Hoffman says hello, Daugavins says goodbye

It was, as the kids like to say these days, an “awkward” few moments inside the Ottawa Senators dressing room following practice Wednesday.

Hoffman says hello, Daugavins says goodbye
Mike Hoffman skates a drill after he was called up from Binghamton as the Ottawa Senators practice at Scotiabank Place,March 27, 2013, with their next game on Thursday. (Wayne Cuddington/Ottawa Citizen)

It was, as the kids like to say these days, an “awkward” few moments inside the Ottawa Senators dressing room following practice Wednesday.

At one end, Mike Hoffman was talking about the exceptional opportunity he is now receiving after being recalled Wednesday from Binghamton of the American Hockey League. Hoffman is expected to start Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers, playing left wing on a line with Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson.

At the other end, Kaspars Daugavins was saying his goodbyes to an organization he has called home for seven years. Daugavins was claimed off waivers by the Boston Bruins Wednesday and could play against the Senators when the clubs meet in Boston next Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t say I wasn’t getting a fair chance, but it’s frustrating to sit out games,” said Daugavins, who played in only 19 games this season, scoring one goal and two assists. “You want to be part of a team that’s winning and it’s harder to sit and watch from upstairs than playing.”

Daugavins, the author of the most celebrated unsuccessful shootout attempt in NHL history, also knows his new teammates will be all over him for his failed attempt at the Riga Wraparound, which occurred in a game between the Senators and Bruins on Marc 11.

“They’re going to rib me hard about that one, probably,” he said.

Alfredsson called Daugavins a “good teammate” and an “interesting guy.”

Come Thursday night, though, Alfredsson will be lined up alongside Hoffman, who missed his chance at an earlier recall from Binghamton due to a collarbone injury which kept him sidelined for eight weeks. Hoffman has scored 13 goals and 15 assists in 41 games with Binghamton this season, including a goal and three assists in three games since returning from the injury.

“There’s a little bit of pressure (to create offence), but that’s my game, that’s what I’m going to have to do to stay up here,” said Hoffman.

Senators coach Paul MacLean says Hoffman’s strengths are his speed and shot.

“His total game has grown since he has played in the American Hockey League,” said MacLean. “During the training camp we had in January, he played really well, he really showed us that he was ready to play. It’s unfortunate that the injury he got came at the same time as all the other injuries we had, so he basically missed out on the opportunity that maybe others had, and took advantage of. We felt he has earned the opportunity to come in and show us if he can play.”

BISHOP BACK IN

Goaltender Ben Bishop, who picked up the victory in Monday’s 3-2 win over New Jersey, including stopping three of four shootout attempts, will be back in Ottawa’s net Thursday against the Rangers.

The Rangers, who picked up a crucial 5-2 win over Philadelphia Tuesday, will likely go with Henrik Lundqvist. There are, however, some rumblings that Lundqvist could be trying to play through a concussion. In recent games, he was accidentally elbowed in the head by teammate Dan Girardi and took slapshots off the mask from Washington’s Mike Ribeiro and Philadelphia’s Luke Schenn. “It was just my head,” Lundqvist told the Bergen Record. “I was just thinking if the (Schenn) shot bothered me, I got little headaches. Then, I felt better, but it was still bad. You build up something. It’s just mental. You have to put it aside and tell yourself, ‘you’re fine, go out and play,’ and after five or 10 minutes, you start to feel better.”

IRON WILL

For the second time in his life, Erik Condra is wearing braces. The versatile Senators winger spent part of his off day Tuesday with an orthodontist, fitting him for tinsel teeth after he lost a tooth when he took a puck in the mouth during Monday’s win over New Jersey. Condra also had his face stitched up between his mouth and nose. “My parents aren’t too happy,” said Condra. “I sent them a picture. I guess I now owe them for ice bills and the braces.” Condra says the braces will likely stay on for the next week or two.

kwarren@ottawacitizen.com
Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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