Despite their status as a no. 7 seed, the Ottawa Senators are beginning to see their bandwagon grow in these Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the way they easily dispatched of the second-seeded of the Montreal Canadiens, they look like a team that should be taken as a serious threat.
Heading into their showdown with the top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins, this is a team that has the potential to get even more dangerous. With word that Jason Spezza is practicing with the team again, there’s a hope that he could return during this series.
The top line center for the Senators went down early in the season with a back injury, with the herniated disc forcing him to undergo surgery. He last appeared in a game back on January 27th, playing in five games during the regular season. In those five, he had five points, including two goals, and a plus-3 rating. The Sens managed points in four of those games.
With Spezza out, along with many others throughout the season, the Senators had a tough time scoring goals. They were one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, but have managed to find their groove in that aspect during the postseason.
Spezza had an outstanding year for the surprising Senators last year, finishing with 84 points in 80 games, including 34 goals, which is tied for his career best.
If Spezza is able to get back in the fold, it would give the Senators a completely healthy offensive attack. Combine that with the defense that they already bring to the table, including the goaltending from Craig Anderson, and this will be a very tough out in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Of course, that’s assuming Spezza is able to get back into the mix. Though he is practicing with the team, there is no timetable for his return. It was a full practice that he did take part in, though, which is certainly a positive if the Senators are hoping to get him back.