No offence, Jacques, but Sens like new style

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

The difference has been like night and day since Bryan Murray took over as coach of the Senators from longtime bench boss Jacques Martin.

And with Martin paying his first visit to Ottawa tonight as coach of the Panthers, there was plenty of talk yesterday about what Murray has brought to the team since taking over from Martin, who was behind the Senators' bench for 81/2 seasons.

"Obviously, Bryan is a little more offensive-minded and he allows us to be a little more creative offensively," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said following practice yesterday the Bell Sensplex.

"(Murray) wants us to play a bit more of a pressure game. Bryan is a little more willing to let us make mistakes defensively than maybe Jacques was. But being with Jacques was fun because we were winning. It doesn't matter how you win ... as long as you win. You want to have success. This is just a different mindset."

Speaking of mindsets, Martin Havlat's was pretty much that of Alfredsson's.

"Bryan Murray is a little more offensive-minded and he lets us be a little bit more free with the puck," said the Ottawa winger. "Jacques liked us to concentrate on playing defence first, but that didn't mean he didn't want us scoring goals. I know one thing: In my opinion, they're both good men."

CHANGES COMING: The power play continues to be a sore spot with Murray. The Senators are 1-for-23 with the man advantage in their last three games, which means there will be more changes. "I saw this coming," said Murray. "We were trying to do some risky things and score easy goals. I'm going to have to think about changing a couple of guys to get things going." So Havlat, who was moved up to the first power-play unit following an 0-for-10 performance last Thursday in Boston, could be back on the second unit and Alfredsson could move up from the point to the first forward unit. "I don't know what it is. We're trying to make passes that aren't getting through and we're maybe trying to do too much. We have to be better in that area," said Havlat. Senators D Wade Redden said the club has to start getting more shots on net. "We've got to shoot the puck more. That would help a lot," said Redden. Naturally, whenever the subject of the power play is raised in the dressing room, the famous quote from the movie Slap Shot where coach Reggie Dunlop walks into the bar comes up: "Hey, Reg, you gotta do something about the power play." "We're working on it," responded Redden.

AROUND THE BOARDS: Tickets for the second half of the season will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. There is a limit of eight ducats per person, but the Senators haven't had any problems selling seats. Including pre-season, nine of the first 12 games at the Corel Centre have been sold out. The club has been averaging 19,249 per game. That's an increase of 2,035 (11.8%) from the 2003-04 season ... A Florida TV crew was planning to spend the afternoon with Martin. They were going to follow him back to his home town of St. Pascal and Rockland to see where it all started for Martin ... The Blue Jackets put C Todd Marchant on waivers yesterday. Don't be surprised if he's picked up by the Mighty Ducks because there's word he refused to give up his no-trade clause to be part of the Sergei Fedorov deal. Now, all Anaheim GM Brian Burke has to do is claim Marchant off waivers and that will simply circumvent the no-trade clause.


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