Coach calls out Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:47 PM ET

TAMPA -- John Paddock believes the Senators have hit rock bottom.

With the Senators in the midst of a six-game losing skid, the Ottawa coach told reporters yesterday that he had a tough time viewing the first-period tape of Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Rangers.

"I watched the first period of the Ranger game (yesterday) and I'd hate to see if the bottom goes any further. I think we have (bottomed out). I don't think we could play any worse," said Paddock.

Paddock ripped the players for undisciplined play, unwillingness to compete and for becoming complacent after a near-perfect 13-1 start.

"We never won any 1-on-1 battles in the first period (against the Rangers). It's not a technical or tactical thing now," said Paddock. "It's the ability to do something with the puck and the ability to win at least 50% of the 1-on-1 battles, wherever they are."

Before practice yesterday, the Senators held a short video session and then the players were given a chance to talk about what's gone wrong in past couple of weeks.

"We're not playing as well we should," said captain Daniel Alfredsson. "When you look at a whole year, you're going to have your bumps along the way. The thing is when you have them, you want to keep them short. We've got to stop losing and get some wins here. This should be a good trip for us.

"We talked amongst ourselves. Everybody who wanted to expressed their feelings. We've got to do a better job managing the puck. We're giving the puck away and we're making it hard for ourselves. Our strength is that we're a quick team and we're a team that has the puck more than the other team."

Paddock split up the top line in practice, moving Randy Robitaille to the right side of Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. Alfredsson skated with Nick Foligno and Mike Fisher while Antoine Vermette, Chris Kelly and Chris Neil were a trio. The fourth line of Shean Donovan, Dean McAmmond and Brian McGrattan was unchanged.

"If you want to get secondary scoring, you need to put the pucks at the net and go to the net and score. It's not even necessarily dirty goals," said Paddock. "You put the puck at the goalie's pads or make sure you hit the net. You do that. The puck is always around there. I was thinking that watching the tape. Secondary scoring isn't as hard to come by, if players past the big three just do some basic things."


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