As I'm sure a lot of you are aware, Bryan Murray hinted on Friday that "there was a light at the end of the tunnel" with regards to Spezza's progress. Spezza is skating with the Black Aces and healthy scratches. Today, MacLean shot down the possibility of Spezza returning for the beginning of round 2, saying that the playoffs were a completely different animal to return to and he hasn't even skated with the team yet.
Is the organization playing down progress like they did with Karlsson? Even in the Karlsson interviews, it was said that he'd be lucky to skate this season -- 2 weeks later he's skating and about a week later, he's back in the line up.
On the other hand, Cowen returned from injury and practiced with the team for weeks before MacLean decided to dress him in a game.
What do you think? Is Spezza actually far off from returning? Will we see him in round 2? Is his situation more similar to Cowen's or Karlsson's?
Here's what I think:
- Spezza is actually relatively close to returning, but he won't be his usual self.
- His situation is closer to Karlsson's in that it doesn't matter if he's not 100%, he's a gamebreaker and would at the very least relieve pressure from the likes of Turris.
- I think we'll see him in round 2. I think the organization is really playing their cards close to their body here. I don't think he'll be there for the start of round 2, but maybe in game 3 or something.
Michalek-Turris-Alfredsson (Keep a "top line" together in an effort to ease Spezza back in. Plus, they're all great two-way forward that can handle hard QoC) Zibanejad-Spezza-Silfverberg (Maintain Silf and Mika's chemistry while giving Spezza something to work with) Conacher-Pageau-Condra (This line was money last series) Greening-Smith-Neil (Reunit the DYEL line and hopefully they'll get some energy (and Colin Greening for that matter) going.