|Senators centre Jason Spezza returned to practice today for the first time since injuring his knee against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 21, 2006.|
by Todd Anderson
Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza was back on the ice with his teammates today but said afterwards he doesn't expect to return to the lineup just yet. Spezza has been out of the lineup since injuring his knee on Dec. 21, 2006, against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"It felt really good to be out there, but we're going to stick to until after the all-star break (for his return)," Spezza said. "I was a little rusty out there, and the guys were laughing at me and having fun because I bobbled a couple of pucks I usually wouldn't. I'm not ready to play right now. I still have work to do."
Spezza skated with Denis Hamel and Brian McGrattan during line drills.
"It was nice to work on our chemistry from junior," Spezza joked referring to the 1999-2000 and 2001-02 seasons when he played with McGrattan for the Mississauga IceDogs in the Ontario Hockey League.
Alfredsson named NHL's first star of the week
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was named the NHL's first star of the week for the period ending on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007.
As a result of the team's recent winning streak - with a record of 9-1-1 in its last 11 games, the Senators are the hottest team in the NHL - Ottawa has boasted one of the three NHL stars of the week for the last three weeks. Dany Heatley was the second star two weeks ago, and Ray Emery was the first star three weeks ago.
"Whenever your team is winning games, that means individuals will do well as well," Alfredsson said. "I'm playing a lot better now, and things are happening for me. The whole team went through a tough stretch, and I'm happy how we've battled back."