Why Jason Spezza spoke up at the most critical point for the Maple Leafs

Tampa-Not all prime time players are in prime.

Not all heroes wear cloaks.

Not all leaders wear letters.

At 82nd Best game Normal Season Toronto Maple Leafs Lore, this new wave graffiti graffiti, a superstar celebrating a double windmill is being scratched for rest, 38 years old Jason Spezer I noticed that I was wearing an “A” on the sweater of the team I supported when I was a boy.

In vintage fashion, he downplayed his honor and role.

“At this point in my career,” said former Ottawa Senator captain. That night“I think you lead without a letter.”

Speza, 38, has been a booster since landing at home.

It was very realistic that Reefs could inflate the early deficit of 2-0 Game 5 into the holes of the 3-2 series and get a huge chance. Tampa Bay Lightning Eliminate them with home ice on Thursday.

But when the Toronto skaters were in a bad mood and later submitted them to their dressing room, the oldest of them piped. Don’t worry about the 4th line and the occasional healthy scratch status.

Spezza delivered an exciting message with harsh love. It’s tough but encouraging. Slap her face and tap her back.

Since then, all his teammates have talked about the impact of the pulpit of the break, which has listened to them and prompted them to take action.

“That was almost everything. He let us know what we needed to do. And he was also very positive and talked about the group we are here. Great speech. I thought it was. He cheered us all up, “said Michael Banting. “He is the leader of our room and very loud. Everyone listened to him. And it was a great speech. He really moved everyone.”

“Everyone listens when he speaks. I personally heard there. And I think the boys responded well,” he said. Jack CampbellThe relationship with Spezza dates back to the Dallas era.

Spezza also emphasized talking to the goalkeeper during the first TV timeout of an important game. Neither friend wants to disclose the details of the conversation, but the impact was obvious.

Campbell locked in and allowed, but scored one goal in a 53-minute span, allowing Reefs to come back to life and reset to start a memorable and important comeback.

“Whenever a lot of encouragement was happening in the room this year, it was great,” Campbell admitted. “We never looked back.”

You need to gain a certain level of trust among your teammates. Then you can lean on it.

Spezza learned this with 995 points in 19 seasons, 1,248 games and regular seasons, but suffered Anaheim in 2007 after his 95 important playoff games and a game-by-game point run to the Stanley Cup Finals. I also learned about anaheim. Ottawa he recorded for nearly 21 minutes at night … and came cupless.

“Sometimes I have to say something unpleasant, and sometimes I have to aggressively strengthen it. I think it’s all part of the process of joining the team,” says Spezza.

“I was very fortunate to be a young man who was the top pick to go to a good team, so there were Daniel Alfredson, Chris Phillips and Wade Reden. Chris Kelly Even though we were the same age, I was the guy who learned a lot. He is a very stoic leader and speaks at the right time. Comes to a good team that was knocking on the door I was very lucky to be able to do it. “

Late career Spezza stayed at the front door, minimizing salary and line-up influence.

He adapted. He is humble. He rallyed.

He is desperate in the best possible way.Not a fighter, but to the point where laughter comes out I dropped my gloves In the 2020 playoff bubble, an attempt to grab with Dean Kukan of Columbus stimulated the boy’s life.

“Everything you experience is part of your experience, part of your story, and part of what you want in difficult moments. Spezz has been around longer than anyone else.” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe says.

“Spets has a lot of history for him. He has experienced a lot. He has seen a lot. And he also knows that he doesn’t have much time left. So he’s all-in.

“He goes all-in when he gets a chance and a chance, but he also goes all-in to help push others to try to reach where we need to reach. So he’s doing everything he can and our team will succeed. “

Why didn’t Keef change line 4 after Game 4’s disappointment? I had to choose between Kyle Clifford, Wayne Simmons and Spezza.

In words and actions, it’s hard to argue that everyone wants this opportunity than Spezer, whose playoff beard ratio is starting to reduce salt more than pepper.

He represents desperate urgency and patient wisdom all at once.

Watching the play is very beautiful and potentially tragic.

Ask Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Henrik Lundqvist.

“You are trying to learn from the mistakes of the past — that’s what we’re trying to do. But we’re also in another group. Men are at different points in their careers. The men have matured, “says Spezza.

“But again, we’ve made progress, and this is a new version of the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

Spezza speeches may be a thing. But it would be even bigger if a young man who respected him could follow up on it by playing over .500 hockey in games 6 and 7.

“We thus gained the feeling that the crowd was hiding behind us, and it was special. After spending such a night, leaving the link, the city behind us When you see it, you’ll want to play more hockey games, “Spezza says.

With a goofy laugh, as he speaks, it’s clear that the young senator’s top picks are all the faces of the game. All business.

All in.

“Because I’m here now, I can’t miss that moment.”

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