Sens captain Jason Spezza has been held out of the team's past four games with a hip injury but is poised to draw back into the lineup on Wednesday. He updated his status following today's practice where he skated on a line with Zack Smith and Mark Stone.
Here's what he had to say...
On the winning streak in his absence:
It's encouraging, I think we've been pretty close for a long time and finding ways to lose hockey games and now we've found a way to win some games, Andy has played great for us and it's nice to see. Hopefully we can get on a roll here.
On if he is worried about ruining chemistry:
No I think for the short term, wherever I play, to make sure I help the group out, but for the long term I know I have to get playing good hockey. We're all disappointed in how the first half went, I don't think I had a very good first half or the group had a very good first half, but there were signs of things coming. I've been out of the lineup and we've won some games and I've been out when we've lost, but when I've been out before we've been able to maintain it when I come back and I'm hoping to add to the group.
On if he can stay 100 per cent:
Well as close as you can, there's a lot of games. I don't think anybody is 100 per cent, I've missed four games and I could have played earlier too. Becuase of the timing of the season I missed a game so if you only miss four or five games a year I'll take it.
On what the team has done well in his absence:
I think really just finding a way to win and sticking with it and having that confidence to close out games. We did a lot of the same things we've done before the break but we had the confidence to close out games, we've gotten big saves from Andy and the guys just seem more comfortable. You win one, you feel good, you win two, you feel better, you win three all of a sudden they hit a couple of posts and we stick with it and get a power play goal. That's a sign of a team that is learning how to win games.
On the mood of the room:
Well it's definitely a little more upbeat in the room and we're heading on the road, guys are excited for the road trip. When you win four in a row guys have more confidence with the puck and guys are more confident out there. Coach made sure we had a good, hard-working practice to make sure we're ready to go too to keep it going.
On the importance of road wins:
We're going to Colorado who is one of the toughest rinks to play against, one of the toughest teams to play against at home right now so that's going to be a tough one and then Nashville, Minnesota. They're good teams but you have to win games and you have to win games on the road too. It's great for us to get some home wins, nice for us to win in a tough, tough building in Montreal and hopefully we can carry that in.
On playing the West:
League-wide it's known how good they are now and earlier in the year it's still a feeling out process to who the elite teams are or who aren't. I don't think we took teams lightly earlier in the year, I think there were two clubs and we weren't playing as well. Now I think we're playing a little better and we're some good teams coming up so it'll be a good test.
On easing himself back in:
As a player you want to jump back in and get going but there's only a week I think. I missed a week, I've been skating for the past four days so I actually felt pretty good and pretty strong out there today.
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