Leclaire out with fractured cheek bone, will require surgery

There were worries coming into this season that starting goalie Pascal Leclaire was injury-prone, but nobody expected he'd get injured while sitting on the bench.

Somehow, that managed to happen last night against the Washington Capitals, as Snoopy suffered a fractured cheek bone and will require surgery after a stray puck hit him in the face. There's no timetable yet for his return --TSN and Sportsnet have suggested about a omnth -- but he's out of the line-up indefinitely. Mike Brodeur of the Binghamton Senators has been recalled to back-up Brian Elliott while Leclaire is out.

This is a big blow to the Senators, as Pascal had been playing very good hockey recently. Also, the team is on the verge of having Anton Volchenkov return from injury and would have had a healthy back-end for virtually the first time this season. However, Brian Elliott has done well in his appearances this year, and hopefully he can keep up his impressive play. Here are Leclaire and Elliott's stats so far:

2009 - Pascal Leclaire 16 907 8 5 41 2.71 416 375 .901 0

2009 - Brian Elliott 7 371 4 1 18 2.91 183 165 .902 0

Mike Brodeur, meanwhile, posted two shutouts, a 2.92GAA and .898 SV% in 15 games with the Binghamton Senators this season. As you can probably imagine, the biggest worry here is not so much Elliott -- who can handle starting duties in the NHL, as he did last season -- it's Brodeur. Despite his last name, he has not proven he can play at the NHL level yet, and having a save percentage that's worse than either Leclaire and Elliott doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. Still, I'll reserve judgement until he's actually in the Sens' net.

Hopefully Leclaire's surgery goes well and he heals quickly so he can be back on the ice before the new year. Also, it's good to see he has a sense of humour about the whole thing: when asked if the injury might require plastic surgery, Leclaire responded "We'll see what's cool in Hollywood and I'll make my choice."

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