Let’s see now. Craig Anderson has returned, Jared Cowen, Erik Karlsson and now even Jason Spezza, too.
If we see the old Milan Michalek in Game 3, the Senators should be in good shape.
Theories vary as to why the 35 goal scorer of a year ago has not been very productive this season. Mostly, we are told, his surgically repaired knee isn’t right. But I see his hands giving him more trouble than his legs.
Somebody mentioned today that Michalek was jumping into the dirty areas in front of the net, but without Jason Spezza to feed him when he got there, he wasn’t seeing the puck. After awhile, he stopped jumping.
Well tonight he gets Spezza back as his centre, with Cory Conacher on the other side. Perhaps it will help to his second goal of the playoffs – and just his sixth, in 31 games, this season.
I asked Paul MacLean is generally able to make the switch from left wing to right, where he’ll be tonight, relatively seamlessly.
In a nutshell, the coach said: “Because he’s a good player.”
He does get one of the better pay cheques.
Asked what he anticipates Spezza’s return will have on Michalek, MacLean said: “Sometimes when you get one player back, you get two back.”
I don’t think he meant it disrespectfully, or to suggest that until now, he’s been disappointed with every aspect of Michalek’s game. MacLean can rhyme off things Michalek does well. I don’t see enough of them, but I did notice improvement in Game 2.
The Michalek who used to be a goal scorer needs to show up tonight.