Jason Spezza might be one of the first major injury casualties of the 2013 season. The Ottawa Senators forward will require back surgery to fix a herniated disc he was believed to have injured at some point during the team's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 27th.
Currently, there's no time frame set for Spezza's return, but it's believed he will likely miss at least a couple of months.
This news is pretty troubling for Ottawa Senators fans. Spezza had recorded two goals and three assists in his first five games before injuring his back. So far, the Senators have pushed forward as planned, but Spezza's absence from the lineup is impossible to replace.
As reported in an article seen on Sportsnet.ca, Spezza is no stranger to back injuries. He required back surgery in 2006, but later injured his back a second time when he was carrying groceries back in 2007. Groceries? At least it wasn't pancakes.
The Sports Net article mentions that Spezza is impossible to replace, as evidenced by the fact the team won only one game out of the 15 he missed in 2011, but they point to the fact that this time around Ottawa has improved depth and should do better in coping with this loss.
Spezza might be able to make a return late in the year but there's a chance his season might have just ended, depending on how his recovery pans out. Ottawa will look to Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek, Erik Karlsson and a host of others to pick up the pace while Spezza is out.
To date, Ottawa's success has been mostly due to Craig Anderson's outstanding play - a 5-0-1 record and a miniscule 0.99 GAA.
Our friends over at @HockeyMemes were quick to point to his fact, as seen below.
Anderson comments on Spezza's back surgery: twitter.com/hockeymemes/st…— Hockey Memes (@hockeymemes) January 31, 2013
Photo courtesy of CBC.ca
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The Sens being my adopted Eastern Conference team, I don't like to hear this at all. It is true that they have better depth to try to work around the hole Spezza's injury creates this time, but still, pick the top-line forward of your choice and pull him from his team's lineup. It's not at all an easy thing to overcome, shifting all the other line combinations to plug the gap.
Hopefully, we won't see much of this sort of thing in the shortened season (or any season), but that's hockey, sometimes.