An update on Spezza

- May 17th, 2013

I posted this earlier. Thought I should put it here. No it’s not a blog. It’s news.

PITTSBURGH – It wasn’t just the earthquake shifting the ground around Ottawa.

There’s a strong possibility Senators’ centre Jason Spezza could return to the lineup for Game 3 of the club’s playoff series Sunday night at Scotiabank Place against the Penguins.

Coach Paul MacLean told reporters Spezza is continuing to skate in Ottawa as he recovers from back surgery. A decision on whether he’ll play or not will be made after Sunday’s morning skate. This is the first time that MacLean hasn’t completely dismissed Spezza’s return.

A source told the Sun Spezza is targeting a Sunday return, but has to get clearance from the doctors.

“He continues to skate on a daily basis and makes progress,” said MacLean Friday. “We’ll go through practice (Saturday) and the pre-game skate and we’ll see where it is. If he’s available to us, it’s Jason Spezza, we’re going to have him in the lineup.”

The Senators will have an optional skate Saturday and Spezza will skate with that group.

“I know I’m going to be there to watch it,” said MacLean. “I might not be on the ice, but we’ll make a decision from there. I don’t know about all the medical hurdles but I’ll know more about that (Saturday).”

Spezza hasn’t suited up since Jan. 27.

The Senators are in Pittsburgh Friday for Game 2 of their conference semi-final series against the Penguins. Pittsburgh leads the series 1-0.

Categories: Hockey

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9 comments

  1. FKevin says:

    Gasp!!! Who could have imagined! Seems like mere days ago this was “a long way off”. I have been doing a Eugene like investigation and believe I’m close to pinpointing the Lourdes of Eastern Ontario location that is reponsible for this series of miraculous recoveries, someplace between Franktown and Rideau Ferry. Will keep all advised.

  2. Bobby Goodman says:

    That’s great news Bruce; this Team needs him desperately! Anderson wasn’t magical so the team lost.

    The Swedes were collectively minus 7 tonight against the Pens. The aggregate for those who posted a minus number was 13, the 4 Swedes were responsilbe for over 50%. Of course they weren’t playing against the tiny Montreal Canadians with sieves between the pipes and many hurt and missing!! The best player in the NHL, Karlsson, was minus 2 and an embarassment. It must have hurt Potvin to say “he is a detriment to the team”. He was schooled by a real hockey player as Crosby danced around him often and made him look entirely foolish. How he wasn’t creditted with a give away is bewildering ’cause I counted 5! He is what he is…and that not good! He shamelessly avoided all contact and every corner. Some will say his issues are physical but I say it is entirely mental; he is afraid. It made me and had to make any real hockey fan totally ill! I did see him make an effort on one shift though, it was when there was a 4 on 4 and the Pens were on a line change; there was a lot of open ice and he demonstrated his speed elegantly. Hey, some here find it entertaining.

    The two young Swedes that excite so many here, were God awful as well and both were minus 2. I dont’ think Zibanejad touched the puck in the entire first period and maybe 3 times (for a nano second) the entire game. He did registerd a shot though – a single shot, his linemate, the SEL MVP didn’t have one. Karlsson didn’t have a single shot and God had one! Karlsson’s usual 28 -29 minutes of icetime was limited to 15. Zibanejad and Silfverberg were rewarded for the efforts with 7:52 and 10:12 minutes of icetime respectively.

    Benoit was plus 2 while Cowan was minus 1 (he is big but he has slow feet). Greening, Turris and Pageau all had goals. They’re Canadian boys of course and they simply want it more. Letang had 2 assists, 5 shots and logged 24 minutes of real icetime (meaning he got involved). He is a Canadian boy too! The Pens outshot the hapless Sens by 20 meaningful shots and took the puck away 9 times to Ottawa’s 3, primarily from beating them to the corners and winning one on one battles!

    Greening and Conacher risked life and limb crashing the net. I suspect you will never see the “young Swedes do the same. Pageau got a goal because he ventured into the crease. Where were the young Swedes? Some here find them entertaining. I don’t. Some say they are the future, I don’t.

    I wonder what spin will be put on the stories locally to rationalize the poor play? Actually, I could live with poor play but not poor effort and that is what I saw from those who we are force fed 24/7.

    Latendresse is simply far too slow to make a contribution. Shouldn’t the General Manager’s first, number one draft choice get a chance?

    It should be “The Lehner’s” time now. Perhaps he can inject a little testosterone in his countrymen!

  3. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    FKevin: There is no conspiracy. Teams always massage time out, it’s part of gamesmanship.

