Sens Wade into trouble

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

Wade Redden is one of those players that as far as Senators fans are concerned, you either love him or hate him.

He is either a slick-passing superstar who will carry his team to success or an over-rated, mistake-prone underachiever.

Which side is more vocal depends on what kind of game he's just had.

The fact of the matter is, Senators fans have to love the club's record with him and hate it without him.

Redden will be back on the blue line tomorrow night when the Senators host the Montreal Canadiens after missing another game Tuesday because of a recurring sore groin.

Redden first hurt it in training camp. He battled through it, but finally missed four games in late October and early November. He missed another four later that month.

He also missed nine games with a chest injury this season.

After Tuesday's loss to the Boston Bruins, the Senators' record without Redden is now 6-11-1.

With him in the lineup, it's 39-13-7.

It's pretty hard to argue the point he has a positive influence on his team's fortunes.

"Whether I was in the lineup or not, I don't know if it would have made a difference," said the 29-year-old of the Senators' loss to the Bruins, their first game back after a four-game road trip. "After a road trip like that, there's always a letdown. Early in the year, we were battling when I was in the lineup, we were up and down trying to find our game.

"But I think I bring something to the team and I think we're a better team when I'm playing."

Redden said he didn't play against the B's after his groin tightened up.

"It was just a matter of being precautious," he said. "It wasn't feeling like it was strong enough (Tuesday). I've had a couple of days now to get it ready and I fully expect that it won't be a problem again."

Senators coach Bryan Murray said Redden could have played Tuesday, but some poor ice conditions and the fact the Senators have secured a playoff spot made him err on the side of caution.

35 POINTS SO FAR

"When a guy is hurting a little bit, I think it's wise at this time of year to make sure he can get as healthy as he can."

Redden has seven goals and 28 assists for 35 points and is plus-3 in 59 games this season.

He had 50 points in 65 games last season, his best offensive year to date. In the his previous nine NHL seasons, he has averaged just over 37 points a season.

"He's a heck of a player for us," said Murray. "He hasn't had the overall year you want him to have or he wants to have and we've talked about it.

"I think coming out of training camp and getting some health problems really affected his overall play. He has a big impact on the game simply because he moves the puck and creates offence for us.

"I think when we have one player helping others, everybody produces a lot more."


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