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A walk in the park for Senators

Outdoor fun in New York takes players' minds off struggles

Wednesday, 13.01.2010 / 2:41 PM / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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A walk in the park for Senators
Senators blueliner Chris Campoli posed for a photo with New York policeman Tim Cohn after the team took part in some fun and games on the Lasker Rink in New York's Central Park. Cohn, who enjoyed a stint in goal during a handball game, is a fan of the New York Islanders, Campoli's former team.
This wasn't exactly a relaxing stroll in the park.

Actually, it was much, much better than that for the Ottawa Senators, who exchanged a scheduled Wednesday morning of practice for an hour of fun and frolic on the outdoor Lasker Rink in New York's famed Central Park.

"It was a lot of fun," Senators forward Nick Foligno said after the games of dodgeball and European handball were done. "We had a great time out there, as you could probably see today. I think that was the biggest thing. It’s good to get away from the game a little bit and do something different.”

Especially good when you're stuck in the throes of a five-game losing streak, with three more tough road tests staring you in the face – including Thursday night's matchup with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).

With that thought in mind, Senators head coach Cory Clouston called off a scheduled practice at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan and let the players have the morning to themselves.

"I think it was a real good opportunity for them to get together in (what was) definitely a less stressful atmosphere," said Clouston. "The timing couldn't be better, to be honest. The guys are working hard but they aren't getting the results and feel a lot of pressure on them. I think it was a real good time to step away from it."

Added centre Mike Fisher: "We got to get away from the game a little bit and have a little bit of fun. It was good. Best ice we’ve skated on all year, I think.”

"I think it was a lot of fun. We forgot about a lot of our problems right now. It was a great day. It's not every day you get a chance to do something like that. It's good just to change the routine a bit ... I think that's what we needed." - Pascal Leclaire
It's a much looser attitude the Senators hope they can take with them through the rest of their five-game road trip, which also sees them in Montreal on Saturday and Boston on Monday.

"I think it was a lot of fun. We forgot about a lot of our problems right now," said goaltender Pascal Leclaire. "It was a great day. It's not every day you get a chance to do something like that. This morning, we weren't sure what we were going to get into, but I think everybody had a lot of fun. It's good just to change the routine a bit ... I think that's what we needed.

“Tomorrow, I think we’re all going to go to the rink with that same mind frame and have fun and take it from there. If we put too much pressure on ourselves, I think we’ll dig a bigger hole. We’re just trying to have fun together and we’ll see what happens.”

Even one of New York's finest joined in the fun. Policeman Tim Cohn, a life-long New York Islanders fan, used his nightstick to help guard the net during the handball game. Then he smiled for a photo with Senators defenceman Chris Campoli, a former Islander.

"It was awesome," Cohn told NHL.com. "I'll never forget it."

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 62 15 34 1 49
B. Ryan 58 17 31 9 48
K. Turris 62 16 29 -3 45
M. Hoffman 59 23 17 24 40
M. Stone 60 15 25 12 40
M. Zibanejad 60 16 19 3 35
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
M. Michalek 57 11 15 -1 26
D. Legwand 60 8 14 -4 22
A. Chiasson 56 9 12 -8 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02