Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
FRANÇAIS Official Site of the Ottawa Senators

ALL regular season home game TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

 BUY TICKETS > 

Spezza 'definitely proud of fans' in all-star efforts

Avalanche of votes pushes three Ottawa players into starting spots for 2012 game

Friday, 30.12.2011 / 1:25 PM / 2012 NHL All-Star Game
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
X
Share with your Friends


Spezza \'definitely proud of fans\' in all-star efforts
Jason Spezza (left) and Daniel Alfredsson were NHL all-star teammates in 2008 in Atlanta, and they're in position to do it once again in the 2012 mid-season showcase Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place (Getty Images).
Sens Army, take a huge bow.

So says Senators centre Jason Spezza, who might well be riding a wave of late support into a starting position for the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game, set for Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place.

With just five days left in the fan balloting process which determines the mid-season showcase's six starters — three forwards, two defencemen and one goaltender — Ottawa fans are speaking louder than anyone else in the National Hockey League. As things now stand, half the starting spots are being occupied by Senators players, with Spezza (486,004 votes) surging past injured Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby (458,337) in the last few days to claim the third forward slot behind Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs (592,339) and Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson (537,918).

Ottawa's Erik Karlsson (585,179) has a massive lead over the Leafs' Dion Phaneuf (510,617) to top all defencemen in votes and is just 7,160 behind Kessel for the overall lead.

Given that Ottawa isn't anywhere near being one of the NHL's biggest markets, Spezza said Senators fans are due a huge round of applause for the support they've shown their players on the ballot — a group that also includes Milan Michalek (fifth among forwards, 448.074) and Sergei Gonchar (359,478, sixth among defencemen).

"I don't know if I'm surprised (by the support), because we have pretty good, loyal fans," Spezza said a few hours before the latest all-star results were released."But it's encouraging to see how excited they are about the game. I think there's a lot of buzz around the city about the game and the players are going to really enjoy being here and being in a hockey city for an all-star game.

"I'm definitely proud of the fans with how they've got on board (in fan voting)."

While Karlsson and Alfredsson have had a grip on starting positions for some time now, Spezza has enjoyed a huge surge this week. The Senators centre has picked up more than 42,000 votes in the last three days to move past Crosby, whose support has lagged since he was sidelined with a recurrence of post-concussion symptoms in mid-December.

"It's exciting to see that you've been in the mix," said Spezza, who made his NHL all-star debut in Atlanta in 2008, when Alfredsson became the first Senator ever to be voted into the game as a starter. "It looks like Alfie is going to get in and that's great. I'd love to be a part of it (and) it would be a special honour to be voted in by the fans.

"It seems like the fans have really gotten behind us and Ottawa's not a very big place, so to have as many votes as we have shows the people have really gotten behind us. As a player, (to see that support) is really special."

Fan balloting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 4. To show your support for your Senators, visit vote.nhl.com or text a player's last name to 81812.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06