Coach: Power play, not 'perfect play'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

DENVER -- Senators coach Bryan Murray has a simple message for his power-play units: Shoot the puck.

As the Senators prepare to face the Colorado Avalanche here tonight, Murray is livid about the performance of the power play on this three-game road trip and wants to see an improvement immediately.

After a 1-for-8 performance with the man advantage in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday, the Senators are 1-for-16 on this western trip. And in their last four road games, just 3-for-27.

"I don't know what it is on the road. We don't have the attitude on the road that we do at home. Why is that? I don't know. I know one thing, we refuse to shoot the puck," said a frustrated Murray.

"We always seem to be looking for the perfect play and we end up not having any traffic in front. You have to have success on the power play to have success in the NHL."

Murray said he has told Chris Neil and Mike Fisher to go to the front of the net to try to screen the opponent's goalie.

"There's no shots, so they have to leave the front of the net to try to support what is happening out there," said Murray. "It's frustrating for them. I told them, 'Go to the front, and maybe they'll shoot the puck at you.' We do these things at home, we don't get it done on the road."

The statistics back up Murray's accusations. The Senators, who rank fourth overall in the league on the power play, are No. 1 at home (27.5%) and No. 15 on the road (15.6%).

"We've got to do a better job on the power play," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We score on any of our chances and we're going to have a pretty good shot at winning the game."

NO BERTUZZI HERE: The Senators aren't making a pitch for F Todd Bertuzzi. While it's doubtful the club could take on Bertuzzi's $5.2-million (all figures US) contract, a report out of Vancouver yesterday had the Canucks trying to move their star to Ottawa for Wade Redden or Zdeno Chara. The report, quoting an unnamed NHL GM, also indicated Bertuzzi has requested a trade. Even though Redden and Chara could become unrestricted free agents this summer, it's doubtful the Senators will move either of them before the end of the year. In fact, GM John Muckler will be making an effort to re-sign them next month. "We're going to try to keep both," said Muckler recently. "Are we going to be able to do that? I don't know, but we're certainly going to try. It's a no-brainer to try and sign them. Hopefully, they want to stay here."

AROUND THE BOARDS: Flames GM/coach Darryl Sutter was pleased with the way his club was able to shut down the Senators on Saturday. "I talked to the team about the fact that if we were able to keep the big line (Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Alfredsson) off the scoreboard, then I liked our chances. We were able to do that," said Sutter. He admitted he made cryptic comments about the Senators because he didn't want his club showing Ottawa too much respect. "When the teams come in here from the Eastern Conference, my advice to the players is not to get too caught up in it," said Sutter. "The focus for us is the eight games we play against teams in our division and when we have to play the other teams in our conference. That's what our focus should be." ... Despite denials from Panthers GM Mike Keenan, talk about the Avalanche dealing for Florida G Roberto Luongo just won't disappear. Avalanche G David Aebischer has struggled this season and the club would like to move him.


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