The Ottawa Senators have a chance to move into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division on Sunday evening if they can beat the Winnipeg Jets.
If they are going to do it they will have to do so without the services of forward Bobby Ryan.
The team announced on Sunday afternoon, less than three hours before puck drop against the Jets, that Ryan is going to be sidelined indefinitely due to a hand injury pending further evaluation.
The team says Ryan was injured in the third period of Saturday’s win over Toronto when he was hit in the hand by a puck.
In 50 games this season Ryan has 12 goals and 12 assists. He has been going through a bit of a scoring slump in recent weeks with only three points in his past eight games. He has also registered just 14 shots on goal during that stretch, including a pair of games where he failed to register even one.
The Senators enter play on Saturday just two points behind Montreal in the Atlantic Division. A win over the Jets would move them into a tie and, for the time being, give them the tiebreaker edge due to having played in fewer games.
The Ottawa Senators were without Bobby Ryan during yesterday’s 1-0 loss to the Washington Capitals, but it was their choice to keep him out of the lineup.
Ryan was made a healthy scratch, we just aren’t sure why. He hasn’t been very productive this season, as he’s scored just seven goals and seven assists in 32 games, but there appears to be more to the story.
Leading up to last night’s game, Sens coach Guy Boucher was in no mood to discuss the scratching of his high-priced winger, which made the story that much more intriguing.
On Sunday, he shed a little more light on the situation, but still refused to go into detail when pressed by the local media.
All we know for sure, is that Ryan will be back in his team’s lineup when they take on the Edmonton Oilers tonight.
Although he took part in the optional skate, Ryan wasn’t made available for comment at any point this morning.
The Ottawa Senators were without forward Bobby Ryan during their 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday due to a hand injury that he aggravated on Tuesday against Buffalo. That injury resulted in him being placed on injured reserve by the team, which means he will miss at least the next two games, and potentially more.
On Friday, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said the team received some positive news regarding Ryan’s injury and that it is possible he could accompany the team on its upcoming four-game road trip that begins on Monday in Pittsburgh. But he will still not be eligible to return until Wednesday when the team visits the San Jose Sharks.
That means he will be sidelined for Saturday’s home game against Florida as well as Monday’s game against the Penguins.
Dorion said on Friday, via NHL.com, that there is a 50-50 chance he accompanies the team on the upcoming road trip that also includes games against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
“I’ve got to give Bobby a lot of credit. People don’t know how many injuries he’s played through here, getting his hand frozen and playing through pain,” Dorion said via NHL.com.
Ryan initially injured his finger back on Nov. 17 against Nashville, forcing him to miss the next two games. After returning to the lineup he eventually had to leave Tuesday’s game against Buffalo.
After scoring 24 goals for the Senators a year ago he has just three goals and five assists in 21 games this season.
The Senators are 14-8-2 and in second place in the Atlantic Division, four points behind the Montreal Canadiens.
It was a tough night for the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
A Mike Hoffman hat trick was not enough to overcome a slow start that saw them give up three first period goals (including two in the first 10 minutes) on their way to a 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Making matters worse is they also lost veteran forward Bobby Ryan as he continues to deal with a left hand injury that has already forced him to miss two games this season.
He played just 2:20 on Tuesday before exiting the game. He did not return.
After the game Senators coach Guy Boucher said that Ryan will definitely be out for their next game on Thursday when they host the Philadelphia Flyers. Beyond that he is unsure of how much time Ryan might miss.
Boucher added that it had been a struggle for Ryan to stay in the lineup the past couple of games and that it finally reached a point on Tuesday that he could simply could not take it anymore.
Along with the injury it has been a slow start to the season for Ryan with just eight points (three goals, five assists) in 21 games through Tuesday. He has not scored a goal in 13 consecutive games dating back to Oct. 30 when he scored against the Edmonton Oilers. He has just three assists and only 16 shots on goal during that goal drought.
In 81 games a year ago he scored 24 goals and added 34 assists, finishing as the team’s fourth-leading scorer.
Are the Ottawa Senators primed to be the next team to suffer a wave of injuries?
The Senators were already without important (if struggling) forward Mike Hoffman against the Nashville Predators on Thursday; now they’ll play the remainder of tonight’s game without Bobby Ryan.
The team’s official announcement is that it’s an upper-body injury. They didn’t give an indication regarding how serious the ailment might be, at least beyond it ending his night early.
TSN’s Steve Lloyd wonders if it might be a hand issue, which is especially cruel to Ryan, who apparently fought through similar issues the past two seasons.
For a guy who lives off his nifty hands like Ryan, you wonder how much more productive he might be if he had a little better luck in this area.
Perhaps this time it will be a mere bump in the the road …
Update: It was a rough night for the Senators either way, as the Nashville Predators clobbered them 5-1. James Neal continued his hot streak:
The Senators aren’t sure about Ryan’s status, although this cryptic comment is a little troubling.