The Ottawa Senators have lost forward Cedric Paquette for at least one game. The injury announcement comes just prior to their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is Paquette’s first absence since joining the Sens in last 2020. He was injured at some point during the team’s recent battle against the Winnipeg Jets and did not finish the game. TSN1200 in Ottawa announced the injury Monday afternoon.
DJ Smith says Haley comes out and Stutzle comes back into the lineup. Paquette is injured and Galchenyuk draws back in.
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) January 25, 2021
Senators Cedric Paquette Out
Paquette had played in all five of Ottawa’s games to this point, but had not scored a point. He was compensating for the lack of offence by contributing 14 hits and eight blocks. Those number came despite averaging just 9:57 of ice time. Almost a third of his average ice time was with the penalty-killing unit where he had a solid 5.1 goals-against/60 minutes.
The Lightning originally drafted Paquette in the fourth round of the 2012 Draft. His role has largely been that of a bottom-six forechecker. The 6′-1″, 198-pound centre has a healthy 47 goals and 85 points in 382 NHL games, but his bigger contributions are the 970 credited hits and 286 blocks. Paquette may not be a dynamic offensive threat, but he has chipped in enough despite a career 48.7 Corsi For to hold down a job for almost eight seasons.
How Ottawa Replaces Paquette
Ottawa’s primary move with Paquette out will be to move Alex Galchenyuk back into the lineup. The 26-year-old has one goal in two games so far. He will handle bottom-six duties along with veteran like Derek Stepan and Austin Watson. The Sens will also welcome star rookie Tim Stützle back into the lineup after a three-game absence.
He may be one-dimensional, but Paquette is one of the better depth players in Ottawa. Players like him also offer great support to young skaters because their physical play draws attention off the players who are expected to lead the next competitive Senators’ team. He should be a regular in the lineup one more when he returns.