The Big Story
It seems like it was only yesterday the Senators had found the next great goaltender in this league, Andrew Hammond. The Hamburglar posted a 20-1-2 record in 2014-15 along with a .941 SV%, good enough to drag the Senators into the playoffs. Then the Senators came back down to earth last year. And while Hammond’s 5v5 stats were still well above league average, it wasn’t enough to get the team back into the postseason.
Now to start this year he’s been hurt and the Sens are receiving some great goaltending from Craig Anderson and Mike Condon. Recently, Hammond said he would not accept a conditioning assignment to the AHL. Yesterday the Senators placed him on waivers. Ouch.
In Red Wings Land
Thank the Hockey Gods, our savior Thomas Vanek is slated to return tonight against the Calgary Flames. Having him back should provide the Wings with a much-needed injection of life, they’re currently tumbling down the standings.
From the article:
"He's a big player for us," Justin Abdelkader said. "Obviously, he got off to that great start. It was tough to see him go down with injury. He'll come in and bring a veteran presence. He's really strong on the puck and he's got a great shot."
Jeff Blashill had this to say about Vanek’s return:
"I would just caution the team to be weary of just relying on one guy coming back," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We got to collectively be better on the power play. Certainly, Vanek can help that, but as a group we got to find a way to score a little more and some of that is just being a little more ferocious at the net."
Absolutely, the team needs to play better in general in order to win games. Vanek’s a piece of the puzzle, it’s still up to the rest of the team if they want to go anywhere this year or continue to lose to tired, shorthanded teams.