Breaking up is hard to do

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

OCALA, FLA -- Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley can expect to get summoned soon to Bryan Murray's office.

And the Senators coach will want answers.

With just eight games left in the regular season, Murray said yesterday he's considering breaking up the two young stars in an attempt to get them scoring again.

"We've got to get production from them," said Murray. "So conversations will take place first."

Murray acknowledges that Spezza and Heatley are facing a lot of tight checking from opponents, but the Senators haven't been completely pleased with their work ethic.

SCORING DROUGHT

Heatley has 42 goals on the season, but hasn't scored since March 10 against Toronto while Spezza has also struggled of late. Winger Mike Comrie played with them Tuesday in St. Louis, but it was Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Kelly, Antoine Vermette and Chris Neil who did the scoring in the 4-2 victory.

"When (Heatley) and Spezza aren't getting points for us, we need guys like Vermette, Kelly and (Dean) McAmmond and people in that area of the lineup to get points and, obviously, our defensive corps (has to be able) to kick in," Murray said as the Senators prepared for tonight's game against the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.

"We all know very well that matchups become very important at playoff time and having people that have a good feel about themselves, getting points and making plays, I think it's important."

Murray was asked if he thought Heatley's pursuit of a second-straight 50-goal season has become a distraction.

"I can't say one way or another,'' said Murray. ''I don't think they got many scoring chances, if any, (Tuesday) night again.

''Maybe it is. I don't know that I'm the guy to ask. I don't think they're going quite the way they were together earlier in the season."

OFF THE GLASS: What bothered the Blues the most about the missed calls on two apparent goals Tuesday was the simple fact it happened. The NHL brought in video review to prevent these kinds of situations, but there was still human error.

"This should not happen in this day and age, and this is what we were worried about when we brought the replay in," said Blues C Doug Weight. ''We've got to make it so that things aren't different. It can't be. Sometimes we catch it and sometimes we don't. We've got people hired to do that and I'm not trying to call anybody out. It's crazy that it happens to us."

HOT WATER

Referee Mick McGeough is believed to already be in hot water with director of officiating Stephen Walkom for a couple of earlier incidents this season and many wonder if the longtime veteran will work in the playoffs, let alone next season.

"I feel for the officials. They don't want that to happen. It's unbelievable that two goals ... they're not even disputable goals," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "This is the NHL and in the NHL there are consequences when things like that happen."

AROUND THE BOARDS: The Senators could have some lineup decisions today. D Andrej Meszaros is nursing a sore wrist after an incident in St. Louis, RW Patrick Eaves is still bothered by a sore ankle and D Christoph Schubert has a sore hip ... Murray hadn't made a final decision late yesterday, but expect to see G Ray Emery start against the Panthers ... The Senators players were given yesterday off. The players flew here late Tuesday, then visited owner Eugene Melnyk's 1,000-acre horse farm for lunch yesterday. "It's pretty impressive," said RW Chris Neil ... Murray said the Senators now need to focus on acquiring home-ice advantage for the playoffs. "We've got 94 points. Now we can start looking at positioning," he said ... The Senators signed two key prospects yesterday: G Brian Elliott from the University of Wisconsin (No. 291 overall in the 2003 entry draft) and LW Nick Foligno (No. 28 in 2006) of the OHL's Sudbury Wolves. Elliott, who will report to AHL Binghamton, had a 51-27-6 record in college with a 1.78 GAA.


Videos

Photos