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Jason Spezza, Among league’s Best

Posted By Jonathan Ward On Feb 16 2012 @ 12:50 pm In NHL,Ottawa Senators | 1 Comment

Jason Spezza has rediscovered his scoring touch this season in Ottawa. The Senators forward scored his first hat-trick of the season on tuesday night in a 4-0 win versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, netting his 23rd, 24th, and 25th goals of the year.  Jason added 3 more points in a 6-2 win in Florida last night,as the Senators added back to back wins in the sunshine state. Early in his career, Spezza found himself on the receiving end of much criticism for his lack of defensive play. Now, however, he is quickly becoming a great all-around player in the National Hockey League, as head coach Paul MacLean has helped teach him responsibility at both ends of the ice.

During the 2006-2007 season, Spezza enjoyed his highest production totals as he tallied 34 goals, eventually finishing the year with 92 points. Yes, he may have been playing alongside the likes of Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson, two players who were also enjoying their prime. However, after the trade that sent Heatley to San Jose and the back injuries sustained by Alfredsson, the finger was pointed at Spezza to pick up his game and carry the team on his shoulders. Although Spezza hasn’t been putting up the big numbers over the past couple of seasons, he finally seems to be establishing himself as a bonafide NHL player that any team would love to have.

Now that Spezza finds himself the main star on the Senators’ roster, his defensive awareness has seen much improvement. He no longer seems to be thinking just offense, which could be the reason his numbers have dropped. Now it’s about the team winning, and no longer about personal statistics. So far, Spezza’s season has been great. He has 63 points in 60 games played and, while he has historically been a point-per-game player, may break his personal best goal record based on the way he has been feeling the puck of late. His five goals in the past four games make this feat seem even more realistic. Spezza is clearly happy to be a part of this young Senators team, always dropping comments in media scrums about how well they all get along. With the 3 points added to his totals from last night, the skilled forward has now 13 points in the past 5 games and currently in the top 5 in scoring in the league.

An appearance at the All-Star game was a great reward for Spezza, and a trip back to the playoffs would be the perfect cap to a great season for him.


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