OTTAWA - Jason Spezza will have a decision to make when he goes to dish off the puck on Tuesday night against the Habs.
Pass it to Daniel Alfredsson so he can score his 400th career goal, or pass it to Milan Michalek so he can score his 20th goal of the season?
Horrible dilemma, huh?
When the Senators return to action at Scotiabank Place following their Christmas break, they’ll do so with Michalek in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 13, when he suffered a concussion.
Though the Senators have been reluctant to put their Big 3 together, the addition of Kyle Turris from Phoenix to be the second-line centre gives coach Paul MacLean the opportunity to try it out.
Turris will centre Nick Foligno and Bobby Butler against Montreal.
“(Turris) allows us a line (of Michalek, Spezza and Alfredsson) that maybe puts a little bit of fear into the opposition,” MacLean said Monday. “They’re three really good players that we feel can play together.
“They create a lot of offence and we’re going to see if they will.”
After skating by himself on Christmas Eve before heading to Montreal for the weekend to spend time with his family, Michalek was on the ice for a contact practice Monday at the Bell Sensplex and is feeling much better.
Though he suffered the third concussion of his career in a collision with teammate Erik Karlsson two weeks ago, Michalek said he considered this one “mild.” He hopes to find his scoring touch right away.
“I feel good, I feel 100%,” said Michalek, who had 19 goals in 31 games before he was hurt.
Michalek couldn’t help but smile when talking about his linemates.
“These are great guys to play with,” said Michalek. “I’m happy with them. They’re good guys because they make good plays and they make good passes.”
Spezza said the trio will force the Habs to think twice.
“It’s huge. He was playing phenomenal before he got hurt,” said Spezza.
“It’s good to have him back because it will bolster our lineup. It gives us a lot more depth up front.”
Spezza said acquiring Turris means the opposition can’t just focus on trying to shut down his line.
“Turris gives us a few more options and more forward depth,” said Spezza.
Sitting at career goal No. 399, Alfredsson, who has recorded more points (101) against the Habs than any other opponent, said he’d like to get No. 400 at home.
“That would be ideal, but it’s going to come when it comes,” said Alfredsson, who has 29 career goals vs. Montreal. “It would be nice to do with family in town.”
So, is the key to get Michalek back lighting the lamp or Alfredsson his 400th?
“He can score the tying goal and I’ll get the winning goal in overtime or something,” said Alfredsson.