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Senators showing positive signs

Wednesday, 12.5.2007 / 3:27 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Senators showing positive signs
The Ottawa Senators are starting to see a ray of hope.

Now they’d like to take the next step forward and put an end to their longest winless streak in more than 11 years.

The next opportunity to end the seven-game skid comes Wednesday night at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., when the Senators hit the ice against the Florida Panthers and former coach Jacques Martin (7:30 p.m., A-Channel, Team 1200).

For the Senators, the matchup with the Panthers comes one night after they battled back from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime against the Tampa Bay Lightning, only to fall 4-3 in a shootout.
Technically, it’s not a loss, but it also isn’t the victory everyone has been starved for since Nov. 19.

“You just want to end it as quick as you can,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson after Wednesday’s optional pre-game game skate. “I think we’re showing signs of coming out of it.”

Senators head coach John Paddock also noticed a much improved effort over the one shown in Saturday’s 5-2 home loss to the New York Rangers.

“I think we battled harder (against Tampa),” he said. “We had some letdown moments but I think we started real strong. We had two or three real good (early) scoring chances … After that, we carried the play in the second and third periods.”

The Senators also got a fiery, top-notch goaltending effort from Ray Emery, who’ll get a second straight start Wednesday night.

“He gave us a chance to stay in the hockey game,” said Paddock. “There were no weak goals. He had to make a handful of big saves against a team that’s explosive … I thought he was pretty sharp and into the game.”

Scoring the first goal would be a big help against the Panthers. The Senators haven’t held a lead in four straight games now.

“We need to be better as a team, we need to be better individually, and we’ve just got to keep working. That’s the biggest thing,” said Alfredsson.

“We’ve been putting ourselves in tough positions by letting in the first and second goals most nights. We’ve got to find a way to get off to better starts.”

While the seven-game winless streak – the Senators’ longest since the 1995-96 season – has been frustrating, defenceman Wade Redden insisted it hasn’t sapped the players’ confidence.

“It’s the little things (that are hurting us), I guess,” he said. “It’s (about) just being mentally ready. It’s not a fact that we don’t believe in each other at all. We’ve just got to realize what makes us good.

“Sometimes you get a little fat and you get a little off your game because you’ve had success, but we’ve got to realize that what does it for us is making simple plays. We get the puck in situations and we’re trying to hold on to it for another second or half a second to make a better play, when the first one is usually the best one to make.”

The bounces haven’t exactly been going the Senators’ way lately, either. But Paddock said that kind of luck evens itself out over the course of a season.

“If you’re really working hard enough, you get the breaks,” he said. “I think we worked an awful lot harder (Tuesday) night than we did in the Ranger game.

“But you don’t get (the breaks) if you don’t deserve them. We haven’t got them lately, and I think that’s just an indication that there’s still a little bit more to give.”




1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02