It must get like this around a theatre production toward the end of rehearsals.

Actors get antsy to get on with the show.

As they finish the last of their casual dress rehearsal skates National Hockey League players are ready to get back to work. Depending on how successful their teams were in the spring some have been away from the action for four months.

In the case of the Ottawa Senators their last meaningful game was May 24 a Game 5 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second playoff round.

Centre Jason Spezza was in Ottawa’s lineup that night but because of back surgery and then a knee injury during rehabilitation he saw action in only the final three of the Senators’ 10 playoff games. Following the lockout he had appeared in just five regular-season games before his back seized up.

So with a total of eight games played over the last calendar year one can imagine how keen No. 19 is to get back in a hockey dressing room.

“It has been a long time since I’ve been in games so I’m excited to get going again” Spezza said following a well-attended skate at the Bell Sensplex on Monday.

The Senators will open training camp Wednesday. On Tuesday they hold their annual pre-camp golf day this year at Rideau View accompanied by PGA Tour pro Brad Fritsch.

“Those last couple of weeks always drag on a bit until you get into the exhibition games and training camp” Spezza said. “We’re all here we’re all excited and ready to go.

Spezza says his back and knee have held up well during summer training a regimen focused more on movement and flexibility than the usual strength exercises. On Monday Spezza skated alongside Bobby Ryan the Senators’ biggest off-season acquisition. They clicked at times narrowly missing a goal when Ryan who is usually the scorer dished a pass to playmaker Spezza driving the net.