If there’s something the Ottawa Senators could’ve done without as they try to straighten things up with their down season it’s an injury to one of their top players. Of course, it makes sense that after the Sens got a big win over the Penguins last night that they’re met today with news that star centerman Jason Spezza will miss the next six weeks with a shoulder injury.
Spezza was injured in last night’s win after being boarded by Kris Letang. Letang got a two-minute minor for boarding and Spezza left the game and didn’t return. This year, Spezza has nine goals and 11 assists good for 20 points, third on the team in scoring. Offense has been hard to come by this year for the Sens and losing their play-making center makes for a serious blow.
Ottawa had closed to within four points of Boston for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference and now they’ll have to hope Mike Fisher can snap out of his season-long funk to step up in the lead role as the top center. Fisher’s had 10 goals and six assists to this point this year but for Ottawa to keep up in the East, both he and Daniel Alfredsson will have to help each other out and boost their numbers dramatically. When Erik Karlsson is your team’s top scorer and you’ve got talent like Alfredsson, Spezza, Fisher, and Milan Michalek there’s a problem.
The Senators were able to survive through injuries last year to rise to near the top of the Eastern Conference last year, but doing the same thing this year is going to be more difficult to do with other Eastern teams showing great improvement this year. Do the Sens make it or break it now? Coach Cory Clouston hopes his team remembers the lessons learned when dealing with hardship last year to rise above it all one more time.