Goal-den opportunity

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:19 PM ET

The Senators will announce today how long they will be without winger Martin Havlat.

The 24-year-old, in consultation with doctors, his agent and Senators GM John Muckler, must decide what course of action to take to treat his dislocated right shoulder. The options are rehabilitation or surgery.

If surgery is chosen, Havlat could be out as long as six months.

"Surgery or no surgery, it's how it affects the player. We have to do the right thing for Marty," said Senators coach Bryan Murray yesterday.

Havlat consulted a shoulder specialist in Cleveland in the last few days. Muckler was out of the office yesterday, so the decision won't be made until today.

Havlat suffered some damage in the joint in addition to the dislocation, according to Murray. If he goes the rehab route, Havlat could return sooner, but runs a risk of re-injury.

The impact of Havlat's loss -- no matter how long it turns out to be -- will be lessened if rookie Brandon Bochenski continues to play the way he has since being called up after Havlat was injured against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 29.

Bochenski's hat trick Monday night against the Florida Panthers gives him four goals in three games since being called up.

"I've never heard of this guy before," said Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, "but I'll know who he is from now on."

After struggling with the pressure of playing with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley at the start of the year and getting demoted after 10 games, Bochenski looks like he's rediscovered his confidence with Bryan Smolinski and Vaclav Varada.

"It was a little much for him at the time," said Murray. "I think going down and playing in a little different situation certainly has given him an advantage as far as handling the puck and getting involved in the game more.

"He's shown real good speed in two games now. I thought in Boston, like a lot of our players, he really struggled, but the last two games he's been very, very involved in the play. His skating looks real good and the goal he scored last night, not an awful lot of people get goals like that."

SURROUNDED BY MEDIA

Bochenski was surrounded by media in the Senators dressing room again yesterday.

"I'm either completely out of the spotlight or in the spotlight," he said. "I can't be in the middle.

"The puck's definitely going where I want it to and that's in the back of the net."

"I'm not the general manager and I'm not sure John has the same point of view," said Murray, "but I would think the odds are he will stay here for awhile. If he scores three every night, he can just continue to play."

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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