UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Senators are wondering if maybe it's Dick Pound who is in a drug-induced state.
The Senators are wondering if maybe it's Dick Pound who is in a drug-induced state.
The players were shocked Pound, the Montreal lawyer who is president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, told Sun Media on Thursday that he thinks as many as one-third of the NHL's 700 players might take some form of performance-enhancing substance.
"There's nobody on our team taking anything," Senators centre Bryan Smolinski said "I'm shocked (Pound) would say something like that. I've been around a long time and I haven't seen anything like that.
"I would say it would be irresponsible to suggest that there is nobody in the league taking anything, but I wouldn't say the number is that drastic. It's a big risk ... especially with the new measures the NHL brought in to protect these things."
The players insist Pound's accusations have no basis in fact.
Of current NHLers, only Buffalo's Andrew Peters has admitted he took performance-enhancing drugs.
"I don't know where he came up with that stat. It sounds to me like he's pulling it out of his hat," said Ottawa defenceman Chris Phillips. "He doesn't base it on any hard evidence. It sounds to me like he is just guessing. I don't think there is a problem."
Isles coach Steve Stirling isn't winning any friends. In the wake of a 4-3 shootout loss to Buffalo on Wednesday, he held a skating practice without pucks the following day. "I thought for the last 30 minutes we didn't skate," said Stirling. "I just wanted to send a message we didn't skate (Wednesday) night, so we had to do it." Getting ready to face the Senators yesterday, Stirling added: "If I was (Ottawa), I'd be licking my chops." Actually, it was Thanksgiving turkey ... Senators W Dany Heatley keeps on rolling. He increased his team record point-scoring streak to 20 games with his first-period goal. Heatley is only three games shy of Wayne Gretzky's NHL record of scoring in 23 straight games with a new team (1988-89 with the Kings) from the start of a season.
Turning the Puck Over:
It didn't take long for Senators tough guy Brian McGrattan to exchange punches with Isles counterpart Eric Godard. They went toe-to-toe on their first shift in a bout we'll call a draw ... How the mighty have fallen? Alexei Yashin's left winger is Arron Asham. Maybe the Isles should make a deal for Boston LW Shawn McEachern. He and Yashin had chemistry in Ottawa ... Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson received a double-minor at 13:45 of the second period -- one of them for unsportsmanlike conduct. So, what did he say? "Don't get me started on that. It pissed me off," said Alfredsson. "I didn't say anything (to Bill McCreary) I wouldn't say to my son."
Ready for a Comeback:
Senators RW Martin Havlat called from Ottawa to confirm he skated for 40 minutes yesterday "and I'm feeling much better." Troubled by a hamstring injury, Havlat hasn't ruled out playing tonight. "I'm going to try skating again (today) and then make a decision. If I don't play (tonight) I'll be back on Tuesday for sure (vs. Montreal)," Havlat told the Sun.
Yesterday was the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S. No wonder there was a Brinks truck located outside the Burlington Coat Factory in nearby Garden City ... A fan thought they might be in for a treat when they caught a stick in the stands that flew out of the hands of Senators C Antoine Vermette in the second. That didn't last long. A security guard was given a chorus of boos when he went up and took it back ... The fans were chanting "Fire Stirling" in the third period. Given GM Mike Milbury's track record, they will get their wish ... soon ... G Dominik Hasek will start tonight against the Bruins.