Ottawa Senators sniper Mike Hoffman was having another big season after his breakout rookie campaign, but the damper may have been put on his chase for a 40-goal campaign after he was forced out of Monday’s game after slamming into the San Jose Sharks’ net.
The collision came in the second period Monday when Hoffman was driving the net. Hoffman had gotten a step on the Sharks’ defensemen and took a pass from Mark Stone to get in behind the San Jose defense, but took contact from behind from Justin Braun. The nudge from Braun threw Hoffman into an awkward stop, which ended with him sailing past Sharks netminder Alex Stalock and into the goalpost.
Hoffman, 26, was down on the ice for a few moments before being helped off the ice by the Senators training staff. Later, Ottawa announced that Hoffman would not return to the game, and the Ottawa Citizen’s Wayne Scanlan reported Tuesday that Hoffman is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
When he was heading off the ice, Hoffman did appear to be favoring his right shoulder, which is the one that made contact with the post.
In 42 games this season, Hoffman has 20 goals — the most of any Senator — and 36 points, making him the third-highest scorer in Ottawa. Hoffman finished sixth in Calder Trophy voting in 2014-15 with after he notched 27 goals and 48 points in 79 games. He led all rookies in goal scoring. Hoffman was well on his way to besting his rookie totals and was on pace for 37 goals before the injury.
Ottawa is right in the thick of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference wild-card races. They’re currently tied with Montreal for the final wild-card spot, but the Canadiens hold the tie-breaker. The Senators are also two points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who currently sit third in the Atlantic with 52 points.
The Senators are back in action Thursday against the New Jersey Devils to kick off a string of four games in six nights before the All-Star Game. After New Jersey, the Senators will head home to host the New York Islanders Friday, New York Rangers Sunday and Buffalo Sabres Tuesday.