    Well, down 0-2 now and Princess K again getting upset because local media asked a quite reasonable question, namely what he was doing on those goals.

    “Are you blind?” answered Eric.
    Now, I don’t know how your guys’ vision is, Don said he’s had better eyesight at times on the pre-game, but I would THINK that reporters covering sports and the team for 20-30 years are not, indeed, blind. Karlsson’s….arrogance, to put it slightly, is getting out of control. If he can’t answer a question about his play and be a stand-up guy about it, then how is he going to react when the stage gets bigger and bigger and he makes mistakes (athletes always do, it’s fine and part of the game) but he won’t hold himself accountable? Why? What’s so special about Erik Karlsson? His Norris trophy? No one cares about that in this series, they’re just exploiting his small size, defensive liability and lack of complete speed.

    “Are you blind?”
    Erik should ask HIMSELF that question, because his statements in the last month reek of entitlement, arrogance and selfishness. Biting the media NEVER works, EVER. The papers can just crank our stories about you and there’s nothing you can do. You can’t win. Don wrote a GREAT column about Karlsson for today’s edition, he’s right that Crosby went through him like butter. The question is, when will Erik batten down the hatches, simplify his game and play what little defence his frame will allow? Because if this kind of attitude problem persists then…well, I don’t want to think of a trade (won’t happen, would never get equal value), but hopefully he doesn’t become a cancer on the team.

    On Coach MacLean:

    Love him last night. Pulling Andy was the right decision, Lehner took the team on his shoulders. I can’t really blame Andy on at least two of those goals though, it’s Crosby! That kid is the best in the world and he’s going to put the puck in the net. Peeling back Karlsson’s ice time was also a fantastic move. Anyone notice how the team got more possession, played tighter and generally BETTER when the other defencemen played in unison?
    Starting Andy Sunday? Coach’s call, I respect and understand the decision but boy can I not wait until Lehner is the starter….

    Have a great Sunday, hopefully the Senators can feed off the home crowd for game 3!

  4. Bobby Goodman says:

    Congrats go out to Don for his honesty and candor. The other paper had very little to offer on the Karlsson and Swedish contingent file; you have to wonder why.

    I chuckle when I hear some attribute the Norris Trophy winner’s poor play to “the lingering effects of the severed achilles tendon injury” (I didn’t know the achilles was tied to the heart). With the best doctors available, giving him the green light to play, are we to assume they made a mistake? Didn’t he demonstrate his amazing skill in some (easy) games leading to the playoffs; the media certainly noticed and wrote about it! If indeed he has issues with the injury, why would it prevent him from stepping in the way of an opponent; make a nice pass, get a shot on net, go into a corner (God forbid), do something, anything in his own end of the rink? Hogwash I say!

    The reality is he is the same guy who played 7 games last year against the Rangers and was invisible. He never was as comfortable skaing backwards as he was forwards and I would suggest he is below average relative to other less worthy defencemen in the league. He only rubs out the opposition coming back when he is skating forwards.

    The Sun gave God a star last night which has got to leave you scratching your head and wondering WTF?. He is well on his way to worsening his -3 rating in the 4 playoff games played last year versus the Rangers, with minus 2 in just 2 games against the Pens. Last night he was minus 1 and had but one shot! Not Star worthy stuff but it doesn’t stop the Star Making Machinery. Greening had his best game as an Ottawa Senator scoring a nice goal, coming close to getting another, hitting the opposition and getting 5 shots on net! How does his performance fall short of God’s? Please explain? I have a theory, his name isn’t Greeningson, he doesn’t wear his wife’s pink or blue hair bands and he doesn’t throw a “The” in front of his last name.

    Some hear say I am a hater and they would be right. I hate it when people are celebrated when they don’t deserve it. I hate it when players shamelssy wont make an effort. I hate when players shy away from the heavy (and lite) lifting. I hate conceit, arrogance and attitude. I hate classlessness. And I hate explanations like “it is what it is” and “shit happens” to rationalize poor play.

    This team will never win anything of significance with 3 showboating Swedes and two others who are mediocre at best. The Senator Organization has to take some resonsibility. Afterall, they are the ones who brought them hear and they are the ones who promote them adnausium ignoring the reality there are 20 players on the team (and the media obediently fall in line). This hockey club wins games because of their golaies and they are very thin on talent. I can accept a loss and poor performance but will never accept lack of effort. In spite of reports to the contrary, the future does not look bright!

  5. FKevin says:

    I know Pierre just a little levity.

