Spezza looking to bust out
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
|Ottawa Senator Jason Spezza battles with Derick Brassard of the Columbus Blue Jackets during first period action at Scotiabank Place. Saturday October 22,2011. (ERROL MCGIHON/QMI Agency)
As Jason Spezza goes these days, so go the Senators.
Trying to break a three-game losing skid, the Senators close out a three-game homestand Wednesday at against the New York Rangers before opening a stretch that will see Ottawa play nine of its next 10 games on the road. It’s no coincidence the club has lost three of the past four games Spezza has been held pointless. If Spezza is frustrated, he’s certainly not showing it.
“When I’m scoring, the team is doing well,” said Spezza. “I know I have to bring offence and score goals to make us a success.
“Some nights, you don’t get the results, but you just chalk it up as a bad week and go forward. I still feel good about my game. I still feel I’m doing the right things. If we keep getting in those dirty areas, we’ll get some goals.”
The trio of Milan Michalek, Colin Greening and Spezza has been the club’s best line. Spezza is a point-a-game player with six goals and nine assists in 15 games. Spezza’s role has expanded under coach Paul MacLean by taking important faceoffs.
Spezza said he understands the ups and downs that players can go through over the course of season.
“It’s not always going to be easy. There are going to be peaks and valleys,” said Spezza. “The key to success and what I’ve learned in my career is you can’t have your down times be too low and too long.
“I’m probably a little more mature in my game than I was in the past, so I’m probably more patient than I was. Before, if I went four games (without scoring), I’d probably be pulling my hair out and not seeing the good things that have gone on.”
The Senators have been pleased with the play of veteran D Chris Phillips. He has been one of the more consistent blueliners the past few games. “I think he’s just trying to be Chris Phillips and not trying to be Chris Phillips and David Rundblad, Chris Phillips and Jared Cowen,” said MacLean. “Filip (Kuba), Sergei (Gonchar) and (Phillips) were maybe trying to do too much at the beginning of the year with the partners they had, but they’ve settled in and just been themselves.”
THIS ’N’ THAT
LW Colin Greening was back on the ice Wednesday. He’s been nursing a sore hip after getting hit by Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad, but should be fine ... Sent to Binghamton on the weekend, RW Nikita Filatov took a good attitude. “I played not much there, but anyway it was good experience, so now here again, so just gonna keep working.”