'A little overrated'

Ottawa Senators head coach with Bryan Murray. (Sun Media/Suzanne Bird)

Ottawa Senators head coach with Bryan Murray. (Sun Media/Suzanne Bird)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

TAMPA -- Senators GM Bryan Murray can expect lots of calls from his "friends" across the NHL in the next 48 hours.

With Ottawa mired in a six-game losing skid, several GMs looking to make changes are going to be calling Murray to see if there's anything they can do to help the Senators get out of their longest skid in 12 years.

The players believe Murray should resist the temptation to send anybody packing.

"We have the guys in the room to do it. We don't need changes from the outside, but obviously we need to go out and get it done," said Senators centre Jason Spezza.

The Senators need to improve their depth. Murray would like to add a top-six forward to take some strain off the the likes of Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Spezza, but those types of players aren't readily available.

Murray said before the club's flight here Saturday he would rather make deals when the club is winning.

Right now, rival GMs will be asking for players like Antoine Vermette or Andrej Meszaros -- guys Murray has resisted dealing in the past.

The Senators would likely move defenceman Joe Corvo, but his $2.62-million US contract is an albatross. The Avalanche is looking for help on the blue line and may have an interest.

The current group, meanwhile, believes it can get its act together.

"JEKYLL AND HYDE"

"We're Jekyll and Hyde right now. That's not the type of team we want to be," said Spezza. "We want to be a consistent hockey club and we've just got to get back to finding a way to win games.

"We're definitely upset. You lose six games in a row, no matter what it's in, cards or ball hockey, you lose six games in a row and you want to get back winning."

The Senators looked like a juggernaut to start the season, but they've fallen back to earth and if they keep losing, they'll lose a grip on first place in the East -- a perch they've been atop since early October.

So, what happened?

"The powerhouse was a little overrated. We're a good hockey team that's a lot better than we're playing right now," said Ottawa coach John Paddock. "Why? I would say it's an awful lot of mental dullness. It's not an overconfident thing after a couple of games.

"It's a mental dullness that's effecting the physical jump and the edge to be involved. We're not winning 1-on-1 battles in the corners with the puck defensively or offensively. I think that's really where it starts."

Before the club's 5-2 loss to the Rangers on Saturday, Paddock had met with six leaders on the team separately to discuss some of the problems the Senators are having.

The Senators will practise today in preparation for the Lightning tomorrow and know they need to get the road trip started on a winning note to regain some confidence.

"We're going to be facing some adversity, but I think we've shown that we're a team, even when we're down, we find a way back," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We're a good group. We all realize we have to pull harder. It's tough when you get out there and you get down quick. We just have to be better."


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