|Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery, left, learns how to deal blackjack from Casino du Lac-Leamy pit boss dealer Roch Mariner today during a promotion for the 2007 Bell Â· Ottawa Senators Viva Las Vegas Ice & Dice, presented by Samsung.|
by Todd Anderson
Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza was showing his familiar smile throughout practice today at Scotiabank Place, and for good reason. Out of the lineup for 14 games with a knee injury, Spezza said after practice he'd make his return tomorrow afternoon when the Senators host the Boston Bruins at 3 p.m.
"To practise with the guys, joke around, you feel like you're more involved," Spezza said. "It will be nice to get in three games in four nights and see how (his knee) feels."
After tomorrow's game, the Senators visit the Montreal Canadiens on Monday and host the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
At least to start, Spezza will centre a line with Patrick Eaves and Antoine Vermette on his wings. Eaves is looking forward to being a part of the new combination.
"It should be fun tomorrow," Eaves said. "I'm just going to go out there and do the same things I've been doing and keep playing within the system we have been."
Senators receive lesson in blackjack
Spezza, along with Brian McGrattan, Ray Emery and Christoph Schubert, received a lesson on how to deal blackjack after practice today as part of a promotion for the 2007 Bell Â· Ottawa Senators Viva Las Vegas Ice & Dice, presented by Samsung that will be held on Feb. 13.
Casino du Lac-Leamy pit boss dealer Roch Mariner gave the lesson with showgirl Heather (The Feather) Remillard, Elvis impersonator Sylvain Simard and Ottawa Senators Foundation president Dave Ready looking on. While Emery, Schubert and Spezza stuck to one side of the table, McGrattan took a turn dealing cards to his teammates for a couple of games.
During an interview afterwards with Rogers Sportsnet's Ian Mendes, McGrattan didn't hesitate when asked what his reaction would be if players say "hit me" to him on Feb. 13.
"It's a good thing I'll be dealing, because when I play it's usually the dealers that get busted hands," McGrattan joked.
The 2007 Bell Â· Ottawa Senators Viva Las Vegas Ice & Dice, presented by Samsung is expected to raise $250,000 for Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, CSSS de Gatineau Foundation and other local health-related charities. Only four tables remain available. Click here to purchase a table, or for more information.