Sens Notebook: Michalek’s ‘setback’ could be cause for concern; Gryba pays tribute to college coach Parker

Milan Michalek’s troublesome knee issues have re-appeared. The concern now is whether Michalek will need surgery to fix the problems permanently. Michalek has had surgery on both of his knees during his career.

Milan Michalek could possibly opt to undergo surgery to alleviate knee trouble. Photo by Jana Chytilova, The Ottawa Citizen.

Once again, it’s a case of two steps forward, one step backward for Milan Michalek.

Michalek’s troublesome knee issues have re-appeared — he suffered “a setback,” according to Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean — keeping him out of the lineup for Monday’s game against the Boston Bruins.

The concern now is whether Michalek will need surgery to fix the problems permanently. Michalek has had surgery on both of his knees during his career.

Michalek sat out 10 games before returning to the lineup for road games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers last week, but he acknowledged that he had contemplated surgery during his absence.

Michalek practised Sunday, but was a no-show for Monday morning’s skate, in preparation for the Bruins.

“It’s a maintenance thing,” MacLean said. “Whether it’s on-going, we don’t know. It will kind of be a day-to-day thing.”

Under normal circumstances, losing a guy who is coming off a career-high 35-goal season would be an enormous blow to the organization. Yet in a season in which the Senators have defined themselves for their ability to survive despite the lengthy injury list, it’s just another chapter. The band plays on.

“You get used to it,” captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “We’ve had guys step up through the whole season and done a good job of it. It’s nothing new. Whoever is in the lineup is going to go out there and do their utmost and play hard.

“We’re used to switching up the lines and adjusting. We’ve got a pretty good idea of what the coach wants us to do and it has been working pretty well so far.”

On Monday against the Bruins, the Senators inserted Guillaume Latendresse into Michalek’s spot on a line with Alfredsson and centre Zack Smith.

THE DAILY INJURY UPDATE

In keeping with the injury theme, there were no significant recovery developments among the others who are sidelined: Anderson (ankle), Spezza (back disc surgery), Karlsson (Achilles surgery), Dave Dziurzynski (concussion) and Mike Lundin (concussion).

GRYBA PAYS TRIBUTE TO PARKER

Senators defenceman Eric Gryba says legendary Boston University coach Jack Parker played a major role in his development.

Accordingly, he was pull of praise Monday for Parker, who announced he would retire following the current season.

Parker is the U.S. college equivalent of former Ottawa 67’s coach and general manager Brian Kilrea. He has been behind the BU bench for 40 years, winning 894 games, three NCAA titles and 21 Beanpot championships.

Gryba was on the 2009 NCAA championship team and won two of those Beanpot titles.

“I have a ton of respect for Jack,” he said. “We had four good years together. He was critical in my development to get me where I am, so I hope this is the best for him. He was always stressing the little things, making me not just a better player on the ice, but a better person off the ice. That’s what he has done with all of his players.”

kwarren@ottawacitizen.com

Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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