PHILADELPHIA — The Senators need to go get Evgeni Nabokov once he goes on waivers.
The Senators need a goaltender — actually they’ve needed one all season — but it was never more apparent than after Brian Elliott allowed two goals on the first three shots against the Flyers on Thursday night.
Not only has Elliott been unable to get a victory in his past 10 starts, he didn’t look good on the opening goals by Danny Briere and Mike Richards that allowed the Flyers to pull ahead 2-0 only 4:14 in the game.
After Elliott let in a sixth goal 11˝ minutes into the third period, he was finally pulled.
It’s got to be pretty tough for the guys playing in front of Elliott to look behind them and see the puck in the back of their net whether they’re him offensive support or not.
The Senators will have a decision to make on Nabokov. NHL sources confirmed reports he’s likely going to sign a one-year deal with the Wings in the next couple of days worth around $550,000 US.
Nabokov, 35, will have to clear waivers because he’s returning from the KHL.
As of right now, Ottawa would get the fourth crack at Nabokov and it’s unlikely the three teams below the Senators in the standings (the Devils, Oilers and Islanders) would have an interest.
The Senators would have to consider the option with Pascal Leclaire likely done for the year.
The only concern: The Senators are trying to shed salary. They might not be able to afford this move.
Of course, after watching Elliott, can they afford not to make some kind of move? There’s lots of hockey left.
BRIERE ON FIRE
Briere, named as a replacement for Calgary’s Jarome Iginla for next week’s all-star game, is having an outstanding season.
While he struggled last season following the breakup of his marriage, Briere has been able to put that situation to behind him.
“It makes life a lot easier and a lot less stressful,” said Briere, a father of three who scored his 25th goal of the season at 2:03 of the first. “I can enjoy hockey and concentrate on hockey.”
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has noticed a difference.
“I’m happy for him because your career is full of peaks and valleys. He’s having one of those years when you come (here) and you’re having a lot of fun. The team is successful and he’s a big part of that,” said Laviolette.
“He had some issues off the ice. That’s behind him. He doesn’t have that anymore with the distractions. When your personal life is good, sometimes your work life gets better as well.”
Briere, a Gatineau native, has winger Claude Giroux — a former Olympique — living in his house.
“He hasn’t done any babysitting, but he has picked up the kids a few times at school,” said Briere. “They get more excited when he picks them up at school than they do when I show up.”
Things I think I think
D Chris Phillips hasn’t had any recent discussions with GM Bryan Murray regarding his future and isn’t sure what will happen at the trade deadline. “I’d like to be part of the solution here,” said Phillips. “We’ll find out if I’m part of the plans.” The guess here is if he’s dealt, Phillips won’t be back next season ... How is former Senators D Andrej Meszaros the leading the league leader in plus/minus at plus-29 going into play Thursday? “He’s been able to relax here and he’s just been able to play. I’m not sure that was the case in Tampa,” said Flyers D Sean O’Donnell ... Peter Regin was the last one off the ice Thursday morning. The sweat was pouring off the Senators forward as he unlaced his skates after some extra work with assistant coach Brad Lauer as Regin prepared to be a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Regin, 24, who has only one assist in his last 26 games, isn’t sure what’s gone wrong, but he’s spending a lot of time searching for answers because he’s not happy watching from the press box. “Trust me, nobody wants me to play more or better than I do,” said Regin. Coach Cory Clouston said Regin has to compete more. “When he does get in, he’s going to have to be strong on the puck, generate more offence and he’s had the opportunity several times to play in a top-six position and hasn’t made the best of it,” said Clouston.
Always ready for a fight
Matt Carkner does his homework before facing each opponent.
Thursday morning, the rugged blueliner was familiarizing himself with Philly’s Jody Shelley. Tuesday, Carkner had to get ready for Anaheim’s George Parros before they dropped the gloves at Scotiabank Place.
“I always am aware of who is out there and what their capabilities are,” said Carkner. “If they’re going to take liberties on my teammates, then I’m always kind of ready to step in for whatever guy I’m facing.
“I check out a little video here and there to see what their tendencies are.”
“You’re witnessing the most amount of pain I’ll have (Thursday). This is it. This is the scrum.”
— Flyers D Chris Pronger chiding reporters before the game.