Senators notebook: Hoffman hopes third time is the charm; Lehner defends Karlsson; MacLean heads home

Mike Hoffman has bounced back from Binghamton again and this time, Senators coach Paul MacLean wants him to act like a big-leaguer.

Mike Hoffman has bounced back from Binghamton again and this time, Senators coach Paul MacLean wants him to act like a big-leaguer. “This is third time we’ve had him up here (in the past two seasons),” MacLean said of Hoffman, who ranks second in the American Hockey League scoring race with 30 goals and 37 assists in 51 games. “Is this the time that he’s ready to come and play? It’s certainly appears like it, the way he has played in Binghamton.”

Hoffman, who practiced Monday on a line with Mika Zibanejad at centre and Bobby Ryan on right wing, says he has gained confidence by his scoring success in the AHL and has been pushed because of the internal competition from the likes of Stephane Da Costa and Mark Stone.

“The American League is where a lot of the players in (the NHL) come from. If you can put the puck in net down there and have confidence, I think I can do it at this level, too.”

In the past, MacLean says, Hoffman has been in awe of his surroundings.

“It was like he looked around and saw who was on the ice and it was like, ‘what am I doing here?’ He played hesitant, played cautious. He didn’t show, to me, that he belonged in the league or had the ability to play in the league.”

–Robin Lehner came to Erik Karlsson’s defence Monday. After losing the gold medal final to Canada Sunday, Karlsson took some heat after sarcastically suggesting he might sell his silver medal on eBay. “You go there for gold and when you can taste it – you’re in the final – a silver medal is probably not tasting that well. But you know, don’t read too much into it. I’m pretty sure he’s joking around.” Lehner says the loss of Nicklas Backstrom was a big blow to Sweden’s chances, but that Canada deserved the victory by outplaying his native country in the final.

–MacLean is looking forward to going home for practice Tuesday. Well, at least to his junior hockey home. The Senators will practice at Gatineau’s Robert Guertin Arena, where MacLean had 38goals, 33 assists and 125 penalty minutes in 66 games with the Olympiques in 1977-78, prompting the St. Louis Blues to draft him. “A lot of things have changed over there, I would think,” said MacLean. “I’m looking forward to it.”

–Senators defenceman Marc Methot went from hockey star to media star Tuesday afternoon, first taking the airwaves on the TSN1200 and then appearing as a sportscaster on Tuesday evening’s newscast on CTV Ottawa.  “I’ve always loved doing that stuff,” said Methot. “I like getting on the radio. TV’s a little different. I don’t think I have the face for TV. But I’ve been given an opportunity with the Team. They’ve been encouraging me to do this for some time now and I finally agreed to do it, seeing as we had some time off.”

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