Jason Spezza hopes the 'C' on his chest isn't the mark he gets for leadership.

He certainly deserves an 'A' for his attitude through rough times.

Now, three months into his tenure with the Phoenix Coyotes in town Saturday for a matinee, Spezza is trying to lead by example to right the ship through rough, unchartered waters that many have never experienced.

Coming off a back-to-back losses to the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers, the club's lightning rod for criticism swore he isn't feeling the weight of the 'C' and Spezza is determined to get the club back on track.

"When we're losing games I feel the pressure of trying to help us win and start playing better," said Spezza Friday. "I can't say it's more because I'm the captain.

"Even before, I've always taken the losses pretty hard, especially when you lose a few in a row. I've grown accustomed to winning more games than we lose. I've grown accustomed to making the playoffs. I've grown accustomed to have success personally.

"These are all things that when it doesn't happen, I've always been a guy that's been pretty frustrated."

The fingers were pointed at Spezza when coach Paul MacLean noted after the club's ugly loss to the Devils he felt that leadership was part of the problem. He qualified that statement Thursday by saying he meant the whole group but by then many felt Spezza was being blamed by the coach.

Spezza said he got the message.

"There's no hiding behind it. He was pointing his finger at us and we have to accept the challenge and try to be better," said Spezza. "When you're the leader of a group you have bring your best and try to help the team, especially when we're struggling."

Spezza, a student of the game, said this isn't easy with the club not having success. He isn't the kind of guy who leaves the rink and everything behind. He takes the losing home and spends time analyzing how to improve.

"That's just how I am, I'm passionate about the game," said Spezza, who spends most nights watching hockey if the club isn't playing. "I enjoy it and it's lot more enjoyable when you are winning games.