No one doubts that they ooze skill and that they can put the puck in the net, but can the senators rely on them down the stretch?
Ryan and Hoffman have both been amazing at the beginning of the season, but both faded down the stretch. Last year's run was truly amazing for many reason's including the fact that our (arguably) best 2 goal scorers were not producing at all.
We can point fingers all we want at Cameron for his demotion of Hoffman but the reality of it is that his play down the stretch left much to be desired and warranted his demotion. At the beginning of the year, Hoffman was on pace for 40 goals and producing at nearly a point per game. Now it is questionable whether or not he will get 30 goals, and probably will not reach 60 points.
Ryan also shows a similar pattern to Hoffman. He was playing some amazing hockey earlier in the season but since around the All-Star break his production and play has dropped off. In previous season's he has not been able to finish the season due to injury and last season is sure looked like he was injured. Which warrants the question: How effective is his offseason training?
Back on topic, I am not convinced that Ryan and Hoffman are the types of players that championship teams are built around. Now is when the team needs to be firing on all cylinders and right now our best 2 goal scorers have disappeared. Mark Stone is a player that the team needs to build around. He elevates his game down the stretch and scores huge goals. He is a takeaway machine and makes everyone around him better. Hoffman and Ryan both need to have specific linemates in order to be effective, whereas Mark Stone helps Smith score 20 goals. I think that Murray and co. have ample reason to be wary of signing Hoffman to a lengthly extension and I would not be upset if he was traded for more reliable scoring.
Thanks for reading.