The Ottawa Senators have managed to stay in the playoff picture despite having Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza and Craig Anderson sidelined by injuries. While other players have stepped up in the stars’ absence, recent news makes it less likely the Senators will get Anderson or Spezza back soon, leading many to wonder how long the team can stay where it is in the standings.
A report on Wednesday stated that Spezza had experienced a setback with his back injury and might be out another month. The original timetable had the star forward returning in two weeks, and with head coach Paul MacLean saying he had not heard of any setback, that could still be possible. Spezza’s scoring has been sorely missed, as the Senators have left many points on the table in close games.
Anderson has had some soreness in his ankle while attempting to rehab, which isn’t good news for the team by any means. Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner have done an admirable job of filling in for him, but the Senators could use his experience for the stretch run to the postseason. Lehner has not lost in regulation since being recalled from the AHL, and his 1-0-4 record reflects the above point about a lack of offensive support.
Karlsson will not return this season due to an Achilles injury, and his presence on the blue line continues to be missed. He has not played since Feb. 13 but still shares the team goal scoring lead with Daniel Alfredsson and Mika Zibanejad, another sad reflection on the team’s lack of scoring. The Senators should be commended on their survival so far, and time will tell if they can keep it up.