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Five Thoughts For Friday: Mark Stone’s Return, Goaltending, Duclair’s Cold Streak

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Approximately Five Thoughts for your Friday.

Vegas Golden Knights v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

It was an eventful week in Ottawa, culminating with Mark Stone’s return after being traded last February. More on that in a second, so let’s dive right into Five Thoughts for this Friday, January 17th, 2020.

Stone Cold Killer

As previously stated, Mark Stone made his much anticipated return to Ottawa, Thursday night. Stone played 366 games for the Senators, tallying 311 points, and was one of the most beloved players in franchise history for his clutch performances, leadership, and fiery personality.

As such, the Senators honoured him with yet another touching video tribute.

Getting really tired of those. Stone showed no mercy to his old team, though, tallying a goal and an assist en route to a 4-2 Vegas victory.

Goal(tending)-Oriented

Since Craig Anderson’s arrival, goaltending has been far less of a hot-button issue in Ottawa, compared to years past. He has provided stability, and an unquestioned number one through most of his regular season, and playoff appearances, likely going down as the best netminder in Senators’ history to date.

Vegas Golden Knights v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

However, the times they are a-changin’. Anderson is now 37, in the final year of what will likely be his final contract. Marcus Hogberg is playing really well, despite not getting many wins, and Anders Nilsson is likely returning from injury some time after the All-Star break.

It seems that Anderson’s time in Ottawa will end prior to the season’s conclusion, as there are many teams that would be interested in bolstering their net presence going into the stretch run of the campaign. Florida, Toronto, and Montreal are just some of the teams that could potentially be interested in acquiring Andy.

It would suck to see him go, but any assets are good assets for Ottawa, and Andy’s earned the right to play for a Cup one last time.

Wild DeBoer

Returning to Vegas once again, they fired Gerard Gallant earlier this week, for some reason. Strange as that may be, given that they were three points out of the division lead at the time, stranger still was their choice to replace him.

Vegas Golden Knights v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Pete DeBoer hasn’t historically been a popular guy in Vegas, being San Jose’s former coach, but so far it seems like the change is paying off. Vegas put what was effectively a 60 minute beating on Ottawa, dominating from puck drop to the final buzzer.

I honestly think Vegas was fine with Gallant, but given the fact that DeBoer took the New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final in his respective first seasons with them, things may be looking good for the Golden Knights.

Gone Du-cold

After a white-hot start to the season, and being named to his first All-Star game, Anthony Duclair’s well appears to have dried up for the time being.

Chicago Blackhawks v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

He has 32 points on the year, but just two points in his last eight games, and no goals during that stretch. For a guy whose knock during his career has been inconsistency, hopefully this is just a bad stretch, and not old problems resurfacing.

The chances have still been there, and Duclair has had an injury recently, so it looks like this could just be a blip on an otherwise outstanding season.

Bath Time

Drake Batherson has looked really good in his return to Ottawa.

Chicago Blackhawks v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

He’s posted two points in his eight-game stint, but it’s the little things that Batherson has been doing really well. He fights hard on the forecheck, digging pucks off of opposing sticks in the corners, and he’s showing the makings of an elite passer.

Consistently getting around 16mins a night, to go with time on the first powerplay unit, Batherson appears to have the trust of his coaching staff, so hopefully he continues to get opportunities to succeed.