Sens try to keep boredom at bay

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

Before the lights went out at Scotiabank Place yesterday, the Senators were already playing the waiting game.

That's the way it will be for a bit longer.

Practice was cut a little short yesterday because of a power failure in Kanata, but being off the ice is becoming the norm during the Senators' seven-day break.

The Senators knew travelling to the Taboo Resort in Gravenhurst for three days would help kill time, but as they were returning to Ottawa on Tuesday, Paddock noted that the Senators will only play two games in the next eight days.

"It's so different from the regular routine," said Paddock. "I was saying to the coaches after we landed (in Ottawa) that we still have six practices, two game-day skates and a day off in the next eight or nine days. There's still some pretty slow time here.

"It's just really different and not what you're used to doing. You are used to playing all the time or playing three (games) in four days. It's going to take a little bit of extra concentration for everybody to try to remain at their best."

The Senators are trying to keep boredom at bay.

The club has an 8-1 record, so it's not like there's an area where Ottawa has huge concerns. Sure, the power play, which is ranked 16th in the league, can be better, but for the most part the Senators have been pretty consistent.

"Usually October is a pretty slow month," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We don't have a lot of choice here. That's the way it is. We wouldn't prefer it that way, but there's nothing we can do about it."

STRONG CHANGE: Alfredsson and Senators D Wade Redden, who are both members of the NHL Players' Association's executive committee, were glad to see Boston lawyer Paul Kelly chosen as the head of the union. Kelly replaces Ted Saskin who was dumped last winter after it was learned he'd been reading player e-mails. Kelly is going to try to get the union back on track and put the Saskin mess behind the NHLPA. "I think it's a really good choice," said Alfredsson. "We feel with him leading, it should really benefit us. We needed a new leader. The search committee did a good job and hopefully this is a step in the right direction." Redden said the union needed a change at the top. "It's great to have someone in there to call the leader of the union," said Redden. "That's something we needed. It's great that the due diligence was done and everything was done in the right order to pick the right guy. From what we hear, and what we've learned, it's going to work out well. Is it time to move forward? I guess so. It's good to have somebody leading the ship. We have someone hand-picked and right for the job."

OFF THE GLASS: Paddock has been impressed with the play of Redden and D Andrej Meszaros. Paddock said before the start of the season that duo would have to bounce back from subpar 2005-06 performances if the Senators were going to succeed. "We would have needed two horseshoes to have two guys who eat up a third of your (ice time) who weren't going to play to their level (to have success)," said Paddock. "That shows a big part of the reason of the success we had is because those two have played pretty well." ... The Devils haven't been able to skate at the Prudential Center in Newark because their dressing room isn't ready. New Jersey players won't get a chance to test the ice until Saturday's morning skate ... Ottawa D Luke Richardson enjoyed the club's retreat in Muskoka. "We're making the best of (the break)," said Richardson. "For a guys like myself and the new guys, it gives us a chance to get to know the guys by spending time together off the ice and not just in the dressing room talking about hockey. Getting to know each other better, I believe, translates into a tighter team."


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