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Pick On Someone Else

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Some Ottawa fans want Spezza traded before his no-movement clause kicks in July 1. They say he’s lazy. They say he doesn’t backcheck. They say he doesn’t become “engaged” in the play. They place blame for the Senators’ early playoff elimination squarely on his shoulders.

They are using Spezza as their scapegoat.

On locker cleanout day, when someone wondered if he’s getting tired of being the lightning rod for criticism of this team, Spezza did not shake off the talk as he has in the past.

“Yeah, a little bit,” he said. “But there’s not much you can do, and there’s not much to really get into.

“It’s definitely trying at times.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+spezza

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Primis's avatar

Some Ottawa fans want Spezza traded before his no-movement clause kicks in July 1. They say he’s lazy. They say he doesn’t backcheck. They say he doesn’t become “engaged” in the play. They place blame for the Senators’ early playoff elimination squarely on his shoulders.

They are using Spezza as their scapegoat.

Actually no, they’re not.  They’re in fact 100% accurate correct.

* He’s lazy.
* He doesn’t backcheck.
* He shies away from contact.
* He doesn’t do the littler things or the dirty work.

Basically he’s a playoff disaster.  The best thing the Sens could do would be to trade him and his albatross of a cap number for someone more built for the playoffs.  Then they might actually get somewhere.

Posted by Primis on 04/27/10 at 08:54 AM ET

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“Yeah, a little bit,” he said. “But there’s not much you can do, and there’s not much to really get into.

Or you could, you know, actually do something come playoff time.  Maybe that would change some fans minds.  Everything Primis said is accurate.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 04/27/10 at 09:45 AM ET

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Over his career, he is a point per game in the regular season AND in the playoffs. Much better than most creative centres out there. What a disaster indeed. Thornton? Gomez? Arnott? Zajac? Roy? Connolly?

Led the playoffs in scoring one year too. This guy may not be Sidney Crosby, or a gritty two-way centre, but he puts up points in the playoffs. What more can you ask of a guy? He can’t just magically transform into a semi-truck come playoff time.

Posted by pens bandwagoner with no soul on 04/27/10 at 11:48 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

He can’t just magically transform into a semi-truck come playoff time.

In other news, the Senators plan on giving Optimus Prime an offer sheet during the summer.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/27/10 at 11:55 AM ET

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Posted by pens bandwagoner with no soul on 04/27/10 at 10:48 AM ET

What did he do against the Pens this year?  With all the injuries to the Sens roster did he step up in any way?

I was impressed by Regin, who scared the crap out of me everytime he had the puck.  When Neil and Ruutu are your best line, you aren’t going to win.  Spezza doesn’t get his nose dirty.  Doesn’t go into any sort of extra gear.  What about his lazy back checking on the Crosby breakaway goal in Game 4?  When the team needed a goal, when the team needed a spark, did he provide any of that?

The guy has the highest cap hit on the Sens.  Just collecting a bunch of assists is fine if you are a #2 or #3 center.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 04/27/10 at 12:12 PM ET

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Spezza’s not lazy. He just never realized he doesn’t have as much more skill vs your average NHL player as he did vs your average junior player. He’s out there trying to stickhandle through three guys on every shift instead of passing it off or dumping it in. 4 out of 5 times he’s turning it over and starting a rush the other way.

I’d still take him over Thornton if it’s the playoffs we’re talking about, though.

Posted by steve on 04/27/10 at 12:56 PM ET

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@Primis: It’s easy to criticize, not so easy to come up with alternate solutions. So, they should trade him for who, exactly? If they’re not going to get a bona fide first-line centre back for him, there’s no point. Who are they going to replace him with? Olli Jokinen?

Sidney Crosby ain’t walkin’ through that door…

Posted by Josh from Whitehorse, Yukon on 04/27/10 at 01:50 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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