7 Days Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza (back) might be available for Game 3 on Sunday.
Spezza reportedly doesn't have medical clearance yet, so there are still hurdles for him to overcome. "He continues to skate on a daily basis and makes progress," said Senators coach Paul MacLean. "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." Spezza was limited to just five regular season games.
8 Days Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza isn't ready to return from his surgically repaired back yet, but there's plenty of anticipation and speculation that he's not far away from playing again.
Coach Paul MacLean attempted to temper those expectations on Wednesday when he spoke to the media. "I think Jason still has some hurdles to get over before we get to that point with him coming in to say he's ready to play, that we (the coaches and medical staff) would allow him to play," said the Ottawa bench boss. "Right now, he's in Ottawa and he's skating. We're here and we're going to play Game 2." He isn't expected to play Friday.
10 Days Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza (back) is not expected to play in the first two games of the Senators' second-round series.
The center didn't travel with the team to Pittsburgh, staying home in Ottawa to workout and continue to get into shape. He hasn't played since Jan. 27 due to surgery on a herniated disc. It seems as if he's very close to returning and it wouldn't be a shock to see him back sometime in this series.
11 Days Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza (back) isn't making any predictions or promises for a possible return to the lineup against Pittsburgh in the second round of the playoffs.
There's no timetable for a return to game action and a decision hasn't been made yet if he'll travel with the team to Pittsburgh for Game 1. "I want to play, I want to back out there," Spezza said. "I don't want to have any pain. I wish I could the play the next game. It's all going to be about how I respond. I've got to push myself. That's why we're really going to try and push forward in the next three days. It might tell me that it's not time to play and it might respond real well, but I would be lying if I tried to give you a straight answer (on a return date)."
Spezza appeared in just five games this season, scoring two goals and adding three assists, before being forced to have surgery on a herniated disc. Spezza last played on January 27 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will be the Senators opponents in the second round of the playoffs. However, Senators head coach Paul MacLean poured cold water on any talk of an imminent return. "He's a long ways away," said MacLean after practice.
12 Days Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza was on the ice with his teammates at practice this morning for the first time since having back surgery.
The star center appeared in only five games this season, scoring two goals and adding three assists, before undergoing surgery on a herniated disc. "I'd like to see Jason on the ice. He's a good player. He's an important player for us," Sens general manager Bryan Murray said earlier this week. "He hasn't played all year though. It's a big step to throw him into a series where everybody's been playing for a long time. I hope to see him at some point in round two. Whether that will happen or not, I don't know." Spezza last played on January 27 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will be the Sens' opponents in the second round of the playoffs. The Sens already have seen defensemen Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen return from injuries, helping them to a first round series victory over the Montreal Canadiens in five games.
13 Days Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza (back surgery), who has been skating with non-roster players, will be re-evaluated Sunday to determine if he practice with the active Senators next week.
This is more positive news from the Spezza camp. Although everyone in the Senators' organization is being cautious, it is begining to look like Spezza will be able to play sometime in Round 2. If you have a reserve spot on your playoff roster you should consider adding Spezza.