As the Sens prep to host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, we get injury updates from Bobby Ryan and Zack Smith, a quick chat with Nate Thompson and more in today's edition of the Game Day 5 presented by Molson Canadian.
1. Thompson chipping in
With the injuries starting to accumulate (more on that below), the Sens are embracing a "next man up" strategy early in the season.
And one of those men has been Nate Thompson.
Thompson, who signed a two-year deal with the Senators this summer, has been a mainstay on the Sens' penalty kill this season which is currently ranked #1 overall in the NHL (92%). While his addition to the squad is definitely paying dividends for the Senators, he credits something else for the team's success shorthanded.
"I think everyone on the PK has done a really good job but I think the most important part of that is goaltending and our goaltending has been pretty good," said Thompson. "Whenever your goalies are pretty good, your penalty kill is going to be pretty good."
His contributions to the team aren't just being felt on the penalty kill either as Thompson now has goals in consecutive games including one on the penalty kill on Tuesday against the Kings.
"It's always good to chip in offensively and help the team," Thompson shared after the team's skate yesterday. "I'm just going to keep playing my game and if I can keep scoring goals then that's a bonus."
2. Ryan provides an update
Sens winger Bobby Ryan spoke with the media for the first time since injurying his finger while blocking a shot against the Maple Leafs. This is unfortunately familiar territory for Ryan who has dealt with hand injuries in each of the past 5 seasons.
"It's a different finger actually but it's the same kind of break," Ryan relayed to reporters on Wednesday. "You guys got the same diagnosis that I did and that it's obviously broken so we'll look at it again in a month and see where we're at."
The Sens 30-year old winger was off to a great start this season recording 6 points (all assists) in the team's first 8 games and had found some nice chemistry with his linemates Derick Brassard and Mark Stone.
"It's deflating," said Ryan. "I felt like we were off to a good start as a line and the team was going a little bit. You work all summer and want to have a good start and then 6 or 7 games in...this happens."
Ryan is expected to miss at least a month while recovering.
3. Smith nearing a return
Zack Smith also spoke with the media yesterday about his injury status and shared that he's being cautious about not returning before he's ready.
"You want to make sure that you're not coming back too early," said Smith following Wednesday's team skate. "It's down to a decision between me and the trainers here and over the next couple of days."
Smith, who was injured a week ago against the Devils, has been targeting the Sens game in New Jersey on Friday as a potential return date but his availability for that contest still isn't clear just yet.
"That's still a possibility. We'll see how it goes over the next couple of days," Smith said yesterday about his chances to suit up on Friday. "It's felt quite a bit better recently and the injury has responded well to treatment. If not, Monday is only a couple of extra days away."
In 7 games played this season, Smith has 5 assists including points in 4 if his last 5 games with the Senators.
4. Turris under the weather
After playing nearly 21 minutes against the Kings on Tuesday, Kyle Turris was noticeably absent from the team's skate yesterday at Canadian Tire Centre. Sens head coach Guy Boucher shared with the media afterward that Turris has been dealing with the flu and, as a result, won't be available for tonight's game against the Flyers.
"It's a day-to-day thing," said Boucher during his post-practice media availability yesterday. "He was hit pretty hard so we will see if it's one or two games."
The coach also passed along that with Turris out of the line-up this evening, the Sens will need to make another recall from Belleville.
"We need at least one guy coming up," Boucher said, "We're tested that's for sure, having three of your top six guys out of the lineup tomorrow means other guys will have to push and make it happen against a team in our conference."
The team announced that Jack Rodewald and Filip Chlapik have been called up from Belleville.
5. Brown returned to Windsor
The team announced yesterday that centre Logan Brown has been sent back to the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. Brown skated in 4 games for the Senators this season recording his very first NHL point on Nate Thompson's goal against the Maple Leafs this past weekend.
"It's for him. We would have done it last week to be honest," Boucher told reporters following the move on Wednesday. "We knew at some point or another it would be best for him to go back to junior, be the guy and get the minutes."
Brown's stay with the Senators was extended by injuries according to Boucher but the experience he gained has helped him with his development.
"I think he made a giant leap from last year," Boucher said "I think he accelerated the process by a year."