The Ottawa Senators just can't catch a break. Either that or they are catching too many breaks, and not of the good kind.
With a lineup already down numerous key players (Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, Craig Anderson) due to injury, the Senators announced on Tuesday that there's yet another big-name player who had to go under the knife: Milan Michalek.
Michalek has only played twice since Feb. 12 after he sustained a knee injury. The team tried to go the route of rehabilitation and Michalek played two games on March 6 and March 8, but he wasn't ready. So Michalek had surgery on his knee.
MacLean informed the media that Milan Michalek had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to clean up debris and will be out indefinitely.— Ottawa Senators (@NHL_Sens) March 19, 2013
"We felt if we did this now, it would give him a chance to be back," Sens head coach Paul MacLean said (via Sportsnet). "There was some internal discussions for sure. And the best case was this."
That's some good news then, that they do hold out hope he will be back this season. For a team that is still sitting firmly in playoff position, that's actually great news.
Michalek was one of several All-Stars last season for the Sens, and it wasn't just because Ottawa hosted the game. He led the Senators with 35 goals, far and away a career high. But even if that was a bit of an extreme breakout, he was a player who scored at least 17 goals for six straight seasons before the 35-goal season. In other words, he can score. Maybe not 35 in a season every season, but he can score.
So far GM Bryan Murray has been strong in saying that he doesn't want to look for any stop-gaps to help the Sens get through these injury issues, but this could change that.
If the Senators are going to do anything, they'll be looking to get a top-six forward, largely to help replace Michalek and his goal scoring. The Sens have been getting by with these injuries, but they aren't doing it so much by scoring.