Senators coaching staff fine-tuning the game plan
|Senators assistant coach John Paddock, left, instructs a group of players during practice at Scotiabank Place on Tuesday.|
by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators are working hard to remain one of the top teams in the NHL. For the second consecutive day, the team held an energetic practice that lasted longer than the usual hour-long sessions. Before the players got on the ice this morning at 10:30 a.m., they participated in an off-ice workout in the conditioning room. Head coach Bryan Murray and his staff are taking full advantage of a four-day break between games to get some extra work in with the players.
"I think they (the players) know what we want," Murray said.. "Repetition is a good thing for them. We're just repeating things so they get comfortable with it again."
Murray says after a hectic pre-season, which included a roster much larger than the regular-season lineup, it's nice to be able to key on things now that a smaller group is present.
"To be down to a smaller group really pays dividends. The players have had a real good approach. I hope they get rewarded for the hard work they've been putting in at practice."
The Senators style of play could have a new look when they host the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
"(On the power play) we're not moving and we're not moving the puck," Murray said. "We get locked in one corner and we try passes that don't have to be tried. We have some ability on the blueline, who can pass and shoot. The puck doesn't go back enough (to the defenceman)."
Murray also recalled the four goals scored against his team during the 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in their last game on Friday.
"All four goals were scored off turnovers. Sometimes, like it or not, you just have to put the puck behind their defenders and just try to retrieve it. You have to understand the score, and what time of the game it is."
Corvo's return date uncertain
Senators defenceman Joe Corvo isn't sure when he'll be able to play his first regular-season game as a Senator. The former Los Angeles King suffered a broken right foot while blocking a shot late in the 4-3 pre-season loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Sept. 22.
"I have to have an x-ray first, so I don't know," Corvo answered when asked when he expects to return to practice. "This is tough mentally. I want to be a part of the team and I want to help out. Ask any hockey player; nobody wants to watch games. I'll be a part of it when I feel 100 per cent. Then I'll be back."