Flyers crush Senators
MacLean calls closed-door meeting after game
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
|Senators forward Zack Smith battles with Flyers defenceman Braydon Coburn at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ont., Oct. 18,2011. (ERROL McGIHON/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA - Senators coach Paul MacLean has seen enough.
After getting embarrassed at Scotiabank Place for the second straight game — this time a 7-2 loss to the Flyers — the Senators held a 15-minute players’ only meeting.
Opening a three-game homestand, only Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson were able to beat Philly backup goalie Sergei Bobrovsky as the Senators dropped their third straight. To make matters worse, they’ve been outscored 14-3 in the last two losses at home.
So, what was the tone of the meeting?
“It was a wakeup call to all of us to be more accountable,” said defenceman Chris Phillips. “We have to figure out what our identity is and be better to a man really.
“We can’t be going home thinking, ‘I had my guy and everybody else is doing a bad job.’ We have to take a long, hard look at ourselves and figure out how we can be better and how each guy can help the team more.”
That’s true, but the Senators are letting the opposition help themselves. Alex Auld — making his second straight start — was chased after allowing four goals on 10 shots in the first period in favour of No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson.
MacLean was disturbed by what he saw.
“It’s time for some self-evaluation and to look in the mirror and ask the guy there if you’re doing enough,” said MacLean. “The coaching staff is going to have to do that itself because obviously what we’re doing is translating from a practice into a game.
“We need to have a self-evaluation of ourselves and make sure that we’re doing the right things.”
MacLean wouldn’t let Auld take the blame.
“The system goes wrong and everything goes wrong,” said MacLean. “The coaching hasn’t been very good, the forwards haven’t been very good, the defence is no good and the goalie is no good when it’s going on.
“We’re in it together. We’re going to win together, we’re going to lose together and we’re going to fix it together.”
Auld was terrible. The first goal by Matt Read went in off his back. Then, it just got worse from there. Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux and Maxime Talbot scored to make it 4-0 after the first period.
Anderson, who missed Monday’s practice for personal reasons, left his seat on the bench after the first and took over. He surrendered third-period goals to Sean Couturier, Harrison Zolnierczyk and James Van Riemsdyk.
“I definitely didn’t do what I set out to do,” said Auld. “I didn’t really give the guys much of an opportunity to get off to a good start.
“I definitely feel like they deserve better goaltending. I don’t feel like I did my job.”
Auld wasn’t the only one who felt like he fell short.
“We’ve got to find more urgency in our game and more resilience when things go bad,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. “You’re going to have situations where you get a bounce or whatever against you.
“It’s how you respond to that. We’ve got to do a much better job of that and move the puck up and play up in their end and give a pushback right away. It seems like we just start playing when the game is out of hand.”