GARRIOCH: Ottawa Senators to be joined by Batherson and Gaudette on their return home

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The Ottawa Senators were taken off Monday to rest and try to hit the reset button.

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They will reach quarterback of the season Wednesday night at home against the Vancouver Canucks at the Canadian Tire Center in hopes of trying to end their five-game losing streak.

Returning to town after going winless in a four-game swing on the West Road with stops in Colorado, San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles before making the long journey home on Sunday, the Senators have to improve every aspect of the game if they are to get the ship right to get this back on track.

For a myriad of reasons, this season has derailed for the Senators after ending November with a 1-10-1 record. Now, sitting 32nd in the league with a 4-14-1 record, they have a lot of ground to catch up in trying to get back to respectability with 63 games to play in the year.

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No one is happy with where the Senators sit

This isn’t where owner Eugene Melnyk, GM Pierre Dorion, SVP Pierre McGuire or coach DJ Smith expected this club to be at this point and there are still plenty of leads left. to adjust this so that it can be reversed.

Everyone is looking for answers to what is wrong and the 20 game mark is usually the point where teams assess what they need to do to improve. You can be sure the Senators are doing a lot of soul searching and Dorion has been aggressive on the phone trying to get help.

The Senators will have a few new faces waiting for them when they skate on Tuesday. With Drake Batherson back from COVID-19 protocol and newly acquired attacker Adam Gaudette on the roster

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Gaudette, received on waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, has arrived in town and will face the Canucks. He was primarily the Hawks winger, but Smith’s plan is to have him in the middle because that’s where the club needs help the most.

He has just one goal and two points in eight games with the Hawks this season, but those who have seen Gaudette play believe he has good hockey IQ, strong skills and good shooting. He scored 12 goals and 33 points in 59 games with the Canucks in 2019-20, so there is a good offensive side.

Let’s be honest, this is a chance for the organization to look at the 25-year-old to see if there is any upside potential and if he can be more than a deep player here. If Gaudette can, it could help fill the void left by Colin White and Shane Pinto’s shoulder injuries.

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There is no timeline for Pinto’s return, but he underwent shoulder surgery last week to repair the dislocation he suffered on November 13 in a face-to-face match against Pittsburgh. . He returned that game after missing nine games with a shoulder injury and that was when the decision was made to fix it so that it was no longer a problem.

Batherson’s return after his one-week absence and five missed games due to COVID-19 will help balance the club’s forward group. Smith mixed and matched to try and get people moving while moving second forward Tim Stuetzle to center.

The decision to put Stuetzle in the middle worked, but it has yet to bear fruit as it did not result in any wins. Not having Batherson, one of the club’s best two-way players on the roster, hurts Ottawa’s ability to put the puck into the net when they already struggle to score goals.

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The club made a roster move on Monday by sending center Logan Shaw to Belleville after allowing the waivers.

THE LAST WORDS

We’ll find out later on Tuesday what the Los Angeles Kings winger Brendan Lemieux will get for biting the Ottawa captain Brady Tkachuk Saturday at Staples Center

Lemieux is on indefinite suspension and will have an in-person Zoom hearing with league vice president Georges parros and the departure of NHL player safety on Tuesday. That means Lemieux, who has a track record, could be suspended for more than six games, but we’ll see where that leads.

Of course, after Tkachuk accused Lemieux of being a “bad guy” and said his teammates didn’t even like him, the Kings came to his defense after skating on Sunday.

“I have my own opinion on what happened or did not happen (Saturday), and what I can tell you is that all the comments that have been made about (Lemieux) was garbage, ”Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick told reporters in Los Angeles. “He is a valuable player who defends his teammates. We all support him and I’d rather have him on my team than this kid any day of the week.

Coach Todd McLellan talked to Lemieux about controlling his emotions.

“I talked to Brendan, we talked about him taking care of his teammates and how much we appreciate him. He has a team full of supporters today who are happy to be a part of the squad and he does his job and he does it very well, ”said McLellan.

Matthew Tkachuk Brady’s brother was asked about his comments about Lemieux on Monday in Calgary.

” He’s not wrong. That’s it, ”Matthew said.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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