On Dec. 1, Ottawa Senators winger Milan Michalek blocked Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas’ shot and broke the index finger on his right hand. The injury forced him out of 16 games, but he returned Jan. 7. Barely two weeks later, Michalek finds himself right back on the shelf though after breaking a finger on his right hand once again.
In the second period of the Senators’ Friday night tilt with the Islanders, New York defenseman Nick Leddy would up and let go a slapshot from the blueline. Michalek, who was the first up to pressure Leddy, got low to the ice to break up the shot attempt and took the puck off his right hand. Michalek immediately shook his hand and headed to the Senators bench, and left for the dressing room shortly thereafter:
Michalek was visibly frustrated that he was forced to head to the dressing room. He did not return to the contest. Post-game, the Senators announced that Michalek’s hand was again broken and he will be sidelined indefinitely.
The loss of Michalek stands to hurt an already ailing Senators club. Ottawa is already without pivot Kyle Turris and winger Clarke MacArthur, and since the Senators have scored only 57 goals since the beginning of December, which ranks 19th in the league over that period. Michalek hasn’t had an offensively brilliant season by any stretch — his six goals and 10 points in 32 games is the worst rate of production of his career — but having a former 30-goal man who has 20-goal potential in the lineup would help Ottawa greatly.
In 412 career games with the Senators, Michalek has scored 115 goals and 224 points. Following this season, Michalek will have one year remaining on a three-year, $12-million deal he signed with the Senators in 2014.