Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/31/14

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 30: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators looks on against the Montreal Canadiens during a game at Scotiabank Place on January 30, 2010 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
We’ve all been forced to endure the ugly numbers of the winter season, -20 C, -30 C, desperately hoping for warmer days ahead. Jason Spezza feels your pain. As much as the Ottawa Senators captain tries not to look too hard at the stats sheet, he acknowledges it’s impossible to ignore the frigid plus/minus figure beside his name – a glaring minus-20 — before Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. There’s only a short list of other players with colder numbers – Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov (minus-29), Buffalo’s Mike Weber (minus-28), Steve Ott (minus-22) and Tyler Myers (minus-22), along with Senators teammate Milan Michalek (minus-22) – and Spezza can’t skate away from the bad digits. “There have been only one or two seasons where I have been a minus player, but the stats kind of creep up on you a little bit and it seems like when you’re paying attention to them, it feels harder to get a plus, I guess,” he said before Thursday’s game against Tampa. “It’s disappointing. It’s almost like you have to ignore it and park it and start from scratch. Kind of try to hit the reset button a little bit for myself mentally, so you’re not constantly staring at the same thing and not judging how you’re playing, ” he explained. “I think I’ve played better hockey the last 10 games. Its important to look at your game in small pictures, not in the whole big picture all the time.” In Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Columbus, Spezza finished on the plus side of the ledger for the first time since Dec. 23. When Spezza has produced offence, it has primarily come on the power play, where a player is not credited for a plus. His last even-strength goal came way back on Nov. 24. Spezza knows he has to find a way to create more offence in five-on-five situations.
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