Neil: Less is more
Throughout the ups and downs of this season with a resilient team that has battled through a lot of adversity, the veteran leadership of the Sens has been praised throughout the year. Now, with the team in the midst of a five game losing streak, the veterans are answering the bell again and addressing what needs to be done to right the ship.
As part of the long-standing core in Ottawa, Chris Neil has frequently worn the rotating 'A' that goes to whoever is deserving in the lineup. He acknowledged that the team has positives to take away from their play, they simply need to get their "swagger back."
"The last two games we've done a lot of stuff right, we gave ourselves a chance to win both games -- came up short, obviously -- but it's one of those things where you're trying to find ways to do a little extra. Sometimes less is more," said Neil. "If you over-forecheck or over-backcheck the puck ends up in the back of your net and it's not from lack of effort. We always use that saying, 'less is more.' In this case, that's what we should be looking at."
While many are quick to point out that the Sens' recent opponents and, by extension, their places in the standings should make the stretch easier, Neil notes it was just a couple of years ago the Sens were in a similar position. Teams with nothing to lose play loose and, as a result, cause havoc for those higher up the standings,
"When we made all of our trades and went younger, there's nothing to lose, you just go out and play. That's a big part is just staying loose and that's the players' job," said Neil. "Our coaches are doing a great job preparing us for the game and I think for us we have to get back to having fun out there. You play your systems, you generate a lot and that's fun hockey. If you get a win or two here that helps."
Going forward for the Sens the focus is on snapping out of their current drought and peaking at the right time. Slumps and streaks are simply part of the ebb and flow of the season.
"We're a young team but with the older guys around, we've been through it. Every team has their ups and downs. Toronto went through it earlier in the year and we're going through it now, we want to go into the playoffs on a high note, we want to get some wins and be playing our best hockey going in there."
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