by PuckStopsHere on 03/10/13 at 04:18 PM ET
In a shortened 48 game season injuries are more significant to teams because a less serious injury can sideline a player for a large portion of the season. Teams that get hit hardest by injuries are in for a long season. The team that has been hit the hardest by injury so far this year is the Ottawa Senators.
Their top forward Jason Spezza had back surgery after playing only five games this season. He isn't expected to play again this season. Their top defenceman Erik Karlsson, who was my Norris Trophy leader at the time, suffered an Achilles injury and should miss the rest of the season. Their top goalie Craig Anderson, my current Vezina Trophy leader, is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. These are the three most important players to the team and Ottawa is forced to be without them. Also out indefinitely are depth players in Jared Cowan, Guillaume Latendresse, Peter Regin, Mike Lundin and Dave Dzuirzynski.
Despite these injuries Ottawa is in sixth place in the East Conference. They have a 13-12 record with four regulation tie points. They are currently five points up on a playoff berth. This is remarkable given their injuries.
I would be surprised if Ottawa doesn't see a drop-off given their injuries in the second half of the season. Making the playoffs under these circumstances would be quite an achievement. Doing this well without your top goalie, defenceman and forward is remarkable. The Sens deserve a lot of credit for their results to date.
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