Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ottawa Turning on Spezza

For years now I've been harping about Jason Spezza's liabilities on the defensive end. In fact, it's triggered some pretty heated arguments betweens friends and colleagues. According to Chris Stevenson, the rest of the city appears to be waking up:

Boos for Spezza

Senators centre Jason Spezza heard it from the crowd at Scotiabank Place tonight when he turned the puck over on a Senators power play, an oft-repeated mistake which this time led to the short-handed winning goal by Colorado’s Brad Richardson.
When Spezza set up Dany Heatley for his first goal of the season (near as I can figure it took Heatley 22 shots before he got his first), both Spezza and Alfredsson were booed when Stuntman Stu announced the assists.
Help me out here, folks: I can’t remember the last time Senators fans booed one of their own. I know Alexei Yashin heard it, but that was because of the all contract stuff. The team has been booed collectively, for sure, but singling out one guy for on-ice performance?
It hasn’t happened often.
I’m not saying Spezza doesn’t deserve it. To make things worse, he turned around and put it right on the stick of an Avalanche player in the third when Ottawa was on the power play and trying to tie it up.
It’s unacceptable. Coach Bryan Murray has tried making his point face-to-face and in the media, but the same mistakes keep getting made. What’s next? Making Spezza a healthy scratch?
Who could argue against that move?

I would be the biggest Spezza fan if he didn't make that costly giveaway in almost every game. Spezza is an electrifying player, someone who creates a buzz in the stadium every time he's on the puck. However, as I've argued before, there's just no getting away from the fact that he can just as equally win us a game as lose us a game.

This is just a hunch, but I get the feeling that Spezza will be the first major Senators player to suit up for the Toronto Maple Leafs. As soon as his current deal in Ottawa expires, he'll be heading straight to the Queen City.


Mathieu said...

When does Spezza's contract end?

Ottawa Sports Guy said...

He signed a two-year contract before the start of the season.