The Ottawa Senators enter Sunday sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 6-2-2 mark in their last 10 games, and they've continued winning despite losing their best forward (Jason Spezza, back), their best defenseman (Erik Karlsson, Achilles tendon) and starting goaltender (Craig Anderson, ankle) to injuries. The team also is missing forward Guillaume Latendresse (neck) and defenseman Mike Lundin (concussion).
As the 2013 Trade Deadline approaches, Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray finds himself in an interesting position: Does he look to replace the injured players? Or does he wait it out with the roster he has and hope Spezza and Anderson return -- Karlsson is out for the season -- prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
"You make judgments accordingly," Murray told the Ottawa Sun. "I have to see if [Spezza] is going to come back in a time frame that will help us. I have to see if Latendresse and Lundin are going to be ready to play.
"If our numbers are getting close to our regular lineup [in the near future], then you probably have more ambition, if you're in the playoff hunt, to say, 'Let's make sure we make it and let's pay the price to do it.'"
The key could be Spezza, who has been out close to six weeks following back surgery. The hope was he could return prior to the start of the playoffs, which would allow Murray to possibly look at different areas of his team.
"That's the way you look at it," Murray said. "If we went into the playoffs today, it would be hard for me to say let's go and fill these two spots and pay a big price of a young player. But if we're closer to our lineup and the team is playing well as it has been playing ??? then you're more willing to take a chance."