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.
Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.
The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),
But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.
In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.
Two injury updates in one post.
First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.
According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.
“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.
Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.
As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:
1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.
“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”
Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.
The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.
Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.
Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.
It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.
Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.
Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.