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Muckler confident Senators can get back on winning track

Friday, 20.10.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
Ottawa Senators
Muckler says the Senators players are committed to turning their game around.

by Todd Anderson

With more than 50 years of experience in professional hockey, Senators general manager John Muckler has helped plenty of teams break out of slumps. With a record of 2-4-0 this season, Muckler offers his insight on what the Senators have to do to get back on the winning track.

"Slumps are always very difficult to get out of. I always maintain the only way to get out of a slump is hard work," Muckler says. "You've got to forget about all your fancy plays and so on down the line. You just got to get yourself dirty and do what you have to do to score goals."

"We can't have the breakdowns that we've had. We can't have a good first period, then a bad second period and a mediocre third period. We have to get back to playing at the level we're capable of playing. To do that, first (the players) have to relax. We're a veteran hockey club now, so we should be able to do that."

Muckler says he's seen first-hand how teams can bounce back from slumps like this.

"I can remember (when he coached the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s) we went on a road trip one time on a five-game stint out east. We lost all five games. We lost to Hartford (Whalers) 11-2 and we went on to win the Stanley Cup. Those things happen to every club, that's my point. It's impossible to play all 82 games well. We've gotten ourselves into this slump and we have to play ourselves out of this slump. No one is going to help us."

Muckler says the players are committed to turning their game around.

"They know when they play well and they don't play well. They'll put more pressure on themselves than (the media), management, the coaching staff or the fans will put on them. They're professional hockey players and they come here every night trying to win. Things happen. We got into a slump. We got frustrated. Now we have to work ourselves out of it, and we will."

Line combinations
Senators head coach Bryan Murray's line combinations at this morning's practice included Patrick Eaves, Dean McAmmond and Daniel Alfredsson; Antoine Vermette, Chris Kelly and Dany Heatley; Chris Neil, Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher; and Brian McGrattan, Alexei Kaigorodov, Christoph Schubert and Denis Hamel sharing time on the other line. Peter Schaefer took the practice off to rest a nagging hip flexor injury.

Murray didn't confirm if these lines would remain intact for Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06
SENS ARMY FAN POLL