5 Thoughts for Friday
The newest Ottawa Senator, the newest New York Islander, Mark Borowiecki and more!
No time to waste! To the thoughts! Five of them!
Looks like someone's fitting in nicely with his new team.
Shane Prince's first goal as a New York Islander. https://t.co/zd6XAOxAte— Callum Fraser (@CallumFraser18) March 4, 2016
During his second game as a New York Islander, Shane Prince had a goal, two shots and a plus-2 rating. The 23-year-old is still getting around the same amount of ice time he was given in Ottawa - 13:07 in game one with New York and 10:05 in game two - but it looks like he's found a spot on the third line alongside Nikolay Kulemin and Anders Lee.
Look, by now you likely know how I feel about the Senators' handling of Prince, the trade and everything to do with the entire situation. So we won't spend too much time on this.
Hopefully that third round pick is an absolute gem.
This was strange.
The Senators announced on Wednesday afternoon that they had signed veteran forward Scott Gomez for the rest of the year. Gomez was on a professional tryout with the Hershey Bears in the AHL and opted out of his agreement in order to join Ottawa.
If you remember any of the series with the New Jersey Devils in the early-to-mid 2000's, this acquisition likely struck you by surprise. And if you weren't familiar with those series, well, it probably still struck you by surprise.
The move is awkward in many ways.
*let Condra walk to make room for Prince*— Roman (@BadNewsJays) March 3, 2016
*trades Prince to make room for Puempel*
*scratch Puempel to make room for Gomez*
Secondly, at the time, the Senators were five points out of a playoff spot with minus-2 games in hand on the eighth seed Pittsburgh Penguins. And really, because the Penguins have the tiebreaker, Ottawa was six points out of a playoff spot. I understand filling a spot left wide open by the injury to Kyle Turris, but would it not be cheaper and more efficient to bring up a player from Binghamton and see what you have there?
On the other hand, Gomez might still have something left in him.
Watching him, I see David Legwand if he were more skilled, a tad faster and better suited for the power play.
If Gomez plays well the rest of the way and the Senators feel like he has another year in him, is it a good move to extend a one-year, two-way contract to him?
Regardless of how he fairs in the nation's capital, Gomez should be priority number, like, seven this summer. Maybe eight.
Mark Borowiecki is out relatively short term after he took a hit Thursday night that had his knee hit the boards awkwardly.
#Sens head coach Dave Cameron says Mark Borowiecki will be out awhile. Listed him as "week-to-week".— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 4, 2016
And that will open the door for...
With Borowiecki out for at least a week, Patrick Wiercioch gets one last shot to prove to management that he's worth extending.
Now, he's already convinced many of us, multiple times, but Bryan Murray and company aren't that easy to please.
Wiercioch is going to have to play exactly like he did during the Senators' push for the playoffs last season. The 25-year-old was absolutely brilliant offensively and defensively down the stretch, and since he's right back where he started before he was a regular in the lineup, it might take even more this time around.
In my eyes, and a lot of my fellow colleague's eyes, Wiercioch doesn't only deserve to be in the lineup, but rightfully dispensed on the second pairing, as well. But as many of you know, stats aren't enough for this team. Wiercioch is going to have to look the part while playing it, too.
Wait, what if they call up Fredrik Claesson instead?
Nah, that wouldn't happen.
Playoffs? Playoffs?? Playoffs?!?!?
After a regulation loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night and a Pittsburgh win against the New York Rangers, the Senators now sit seven points back of the Penguins and are technically eight points out of a playoff spot. The likelihood of them reaching the postseason - according to sportsclubstats.com - is now at 2.0%.
I hate to break it to anyone out there still hoping they can make up the ground, but it's not just Pittsburgh they're chasing. While still out of the playoffs, the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes are all ahead of the Senators, not to mention the Montreal Canadiens are only one point behind.
It's over, folks. I mean, it was over a few weeks ago, but now it's over for sure.
If it's any consolation, though, this offseason is going to be one heck of a ride.
With Mark Borowiecki out and Patrick Wiercioch in, do you think the Senators' D corps improves?