much of the top-six out Lazar will be given more ice time. This is an opportunity for him to show that he belongs.  There’s a good chance he’ll get to play on the wing with one of Turris or Brassard. This will give him the perfect chance to play with some great centers. If there was ever a time for Lazar to prove the doubters wrong it would be now.

Next: Hellish Trip To New Jersey

Team Outlook

There’s never a good time for injuries to hit your team. None the less, if there was a time for them to happen, right now isn’t the worst time. The Sens’ next five games are against the Devils, Hurricanes, Panthers, Lightning, and Avalanche. None of these teams are world beaters, so there’s no reason that this injury depleted team can’t pick up some very important wins over the next few weeks despite injuries.