Let's get it started

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 3:24 PM ET

Before the Senators boarded the bus yesterday, Bryan Murray gathered his players near centre ice and called on the club's best to be the best.

Is the coach's message going to get through? We'll find out tonight as the Senators try to snap their three-game losing skid against Montreal in the Canadiens' home opener at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, Team 1200).

"I'm not going to panic," said Murray following a 35-minute workout at Scotiabank Place. "The best players have to be the best players on a nightly basis. They have to score, if that's their role on the hockey team," said Murray. "It doesn't happen every night -- we've gone four games and we've been shut out in two. We can't win hockey games if we don't get our best players to do what they do best.

"It's as simple as that. Our game has to be a touch better and our goal scorers have to score goals. We've met with them. We've talked with them. They understand when they get the minutes, one of the demands we make is they do things with the minutes they get. Each one of them knows ... we've got to get them producing."

The prime suspects Murray is targeting are easy to figure out: Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson, Wade Redden, Andrej Meszaros, Mike Fisher, Peter Schaefer and Antoine Vermette all play big roles on this team.

They are paid to put the puck in the net and unless they get going, this team is going nowhere fast. Everybody is well aware what Murray is talking about and they also know GM John Muckler isn't one to sit still if he feels changes are necessary.

"It is our responsibility to be the ones to step it up," said Spezza. "It's a role that you are put in and that you want to be in. That's why you want to be one of the top guys. You want to help get the team out of this funk.

"It'll be good when things get rolling."

RELAXED ATTITUDE

Actually, if the Senators are worried, they didn't look like the part at all as they held court in the room. They were laughing, joking and throwing barbs at each other.

"I'm not too concerned," said Heatley. "I want to keep getting chances and definitely, they will go in. Your best players have to be your best players to win and we know that. The puck just hasn't been going in for us."

An area that really must improve is the power play. The club is ranked 29th in the league at 1-for-25 after an 0-for-6 performance in Thursday's 1-0 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Alfredsson has been moved back to the point to use his big shot. Chris Neil is being asked to go up front to try to battle for loose pucks.

It may not stop there.

"It's not going to be a difficult change for me because it's not like it's something I haven't done before," said Alfredsson.

But it's something Murray didn't really want to do.

"It was my intention not to use him on the blue line (on the power play) much this year," said Murray. "But he shoots the puck a ton from there. Maybe this will be something that will get us going and allow us to score a few goals."


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