The Ottawa Senators could have Jason Spezza back in their lineup sooner rather than later as the second round of the playoffs is under way for the lone Canadian team remaining.
Spezza, who has been out with a back injury, has missed most of the regular season but could be getting healthy for the second season and the one that counts the most. While he didn’t travel with the team to Pittsburgh for game 1, Spezza hasn’t been ruled out as a possibility for game 2 that isn’t scheduled until Friday night at the Igloo.
According to the Ottawa Sun, Spezza stayed behind in Ottawa to skate with Luke Richardson, coach of the Binghamton Senators, the farm team to the NHL Senators.
As head coach Paul MacLean points out, this “allowed him to get better skates and will give him a better opportunity to continue to progress.”
Spezza did skate with his teammate over the weekend, leading some to believe that he was closer to a return than many were believing. MacLean downplayed the hype by saying this was just another step in the rehab process and that he was still “a long ways away.”
Arguably the Senators best player, Spezza has only played in five games this season, registering 2 goals and 3 assists before falling to the injury that required surgery.
After the Sens were easily disposed of at the hands of the Penguins in game one of their best of seven series, having Spezza return to the lineup could give them that much needed boost they need.
Having Spezza return to the lineup will help the Senators chances of pulling off a second straight upset. Without him the battle will be much steeper and the Senators may not have the offensive force to go toe-to-toe with the high octane Penguins. Meaning Craig Anderson will need to steal the series and it’s hard to fathom that he could do it all by himself. But this is the playoffs and anything is possible. Just ask Jason Spezza.