Senators update: Spezza won’t play against Kings

If the decision was left solely in Jason Spezza’s hands, he would likely have played Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings.

Senators update: Spezza won’t play against Kings
Jason Spezza (L) talks with Erik Karlsson (R) of the Ottawa Senators during practice at Canadian Tire Centre, on October 01, 2013, in Ottawa, Ont. (Jana Chytilova / Ottawa Citizen)

LOS ANGELES — If the decision was left solely in Jason Spezza’s hands, he would likely have played Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings.
However, after consultations between Spezza, coach Paul MacLean and the team’s training staff, the consensus opinion was that the team would be best served long term by having the Senators’ captain and number one centre sit out, in order to not aggravate his groin problem.
Stephane Da Costa was expected to take Spezza’s spot in the lineup against the Kings, starting the game on a line with Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan as his wingers.
“We’re going to err on the side of caution, just to make sure,” Spezza said after taking part in the club’s morning skate here. “By taking the extra day (off) today, that gives me a couple of extra days and hopefully we never have to talk about my groin again. It means less risk of me re-hurting it and being out for a longer period of time, which we feel is better for the team.”
Spezza acknowledges he needed to be convinced.
“I understand the logic of the coach,” he said. “Me, as a player, I want to play. I want to play every night. I want to play if I’m not 100 per cent. I want to play. I’m wired to play. We’ve had some good discussions (Wednesday) morning and just decided it’s the best move for the team. It’s the best move to hopefully make sure this goes away. It has gotten better. It has improved.”
MacLean says they want to make sure the groin injury doesn’t become chronic and lasts all season long.
“He has made some great progress since the game on (Saturday) and we want to continue that progress going ahead and we just felt that giving him three more days before we play in San Jose gives him a real good opportunity to work with Gerry (Townend, Senators head athletic therapist). We feel it will get stronger and stronger every day and we’ll be out of the woods Saturday.
“We’re doing it to manage the injury and to keep him in as many games as we can.”
Craig Anderson will start in goal against the Kings, who are coming off a disappointing 3-1 home opening loss to the New York Rangers Wednesday. Eric Gryba will once again sit out on defence.

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