Wade-ing game on for the Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Today will be Decision Day for Wade Redden.

The Senators defenceman, who has missed eight games with a chest injury, will take the skate and then decide whether he'll return tonight against the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Place.

While Redden felt good after a one-hour workout yesterday, he wasn't ready to make a decision because he wants to speak with the club's medical staff and see how his injury reacts, plus he's still unsure about physical contact.

''I'll decide (today),'' said Redden. ''I just had a good practice. I felt pretty good about it. I'll test it some more (today) and go from there.

''The last thing that you don't know about is going in a game and getting hit and going into the boards. It's tough to test that. I don't want (Chris Neil) running me in practice just so I can test it. I've just got to be confident and feel good about it in my head. In the game, your adrenaline is kind of running a bit and the hits are easier to take. We'll see.''

Coach Bryan Murray is leaving the decision to Redden.

''He skated fine. He was quite active out there and as good as anybody,'' said Murray. ''He looked like he had worked pretty hard. He skated last week. He skated an awful lot. He's shooting the puck.

''I've just totally ignored the fact he hasn't been with us. I'll just let him let me know when he's ready to go.''

NO TIME: Murray faced plenty of questions after the fourth line of Brian McGrattan, Dean McAmmond and Denis Hamel didn't get a shift in Saturday's 3-1 victory in Buffalo. But Murray wasn't making any apologies.

''Why would I talk to them? If they have any problem, they'll come see me, I just wanted to win the game,'' said Murray. ''Normally, what I try to do is go through two rotations and then I'll throw them in as the next line up. I went to put them out a couple of times and Lindy (Ruff) threw out one of his top lines and that's a number of them. I just went back with the guys. After you get into the rotation that everybody is going and the guys have sat for 15 or 20 minutes, it's pretty hard to ask them to go play and be able to do their thing. So I didn't ask them to go play. I knew they would practise (yesterday) and be fine.''

A veteran of 756 NHL games, McAmmond said he had never gone a full game without a shift. He noted the only time he touched the ice was during the television time-outs because he left the bench to stretch his legs.

''Buffalo is a pretty good team,'' said McAmmond. ''After you sit there for so long, I mean you sit there for (90 minutes), that it becomes like sitting and watching a hockey game on the couch and then you try to get up and sprint down the street. It's pretty tough to send us out there in that situation. That's just the way it is. It's unfortunate.''

AROUND THE BOARDS: The Senators play 15 of their next 20 games at home and G Ray Emery knows they need to have a good stretch here to make the playoffs. The Senators are just 6-7-0 at Scotiabank Place this season and need to improve dramatically. ''We've been playing better at home lately,'' said Emery, who will start tonight against Boston. ''January gives us a chance to assert that home-ice advantage.'' ... Murray said he has no plans to use G Martin Gerber anytime soon. ''I'm only looking at one game,'' said Murray. ''(Emery) is going to play (against Boston) and that's all I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about (Gerber) right now.'' ... LW Peter Schaefer, who has been bothered by a pink eye, didn't practise yesterday and visited the club's medical staff because there hasn't been much improvement. Still, he's expected to play tonight. ''What they're telling him is that he keeps touching it and that's not allowing it to get any better,'' said Murray. ''It just looks like it's not getting much better.''


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