October 13, 2007
Nobody's perfectSenators coach Paddock says his club was a little 'brain dead' in loss to Carolina
By BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA
NEW YORK -- Senators coach John Paddock didn't expect his club to go undefeated this season.
But he also believes there are no "good losses."
After suffering their first defeat of the season at the hands of the Hurricanes -- a 5-3 decision at Scotiabank Place -- the Senators will look to rebound tonight against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
While the loss may have allowed the Senators to get their feet back on the ground, Paddock wasn't about to buy into the theory that it may have been good for his club in the long run.
"I don't think there's any good losses. I think some are inevitable in our sport," said Paddock yesterday after an optional skate.
"It's not like the NFL where somebody can go undefeated. It's impossible.
"It's a combination of a lot of things. It's hockey. There's never any easy games in the NHL and we're in the midst of a heavy schedule. I don't think we're physically tired as much as we are mentally tired and mistakes are made."
The Senators tried everything they could to get back into the game against the Hurricanes.
Despite being down 4-1 with less than five minutes to play in the third, the club rallied with a pair of goals from Mike Fisher and Joe Corvo just two minutes apart, but couldn't cap the comeback.
Eric Staal scored into an empty net to seal the Senators' fate.
Paddock tried to get his club going by mixing his lines, including breaking up the big guns in centre Jason Spezza and wingers Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson. The strategy, however, failed and you can expect to see the powerful trio back together tonight.
Fisher will skate with Nick Foligno and Patrick Eaves, while Chris Kelly, Antoine Vermette and Chris Neil are going to remain together. Utilityman Christoph Schubert, Shean Donovan and Brian McGrattan will make up the club's fourth line.
Paddock is a big believer in shifting his lines and he might be more willing to do so than previous coach and current GM Bryan Murray.
"If it's not working, change," said Paddock.
Heatley said the Senators need to bounce back from the loss and play the way they're capable of playing.
"I don't there's ever a good loss," said Heatley. "I don't think we needed to be brought down to earth. I think we've been playing well and we know the reason why we were playing well. At times, we got away from the things that were making us successful and you can't do that against a team like Carolina."
Paddock said if the Senators play with the same disciplined style they did against the Rangers in last Saturday's 2-0 win, then the club will come out on top. Goalie Martin Gerber will start.
"We probably played (last Saturday against New York) the opposite of what we played (Thursday vs. Carolina)," said Paddock.
"We skated and we played smart. I don't think it was a lack of skating or work, but we didn't have the thinking behind it. We were disciplined and ready to play against the Rangers. We were ready to play (against Carolina), but we were a little bit brain dead."