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Posted On Sunday, 01.29.2012 / 8:11 PM

By Jason Spezza -  Special to / - Jason Spezza's 2012 Tim Horton's All-Star blog

Spezza: Fantastic finish to All-Star Weekend

As part of All-Access All Things All-Star coverage on this weekend in Ottawa, Senators forward Jason Spezza will be blogging his thoughts and experiences as one of the player hosts of All-Star Weekend. Here's his final entry, detailing an unbelievable Sunday, including his one-goal, one-assist, minus-5 showing in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place:

It was a perfect weekend and the result is irrelevant. It was a perfect celebration of the weekend. All of us being together and getting to come and play the game and see the crowd react to Daniel Alfredsson. I got a goal and Milo scored. It was fun to be a part of. I thought the crowd was phenomenal and it would have been nice to get Alfie a hat trick. We were all passing him the puck, believe me. I'm not even thinking about the fact that I was a minus-5. That's gone. It's already gone; I'll never mention it again. It was just a great, great way to cap of a special weekend.

I may play another five years, another 10 years, and I may never have another chance to play an All-Star Game in my home city. It's something that is really special. To play it with three teammates made it more special because we could be together all weekend and do things together all weekend.  It helps that the three of us are really good friends. We're not just teammates, we're really good friends. Like Alf said during his press conference, it hasn't really settled in yet. We're living in the moment and enjoying it and hoping we can use this as springboard into the second half.

I think the city was the star of the event. The way the city stepped up, the events, the Fan Fair, how organized everything was. To a man, if you ask any player in the dressing room, they had a great time. It was really accessible for their families to do stuff. The League and the Senators did an awesome job of running a first-class event and I don't think you will find too many people leaving being disappointed. It was a great thing for Ottawa.

I had my daughter in the dressing room after the game. She might be a little young and never remember any of it, but I wanted to make sure we would have some great pictures. I told my dad I wanted to have her in the room right away because it is one of those moments that you don't know if it is going to happen again and family is really important to me. She has no idea what is going on right now, but she will in a couple of years and I think they will be good memories to look back on.

We're ready to go for the second half. This is just icing on the cake. The real stuff starts now. We play the game for real. It's nice to be recognized as individuals, but we play the game to win. You play for team and you play for your teammates. We feel like we have a good team here in Ottawa. To be honest, this has been an amazing weekend and I'll enjoy it tonight, but I can't wait to get back to work tomorrow.

I'm pretty tired, so we'll see if I shut it down early. I want to see everybody before they leave town because I don't think they will be back for a little while. We'll probably have some alone time after this. My grandparents are here, aunts and uncles, so we'll see family tonight and then definitely have a good sleep.
Posted On Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 11:17 PM

By Jason Spezza -  Special to / - Jason Spezza's 2012 Tim Horton's All-Star blog

Spezza: Welcome for Alfredsson at Skills was amazing

As part of All-Access All Things All-Star coverage on this weekend in Ottawa, Senators forward Jason Spezza will be blogging his thoughts and experiences as one of the player hosts of All-Star Weekend. Here's his second entry, detailing a Saturday that included the Molson Canadian NHL Skills competition at Scotiabank Place. Spezza's Team Alfredsson won the competition 21-12 against Team Chara:

Today wasn't as busy for me. I didn't do as much as I did on Friday. I did a lot of personal stuff today -- had breakfast with the family and had everybody over at the house. It was real nice to see everybody because now it gets really busy the next two days, so we made sure we had a lot of family time this morning.

I was excited to get here today and made sure I got to the rink a bit early. It was really cool to hang out with all the guys in the room.

Plus, the Skills competition lived up to everything we expected. Big Z (Zdeno Chara) broke the record and there were some great moves out there in the shooting events. The crowd was really into it and I think being in Canada probably helped the guys get excited.

The building tonight was electric, especially during the introductions. We all got good receptions, but the one for Daniel Alfredsson was great. The guys loved to see Alfie get that respect. He's been with the same organization the whole time, played 1,100 games, played here a long, long time and it was nice for the fans to give him a loud ovation. Hopefully it will happen again tomorrow. Alfie's put a lot into this game, especially being captain of one of the teams. I know he wants to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves.