  6. FKevin says:

    No doubt Karlssons injury has contributed to his poor play. The Pens are clearly targeting his chief weakness, which existed pre injury but now may be exacerbated. Erik could never turn to his right while skating backwards and now appears to be havin difficulty pivoting left on the injured ankle while in reverse as well, in short he looks helpless while defending the rush, to be fair Crosby can turn a lot of guys inside out. Coupled with his weak play along the wall in his own end it doesn’t bode well the Pens are a great rush/forecheck team. Truly hope Spezza comes back and kills it, really enjoy the guy.
    Hopefully the flippant interview stuff that Karlsson is doing is short lived, but then he has watched Alfie become God by conducting himself in a similar manner and be fawned over by the local media and never critiqued or questioned.

  7. OD99 says:

    How did I know Bobby Bigot would be in his glory after the last game? No doubt he has an extra bounce in his step!

    It is just plain ignorant to say that Karlsson is back to 100% but then facts never were your strong suit, eh Bobby? Rotating stats and picking games that suit your agenda to attack certain players is more your style.

    You have hated Greening since he got a chance in the NHL but now he is a good Canadian boy? What a hypocrite.

    It doesn’t take any special hockey eye to see that Zibby and Silf aren’t accustomed to this type of play but the fact is they, along with Pageau are some of the only rookies still playing while you can’t possibly understand they are learning each and every game.

    I wonder how many hits the very large and Canadian Spezza will lay out today? I wonder how many times he will go into a corner to take a hit to make a play? I wonder how many blind passes he will make to turn the puck over?

    Kevin you are correct, Karlsson’s pivot to his right has always been a weakness and now that he doesn’t have his full legs beneath him we are seeing him being exposed by a very fast and physical team.

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    No doubt Kevin and isn’t it interesting that there are but a few who recognize his skating deficiency. Certainly Crosby can turn anyone inside out, especially when the oponent is standing still! True character is exposed when the times are tough. Karly was a darling when it was easy (regular season against softer teams and/or soft games). Now, like last year when he was bad, the spotlight is on him again. Rather than pull a Yosemite Sam, try he should have taken the opportunity to show some maturity, take responsibility, eat humble pie and concede he sucked out loud!

    Again today, there is no mention of the very poor performance of Zibanejad and Silfverberg. It can’t be just me who thought they performed terribly last game, the coach parked them on the bench as he restricted their icetime.

    Indeed Spezza does entertain. When the PP was working…better…it was because of Spezza. Since he went down, it has been in the toilet. Last year in an interview Karlsson was askled about his amazing year and he attributed it to “getting the puck to Spezza as quickly and as often as I can”! Karlsson suggested Spezza was “probably the Senators best player last year”…there is no “probably” about it sonny!

    Those who watch Junior hockey know the other Cole Harbour native should be the number one draft choice in the NHL this year. In a man a mano contest, Nathan MacKinnon blew Seth Jones out of the (frozen) water! The 17 year old dominated play and put his enormous skills on full display scroring 3 times and getting an assist in a 7 -4 win. Too bad Hokey Canada doesn’t appreciate talent and had him playing a secondary (and thirdendary) role in the WJHC this year. But it is a reoccurring theme isn’t it? Tyler Toffoli scored a beautiful goal for LA in their loss to the Sharks last night and he wasn’t even invited to try out for Canada’s Junior Team! He only led all scorers in the OHL. Logan Couture is arguably San Jose’s best player and he too was ignored by those geniuses at Hokey Canada. In fact, they ignore the Ottawa 67s year after year from some inexplicable reason. Seth Jones is obviously talented but he is another very soft defencemen. It would be a huge mistake for Colorado to take him and I have always believed a team should take the best player availabe not matter the requirements!

    Donny writes that the Sens wont win if Greening and Burnet are the teams best forward and defenceman (but Alfie got a star last game…go figure). I respectfully disagree with him. I would however suggest that the team wont win unless 20 guys are willing to make an effort. I never, ever suported the cute but silly notion “your best players need to be your best players”. As the cute but accurate saying suggests “the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts”. But that is contingent on all parts performing. In hockey it means each player MUST leave it on the ice. Can Senator and Hockey fans honestly say that is what is happening?

  9. Bobby Goodman says:

    Poor Dave, you are either losing it or you are 19 years old or both. I don’t hate anyone, only the way they may play. I hated the way Greening played most of the time. For a great big guy, I wanted him to be far more physical. For a guy who is reputed to be blessed with great speed, like the “young Swedes” I wanted to see it something other than a skills competition and the same for his shot! I think he has played 2 good games and hope he continues to play that way but he has played far more games badly than goodly. You love anyone who is a Sen…until of course, I like one of them. I let the way a player perfoms dictate whether they are worthy of celebration or not and never is hate ever in the equation.

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