Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/20/09 at 08:34 AM ET
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
In past years, four assists in seven games for Spezza would have pretty much indicated a disaster for the Senators, given their reliance on him, captain Daniel Alfredsson and former winger Dany Heatley, who supplied the offence on a top-heavy group of forwards.
The offence is now spread out, giving Spezza time to adjust to some significant role changes.
After playing almost every game over four seasons with Heatley, and many with Alfredsson, Spezza is adjusting to new linemates Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo, who came over from the San Jose Sharks in the Heatley trade.
Spezza’s defensive contribution has expanded. He’s getting a chance to kill penalties and take some big faceoffs, which is paying off for the Senators. Spezza leads the club with a 56.9 winning percentage on faceoffs.
His defensive game has grown thanks to his skating and work ethic, both of which look to have improved this season.
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