Habs streak no big deal

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:53 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Despite three consecutive victories and a .500 record to show for their efforts, Montreal Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin isn't letting it go to his head.

There's no pause for reflection when asked if his team is where he wanted it 10 games into the season -- he answers immediately.

"No. A record of .500 doesn't get us to the playoffs," said Martin. "Last year, the Canadiens got 93 points and ended up in eighth place. It's important to get wins. We might need 12 games above .500 to get to the playoffs."

Of course, that doesn't mean Martin won't be savouring the victory over the Rangers, the toughest club his players have come up against so far, he says.

"It's a win that lets us show our team's character," he explained. "We battled adversity to come up from behind and didn't give up. We fought to stay in the game. In the third period when it was close, we played well defensively. It shows our players' commitment."

Even though he's obviously happy with the hat trick from Mike Cammalleri, the Habs' coach maintained he wasn't at all worried about his forward's performance so far this season.

"After the first five games, Mike was our leader in scoring chances. With a player with his talent, eventually you know he'll find the net. It would be worrying if he didn't get any chances to score, but that's not the case," he said, adding that he liked his "positive attitude" while he struggled to turn his game around.

It took Cammalleri seven games before getting his first goal as a member of the Canadiens. He now leads his team with 11 points, including five goals.

Sens power shortage

OTTAWA -- There are many questions the good folks of Ottawa have to be asking each other as the Senators return to work.

Among them: How is a power play that features so many talented players so absolutely horrible? What would possess Anton Volchenkov to abandon the front of his net to fetch a stick in the final half-minute of a game his team is leading by one goal? What does Jason Spezza have to do to score? Will Daniel Alfredsson ever get old? Can Milan Michalek keep up a torrid pace that currently sees him finishing the season with 54 goals and zero assists?

By now, most should agree on one thing. After nine games, the Senators at least look like they are back on the road to respectability.

"It's so early in the season, but every time we've stepped on the ice, if we haven't won, we've given ourselves a chance to," Chris Phillips, perhaps the most consistent of the bunch and owner of a team-leading plus-6, said following Saturday's 88-second meltdown and disappointing 4-3 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins.

"We're getting lots of chances, we're getting shots, we're playing the game right, we're playing together. We're playing with intensity."

At 5-2-2 and lodged in the middle of a four-team pack separated by three points atop the Northeast Division, the Senators would be third in the conference had they nabbed all that was there for the taking in the last two games.


Videos

Photos