With Jason Spezza
's back injury, the Sens' no. 1 centre role has fallen on the shoulders of Kyle Turris
who has cooled off following a hot start to the season. After scoring four goals through the first four games the Sens played, Turris has only been able to muster five assists in the subsequent eight games.
It's undeniable that the absence of Spezza has cranked up the pressure under Turris who is unfamiliar with such a concentrated defensive effort to this point in his young career. The 23 year old is adamant, however, that it pales in comparison to the pressure he puts on himself to perform.
"I probably put the most pressure on myself — more than anybody else puts on me," said Turris. "I just want to help as much as I can and play my game and keep skating and get to the front of the net a little more."
The absence of Spezza — a player who finished among the top five leaders in League scoring last season — is a big hole to fill. But, at the same time, this is still a team that scored eight goals in its first two games without him. A conscious team effort from the group has the ability to generate similar output.
The key for this team is a matter of playing with speed and crashing the net. That intensity and consistency will yield more scoring chances than the last two games, even without Spezza in the lineup.
"He's a very special player and one of the best in the league and collectively we're just going to have to find a way to come together and create more," said Turris. "I've got to come through with creating more opportunities for myself and my linemates and be more offensively productive."
It feels as though Milan Michalek is knocking on the door to get going again, and you'd have to think Turris won't be far behind.