As far as the hardest-shot competition, people might forget that I even went after the shots by Shea Weber and Big Z. But I thought I did pretty good, Alfie and I said that it would be OK if we got into triple digits; we both got over 100 and we were happy with that. But what Z did was undeniably special. It's pretty unbelievable to see somebody shoot the puck that hard.

The guys love the hardest-shot competition because there is a chance to break a record; a statistical record to be broken. I think if they did the traditional fastest-skater competition and a guy broke the record, you would see the same reaction. He already had the record coming into the event, but for him to keep breaking his own record makes it why the players react the way they do.

When it was all over, Team Alfredsson had the win and, like me and Alfie said, we are pretty happy with the results. At the end of the day, we wanted to make sure we won and they guys delivered, scoring a lot of goals in the Elimination Shootout. We did a good job and had a good time.

Until the All-Star Game on Sunday now, it's all about family time for me. I get to spend some time with my dad after the game and we have the family over the house. We'll spend some time together and, hopefully, they had a good time. I'm sure everybody is tired from all the traveling and stuff. So we'll get a good night's sleep tonight and be ready for tomorrow.

Talk to you then.  
Posted On Friday, 01.27.2012 / 6:25 PM

By Jason Spezza -  Special to / - Jason Spezza's 2012 Tim Horton's All-Star blog

Spezza: All-Star Game is a time to reflect, catch up

As part of All-Access All Things All-Star coverage on this weekend in Ottawa, Senators forward Jason Spezza will be blogging his thoughts and experiences as one of the player hosts of All-Star Weekend. Here's his first entry, detailing a whirlwind Friday:

From the time I got  up this morning until 8:30 or 9 o'clock tonight, I'll be doing stuff. But, it's exciting because it is in Ottawa and it is at home and you want to give  back to the fans. I'm excited about the Energizer Skate tonight because we are trying to build rinks around the city and raise money for that. It's a little disappointing that the Rideau Canal isn't frozen. Usually you can guarantee on Jan. 27 that the canal would be frozen. But the Rink of Dreams at City Hall is built and the rink has pipes -- that is why they built, in case the canal isn't available. I think it is great for the city to have that second option. Obviously, the canal is something special, so it's a little sad the canal isn’t up and running, but we'll make it work.

Today, being around the guys and interacting with different guys makes it a fun day. I did an autograph signing this morning at Fan Fair and it was mostly kids -- and that is what you want to see. You want to see the kids come out and enjoy it. It's been a long day and a busy day, but it has been worthwhile.

For me, I'm more comfortable in these situations now. You see familiar faces and you are not as nervous. Once you go through something once, you realize you want to take some time and soak everything in and make sure you remember it because you never know when you will get another chance. That's been my approach over the past couple of days and will be all weekend. I want to make sure I enjoy it and my family enjoys it and that I soak it all in.

It's fun to see the excitement of the guys that are here for the first time and the young guys. I remember how it was to be that guy. I'd love to get the opportunity to talk to everybody on the team and to some of the younger guys. For me, there are still some guys I want to meet. You play and compete against each other, but you all respect each other. That never gets lost in a setting like this.

I got a chance to talk to Pavel Datsyuk a little bit; he is a guy that I really respect. I sat with Evgeni Malkin at the draft. Shea Weber is a guy that I enjoyed playing with at the World Championships, and it was nice to catch up with him. There's always different guys that you lose touch with a little bit and these events bring you back together.

I've heard a lot about Erik Karlsson having a bit of fun at my expense Thursday night at the draft, but that’s OK. Erik doesn't have a lot of material. We're really good  friends, and we have a really good relationship. It was fun. We had a good time. I was happy we could sit together. He's a really lighthearted kid, loves to have a good time, is a jokester and has a real passion for the game, so it is fun for everybody else to see how he is. The guys in our dressing room already know what his personality is, but it is good for him to get the recognition nationally.
Quote of the Day

He's been one of our top players all year. Tonight he was by far our best player. There wasn't anybody in the same universe as him.

— Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz on goalie Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0
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