The Ottawa Senators announced today that defenceman Nikita Zaitsev will miss some time with an ankle injury. The timeline was a little unclear but it seems like it will be a couple of weeks. The injury occurred early in the first period Thursday night in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
— Alex Metzger (@nhlsensandstuff) December 17, 2021
Nikita Zaitsev Hurt
The one bright spot for Zaitsev is that it is starting to look like he really won’t miss too many games. Even if he is out for four weeks, with the built-in Christmas break, as well as multiple games, being postponed, the schedule may be lighter for a bit. Safety is the number one concern right now and it will be interesting to see where things go from here.
As for the Senators, they play tonight and were supposed to play Sunday too. However, the Sunday game has been delayed. Missing Zaitsev will seem like a big blow to the time on ice. However, his production is very likely going to be replaced. Zaitsev plays a lot of minutes, but that’s not a talent if you don’t play them well. Whether it’s the eye test or analytically, Zaitsev doesn’t exactly fit the top-pair mould he’s been cast to. That being said, there is very likely still a useful NHLer there if used correctly and the Sens will rely on their depth.
Jacob Bernard-Docker has been in the press box lately, this should open a late for him to get back into the lineup and show what he is made of. The young defenceman has looked solid in his early start with the team. He has made his share of mistakes, but the way he moves the puck adds an element the Sens defence core sorely lacks, especially on the right side.