'A new year, new goals'

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

DETROIT -- He has made unbelievable saves off the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull and Jaromir Jagr during his brilliant, 16-season NHL career, but yesterday morning, Dominik Hasek simply couldn't figure out how to stop the Gin Blossoms.

As he prepared to speak with a media horde hours before facing his former teammates, Hasek thought he'd do the sound bytes a favour by turning down the hit Hey Jealousy that was blaring in the Red Wings dressing room. But, standing before the stereo system for at least a full minute, he was unable to figure out how to complete the task.

Finally, Hasek shrugged and returned to the scrum while defenceman Andreas Lilja, who had been watching the scene from across the room, chuckled and came to the rescue.

"It's the one marked 'volume,' " said Lilja, who immediately solved the problem with a twist of his fingers.

"It doesn't matter how old you are ... always, the first game against an old team is very special," Hasek told reporters when asked about facing the Senators. "That is how it is for me today. They decided to go in a different direction, and that's okay with me. I wound up with a chance to play in Hockeytown, and maybe that's even better for me.

"I didn't accomplish what I wanted to in Ottawa," he added. "But this is a new year, and I have new goals."

They include staying healthy, making a lot more stops, and maybe, just maybe, figuring out how the dressing room sound system works.

STARTS AND STOPS: Chris Chelios ripped on the Senators and Bryan Murray for deciding it was time to walk away from Hasek. "Whether Murray was frustrated or Ottawa was frustrated with him, I think personally it's a stupid move to get rid of Dom because he was playing at the top of his game when he went out," the 44-year-old defenceman told Detroit reporters Monday. "Things happen and everybody looks for a scapegoat or excuse, and Dom seemed to be the guy last year. We're so lucky to get him at the price we did, it's incredible ... he just picked up right where he left off." ... Murray's response yesterday: "That's Chris Chelios. Maybe he'll be a GM or coach someday, then he will be able to make decisions that impact the future of an organization. There's no secret. We know Dominik Hasek is a quality goaltender. But you know the reason we let him go." Bit of an injury risk, as we remember ... Asked yesterday how the groin has been so far this season, Hasek said: "So far, so good. Thank you."

BETWEEN PERIODS: Playing his first NHL game last night was 21-year-old C Josh Hennessy, who became a Senator in the three-way deal that put Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski to Chicago. Hennessy, who had nine goals and 13 assists in 27 games with Bingo, was filling in for Brian McGrattan, who cut his hand in a fight with Jody Shelley on Sunday. "Obviously, I'm very, very excited," Hennessy said after the morning skate. "I had a tough time sleeping last night and I was up at 4 a.m. to catch a plane. I thought it would take a little longer to be the next in line, I would not have been disappointed if (the callup) would have come a later."

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM...: Went to a downtown bar owned by Chelios called Cheli's Chilli to watch Monday Night Football. Got there at 9 p.m. It was closed, and looked like it had been for hours. A bar in a big city sending the staff home when there's a sporting spectacular (Da Bears) on TV. Now that's a stupid move ... You want focus? Ray Emery stood feet away from a sizzling anthem singer for two full songs last night and never once glanced her way. Now that's focus.

DOWN LOW: A three-foot tall son of Tomas Holstrom's accidentally collided with injured D Danny Markov around a corner of the Wings dressing room yesterday morning, and when Markov tried to hold him up, the kid responded by throwing a punch. When a surprised Markov went to grab him in a wrestle, the young lad spit at him and ran away. And the Red Wings were always such a close-knit family, weren't they? ... Last night marked the first time Detroit coach Mike Babcock coached against Murray, who gave him his first job behind an NHL bench when he was GM of the Mighty Ducks. Said Babcock: "Obviously, Bryan is a quality man and a quality coach, and my family and myself are forever indebted to him. I think Bryan leaving Anaheim was one of the main reasons I left Anaheim. He wasn't always happy with me, but I learned a lot from him." ... Joe Corvo wears No. 7 in honour of Chelios, who he idolized while growing up in Chicago when the veteran had that number with the Hawks. Of Chelios' longevity, Corvo just shook his head. "He told me he wants to play until he's 50, and I believe him. He's like an iron man. See him with his shirt off? He's still ripped and cut."


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