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Filip Kuba undergoes surgery, out at least a month

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The Ottawa Senators will not have Filip Kuba, the team's defensive leader in points, for a month, meaning he will definitely miss the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kuba underwent surgery in Los Angeles to fix herniated disks in his back, an injury that was suffered during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Ottawa has a thing for Czech players getting injured in the Olympics before playoff runs, doesn't it? GM Bryan Murray stated that Kuba would be out at least a month and not be able to return this season unless the team makes it past the first round. Even then, there is no telling when he'd be ready to play.

I realize that Filip Kuba is not the most popular player on the Ottawa Senators, but he is an important part of the team's defense, particularly the blueline's offensive game. He led the team in defensive points last season by a wide margin (he had 40, the next highest was Chris Phillips with 24), and continues to hold a lead despite playing only 53 games (although Erik Karlsson has more goals than him). He has 13 points in 24 career playoff games, which is nothing to sneeze at (particularly given both of . Although his defensive game leaves a lot to be desired, his slick passes on the breakout and on the powerplay would likely make up for it.

The team could certainly use Kuba in the lineup, particularly because of his playoff and Olympic experience. With Kuba out, the defenseman with the third most NHL playoff experience becomes Chris Campoli, he of 5 playoff games. Andy Sutton and probable call-up Brian Lee each have 4 games of experience, while Matt Carkner and Erik Karlsson have never played in an NHL playoff game. Brian Elliott must be brimming with confidence in his postseason blueline.